Imagine learning that the beauty to be found in the world
had less to do with where you were and what you looked at,
and more to do with how you chose to see the world.
What a gift it would be to share the key to seeing.
Most of the panoramic images that I make are expansive in the landscape that they depict. Some, like the one below, can cover miles of scenery in the background.
I've had a different kind of image in mind for a while. This year I was able to make it a reality for others to see. What I've wanted to show is a vast panorama, one that easily prints up to 6 feet wide, but covers a subject area that spans only a few inches. The idea was to convey the depths of beauty that can be found in the simplest spot when you took the time to really look.
At the end of a rain shower I started looking. There was a very fine drizzle coming down, which is the perfect kind of rain to do this type of photography. A fine mist leads to drops of all different sizes evenly distributed.
I kept searching for just the right scene... panoramic proportions in miniature, beauty in form and color hidden away in plain sight. After the better part of an hour I thought I had an image that I could make. I had to be very careful not to touch a thing, the least little contact could launch all of the drops so precariously balanced on the flower stems, instantly resulting in a shower within the shower and ruining the shot.
I slowly moved around to the other side of the stem and found an even better scene, everything that I wanted for this image. An entire garden of cosmos were reflected in each of the drops on the stem in front of me.
The final panorama was constructed from 21 individual images and was even better that I'd hoped for. The detail in the final prints were incredible, not only could you see hundreds of drops, but you could see reflections and amazing details inside of the drops!
To make an image like this available on the web we have to lower the resolution pretty drastically. It's a little frustrating because the very details that make this image work conceptually end up getting lost in the process. Fortunately we've been working on a couple video projects that offered us the opportunity to show you a moving tour through the panorama. Look very closely at the opening shot in this video. You'll see an extreme close up of a single drop, and in that drop is the cosmos garden, and in the garden you can see another stem, and on that stem you can actually see other drops. Drops refelcted in drops, which is leading me to another idea...
(You may need to run your cursor over the movie clip above to see the controls. Click on the triangle pointing to the right to start the video.)
Think for a moment about what is in this image. The awe inspiring beauty in the very tiniest of spaces. How many scenes like this do we pass in a single step? How many discoveries are waiting for us every time we take a walk, no matter where we live, if we are open and take the time to see?