detail

  • Lava Flow Pattern

    Tight cropping of the amazing detail and pattern of the lava river flowing out of Fissure 8 in Pahoa.

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    It was an amazing experience to see the lava spewing and flowing out of fissure 8 that erupted out of the middle of Leilani Estates in Pahoa, Hawaii. It was somewhat surreal. My mind didn’t comprehend what I was looking at at first because I felt like I was watching a movie. In Kona I am just far enough away to not realize what really is happening on the other side of the island even though we have the extreme VOG and earthquakes. It just never really sunk in until I went to see the event in person.

    After the initial shock and excitement of the fissure I began photographing the detail and patterns of the lava flow from above. This shot was taken at full zoom, 300mm, to enhance the colors and beautiful qualities of the lava as it cracked and hardened. When viewed at 100% there are endless designs and details in the lava that are just amazing that I didn’t realize were there until I developed these shots. The helicopter trip goes so fast and my mind was racing to take it all in mentally and with my camera. So much that I didn’t have my setting right in the camera while I was taking these pictures.

    When I was preparing to go on the helicopter I had a system to set the camera on shutter priority fast enough to handle the 300mm lens as well and the movement of the helicopter. Then to quickly review the shots to make sure everything was crisp before continuing. I even had a gentleman ask me about shutter speed before getting on the helicopter as a subtle reminder to adjust my settings. Unfortunately I didn’t heed my own preparation and advice. The excitement got to me. Before I knew it I was rapidly taking pictures of everything I saw. The helicopter pilot was twisting and tilting in all directions so everyone had their time to experience the disaster which added to my excitement.

    It wasn’t until we were leaving the flow that I began to review my images and noticed a lot of the had significant motion blur. My heart sank. I totally screwed up. “It’s Ok. It was the experience that was amazing. A once in a lifetime experience.” I told myself in order to cheer myself up. I mostly believed it, but as with all artists all we want to do is create. The life experiences are amazing, but we want to bring home some amazing art to relive it and share the experience. Sharing blurry shots of the lava isn’t going to excite anyone.

    I spent the rest of the day with a small lump in the back of my throat. I wanted to go up to the desk at Paradise Helicopters and tell them I wanted a do-over because I didn’t get the shots. They would obviously let me go again because that would be their biggest concern. It was weird where my mind went. I wasn’t depressed or anything and it would have been fine if all my images were trash because in actuality it was the experience that mattered. My wife and I had a blast and got to spent the rest of the day exploring new areas of the island. It was just disappointing that I thought I didn’t have any usable images.

    When I finally sat down and loaded all my shots into Bridge I was elated to see 2/3 of all the shots were just fine and my worries were for nothing. It’s so weird how a small thing can effect you in such a large way and how all preparation can be lost in excitement. I just need to learn to slow down and be methodical during these moments. In all actuality I had a lot of time to photograph the lava. It only seemed like I didn’t at the time.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Cactus Lines

    A macro photograph of the lines and thorns of a budding blue agave cactus.

    In the center of the agave is a tall spine which is made up of a bunch of newer leaves bundled together. As they mature they begin to fall away from each other, spanning out like wings, until eventually they find the ground to decay. The coolest part of this process is that during the time the leaves are bound together they imprint their spines and designs on to each other which never goes away. How symbolic of life. When we grow up we are imprinted with the people we grow with and that imprint never really goes away. It may fade, but if we look carefully we can see these imprints on others whether good or bad… Hopefully good.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Palm Frond

    The pattern of an ever-changing palm frond as it blows in the wind.

    I have become fascinated by palm fronds after watching and observing them for a few years from my lanai. The sunlight transforms the leaves on the frond through out the day while accenting differed characteristics of the tropical tree. With this image the light was low and the front leaves were shadowing the back leaves which created a zebra like pattern against the bright sky. As a black and white image the pattern was accented.

    Buy a print on my FineArtAmerica store. There are different sizes and styles to choose from to fit your needs.

    © Christopher Johnson

     

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  • Macro

    Photograph of the details of a vibrant purple flower

    I was surprised with some beautiful flowers from my wife, so of course I set up to photograph them. What I love about macro is the new world that is seen within such a close up view of the subject. I didn’t notice all the amazing yellows in the center of the flower without the help of the camera. Then I began noticing all the tiny water drops that speckled the flower.

    Enjoy!

    © Christopher Johnson

    Available backlit from Big Naked Wall. Check out the website and see the cool things they are doing for artwork with their interchangeable prints on backlit frames.

  • Leaf Detail

    Photograph of a backlit leaf that shows all the amazing interconnected lines that makes up the amazing detail of a leaf.

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    © Christopher Johnson

  • Red Carnation Flower

    A macro view of the beautiful delicate petals of a red carnation.

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    © Christopher Johnson

    Purchase a print by visiting my RedBubble page

  • Ice Crystals

    A study of the intricate details of ice crystals that formed on a window in Lake Tahoe.

  • Monstera Leaf

    Monstera Leaf

    Macro of a Monstera Leaf with rain drops.
    © Christopher Johnson

  • Broad Leaf Imprints

    [title color=”dark” size=”h3″] How amazing the intricacies of a simple leaf can be. [/title]

     

    When feeling dried up of all creativity, it is then that I find myself wandering around studying everything around me for something new. This study of the leaf began as I stood at the base of a large tree on the hunt for a chameleon. My eyes fixed on scanning the branches to find the camouflaged lizard was my only goal. As my gaze began to go higher up into the tree, it was then I began seeing the beauty of the large broad leaves as they were backlit by the sun.

    In photographing a single leaf I began wondering what other leaves might look like with the same effect. With that said, I began my search, away from the chameleon, toward the design of broad leaves through a macro lens.

    This is my small growing study of the inner workings of a leaf and amazing differences between species.