Last summer I took notice of several Mimosa trees (Albizia julibrissin) or Persian Silk Tree, growing along the highway on my daily commute. By the time I got around to taking photographs, I had unfortunately missed the end of the flowering season in mid-July. This year I was deliberate about sleuthing out the best morning and late afternoon Mimosa tree candidates.
Initially, I intended to feature the lovely magenta-red flower clusters in contrast with the dense, dark green bi-pinnate compound leaflets. However, after following my color treatment, my monochrome workflow revealed a strikingly different composition.
As widely observed and commented on, monochrome elevates the composition’s lines, shapes and textures across a range monochromatic tonality. The increased monochrome visual impact in these compositions comes from the Mimosa tree’s fascinating leaflet and flower architectures. In previous posts, I’ve discussed how fractal geometry and Fibonacci numbers (e.g. Golden Mean, Golden Spiral, etc.) is expressed in the patterns found in plant structures (phyllotaxis).
The Mimosa tree was introduced to the United States over 250 years ago. Today its widely considered to be an invasive species and is opportunistic across many different soil conditions. Its numerous seed pods are easily spread and remain fertile over long periods of drought. It’s not surprising then to find so many specimens occupying the treeline along well-traveled roadways across the US.
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My youngest son Parker, a graduating high school senior, visited the University of South Carolina in Columbia this past spring. I heard “Dad, are you coming” as I paused to capture this architectural abstract with my Tamron 15-30mm lens. I love the extreme perspectives offered by this super-wide angle lens.
Parker will be attending USC this fall. I wish I could go with him an experience college life all over again! He said I could be his roommate, but I’m not really sure he meant it.
While working on this towards the end of my intentional color workflow, I accidentally applied a b&w filter. Immediately, I was convinced to go back and also apply my typical monochrome workflow. Color or monochrome? Both have their merits. Obtaining a pleasing color balance in the color version was quite challenging. I may go back and work on it more with fresh eyes.
In the monochrome version, I experimented with luminosity adjustments and ended up slightly dropping the red, green and blue. This helped provide some tonal separation provided naturally in the color composition.
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This rack of antique Atlas bicycles at Golden Oldies in High Point, North Carolina, was an excellent subject for a composition study. For each composition, I shot a range of exposures from f8 up to f16. The f-stop and lens focal length used is appended to the end of the title.
The first three compositions were shot with a Tamron 15-30mm lens. The last was with my Nikon 28-300mm.
I looked up this brand; it’s from India and is one of the top global bicycle manufacturers. Several of the seats are from the Hero bicycle brand, also a top manufacturer in India. This suggests these were sold and used in India.
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