• Yellow Hibiscus

    A beautiful yellow Hibiscus flower found on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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    Picked from one of the Hibiscus bushes we have out in our front yard. I selected this flower because of how the style curved right at the end so that I could photograph the profile of the flower and have all of the 5 stigma balls visual instead of overlapping each other.

    I don’t have much of a studio, so I have to improvise. I was able to float the flower away from its background by pinning it to the bottom of my kitchen cabinets with a safety pin. With natural light I needed a longer than desired shutter speed, so I had to close all windows and stop the fans to keep the flower from wavering. Then with a timer set to 2 seconds on the camera I quickly and carefully pressed the shutter and gently fluttered a white towel in the background to blur any shadow or detail that might be picked up by the camera. The depth of field wasn’t enough to pick up all the details of the flower, so I focus stacked 2 images for the final piece.

    © Christopher Johnson

  • Yellow Bird

    Yellow Safron Finch feeding off of the dew of a seeding palm tree.

    Every morning these yellow birds dance around the palm trees outside my window. I have attempted to photograph them many, many times, but they are often too far away to get a good shot with my 300mm lens. This time the branches we dangling towards my window. Now I just had to be patient and wait for the birds to be brave enough to come close to me. I think I waited around 20 minutes until this bird arrived.

    I wanted to frame the bird off center so I can show the design of the palm branches as they blew in the wind.

    © Christopher Johnson


  • 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.


    © 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.

  • Pink Nymphaeaceae

    Nymphaeaceae is the scientific name of this water lily plant as I just learned.

    Around the Queen Marketplace in Waikoloa, there are dozens of these water lilies throughout the Koi ponds decorating the center event area. I was observing the Koi swimming around the ponds with my daughter when I noticed a pristine water lily flower near a sitting area. It was then I basically interrupted a conversation and squeezed myself between people to get a macro shot of this flower. Simply beautiful. Sometimes it is just better to put aside manners to get the shot.

    I happened to be photographing this flower at around 3:00pm, which would make the sunlight high and intense creating harsh shadow lines on the flower, making the final image unattractive. To create visually interesting, beautiful floral images it is better to use diffused lighting. This keeps the flower looking soft and delicate. Usually in shots like these I would block the light with a circular reflector, but in this case, with all the people around, I couldn’t be so intrusive. Instead I used my shadow to block the sunlight on the flower and the background. I shot several compositions, but this was my favorite.


    Christopher Johnson –