Some believe there are alternate realms of reality in nature which are not known by most people.  There may be portals or gateways to these hidden worlds.

Faeries, spirits, angels, and katchinas, were known to ancient and aboriginal peoples, but the connection was lost to modern man.

CG Jung proposed the concept of Archetypes as Symbols of the Collective Unconscious.  These are found in myths, dreams, and folk tales.   

Jung believed science should study these archetypes, as we cannot avoid them, however hard we may try to deny their existence.  

A Gateway in the Forest

Natural Mandalas

I am working on a series of images, using symmetry and mirroring, to create abstract images of nature. These reveal natural mandalas, which were not apparent in the original photo. It is fascinating to me that I do not see these exact images in the original photos, but discover them as the images develop.  Often the images seem to make themselves. 

I prefer to work with images from nature:  trees, branches, flowers, and the shapes and textures from these natural images.  

A mandala is an abstract symbol, which features geometric shapes and symmetry.   Mandalas appear in the art of all spiritual and religious traditions, and are intended to help connect the individual to the divine . It is believed that by meditating on a mandala one may gain insight into the spiritual realms, a gateway to the higher self.

Strong Medicine

Abstract Nature Photography

Arching branches, leaning trees, openings in the forest, all suggest gateways to the hidden worlds.  Flowers and pine cones can become mandalas and faces. 

My approach starts with these types of photos. After my processing routine in Light Room, I create the magic with Photoshop. I make a duplicate layer, then flip it to mirror the base layer, then experiment with blending modes in Photoshop.

Blend modes combine the base layer with the blend layer using mathematical rules to compare and blend pixels, and there are 24 blend modes in Photoshop. As this blending is done individually with thousands of pixels, the possibilities are endless. Each new layer can be combined with a different blend mode. My goal is to develop a repeatable method with predictable results.

Progression of an Abstract Image

From a Fern to a Mandala

It may help the viewer to include the original photo as a guide image(Left). The fern photo works best if cropped at a 45 deg angle.  I used a Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens to get a softness and rich colors.

When the photo is mirrored, or flipped horizontally on top of itself, the resulting image (Center) can still be seen as ferns.The patterns have a two fold symmetry of left and right.  This creates a mandala effect.

Next this image is flipped vertically, to make four fold symmetry.   A complex mandala with ferns still visible. 

The Old Man of the Wood

Some images reveal an archetypal character, as found in myths and folk tales.

This image started as a dried Queen Anne's Lace, which I duplicated and mirrored.

Can you see his eyes, nose, mouth, and beard?

(Hint:  the arrows point towards the eyes).

The Old Man is a symbol of the Wisdom of Nature. 

Good to use your imagination.

Old Man of the Wood

Aztec Sun God

Aztec Sun God

The Sun God images were derived from a red dahlia photo I took last summer.

Several versions show faces, and look like Aztec or Mayan designs.

A sun image seems perfect for December and the winter solstice.

Dream Catcher

A Dream Catcher is a Native American (or hippie) symbol thought to protect a person from nightmares.

This image is of small branches of a locust tree, with hanging seed pods. I used a textured wood grain background, and colors to look like moonlight.

I am reminded of the scene in Jaws, when the Captain first sees the giant shark, and calmly says "I think we're going to need a bigger boat". 

As 2020 was such a difficult year for many people, we may need a bigger dream catcher in 2021. 

Dream Catcher

Pine Cones

I am fascinated by the textures and colors of pine cones.  Here these features are exaggerated but recognizable. 

This image is mirrored, but I think this adds interest rather than be distracting. 

I have made several color variations of this image.

Pine Cones

Persian Carpet

These orange ferns were a beautiful autumn color.  The Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens gives a softness and rich colors.  After mirroring the ferns, the mandala resembles a Persian Carpet. 

I was thinking of a caption by a Sufi poet, a friend suggested:  "Let us be the beauty that we are seeking". 

Persian Carpet

My New Gallery

I have posted these images as a new gallery on my website.  Check back as I plan to add more images in coming months. 

I am currently going thru my older photos to find ones which may make interesting abstract images.

All my images are available as prints and wall art thru Bay Photo on my website. 

I hope to print note cards with these images and have them available in 2021. 

A Fun Guy (Fungi)

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In