Natural Abstract Art; Magnified Images

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Natural Abstract Art: Magnified Images


Magnified Images As we have seen in earlier ‘Natural Abstract Art’ articles, photographs of Natural Forms at high magnification yield recognisable images, unrelated to subject matter. Is there a precedent for this?

It’s not Fractals; and it’s not Mandelbrot It is not analogous to the phenomena of ‘Fractals’, as exemplified by snowflakes; with Fractals the pattern repeats itself at every magnification. It is not analogous to the ‘Mandelbrot Set’. With Mandelbrot the patterns differ at each magnification, but they are all fixed, properties of what we can see as the Universe of human mathematics.

It’s SpecifIc to the Camera, and it’s Art The images produced in high magnification photography are specific to the camera, and quite different in type from those seen by the eye. The camera focuses on only an exceedingly thin, perpendicular, slice of what is in front of it. Much of the image might be out of focus. In a similar situation the eye would keep on re-focusing. An Artist might handle this by purposely de-focussing. High-magnification images, with no re-focussing, are unique to the camera, and can be seen as being analogous to ‘Art’. Deciding What to Take Deciding which images are worth capturing in high magnification photography is, in this Series, an unconscious act. In producing the image on the front page it was clear straight away that the subject was interesting, and basically ‘astrophysics’ (unconscious decision; then realisation). The conscious decision was to ensure that the specks of light at the top right middle of the picture were in focus.

What Does it Represent? A prominent astro-physicist suggested that the image resembled the way in which a newlyformed star cluster causes excitations in the cloud of hydrogen from whence it came when a new cluster of star forms from a cloud of hydrogen, some of the stars may be very hot and emit X-rays. These rays will impinge on the hydrogen gas that has not yet been used up, and produce a pinky-purple glow.

Barrie Dale AGSA


When ‘Distant Sunset’ came into the view-finder the only conscious decision that needed to be taken was to make sure the horizon was in focus.

Distant Sunset (Petals of Phalaenopsis)

Barrie Dale AGSA


When ‘Escaping the Apocalypse’ appeared in the view-finder, the conscious decision was to make the rocket visible, but not prominent, leaving the viewer with something to find.

Escaping the Apocalypse (Petals of Phalaenopsis)

Barrie Dale AGSA 4

In ‘The Evening after the Apocalypse’ the streamer rising off to the right seemed to provide the ‘zest’; that needed to be in focus.

The Evening After the Apocalypse (Petals of Phalaenopsis)

Barrie Dale AGSA


In ‘Long is the Path and Winding the Way’ it seemed necessary to have some part of the long, curved line in focus, and some not, so that there would variation and interest along the length, and, again, give the viewer something to do.

Long is the Path and Winding the Way (Petals of Phalaenopsis)

Barrie Dale AGSA


The images in this particular article are of a very pink Phalaenopsis flower. I hope it will be clear that there is plenty of scope for variation, even on a single flower. The next article will be based on a white flower, and it will be completely different.

Barrie Dale