Category Archives: Abstracts

Photo of the Week – For The Love Of Flowers

This week’s photo of the week from 44th Parallel Photography is about flower photography. This week I published my first e-book, a book about fine art flower photography. The process of putting together that book meant that I had to look through a lot of images. But doing so reminded me of my photographic journey. I’ve come a long way in six years. It also reminded me of my sources of inspiration. Check out my Photo of the Week to learn who my influences are for my flower photography.

Click on the thumbnail below to see the Photo of the Week.

1 Comment

Filed under Abstracts, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, Flowers, learning, Macro photography, Nature, nature photography, photography, plants

NEW e-book for sale – Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips

I’m happy to announce that my new e-book on fine art flower photography is now for sale. You can purchase it from Photo44 Press on my website, 44th Parallel Photography.

 Flowers is a 109 page full colour e-book available as a downloadable pdf file for only $8.95 CDN.

What’s the book about?

This book is all about teaching you how to make your own beautiful fine art photos of flowers.  It will open up a whole new world of image-making to many photographers, new and advanced. You’ll learn about key aspects of making great flower images (e.g. depth of field, focus, lighting etc). But this book is about far more than just  technical aspects of producing great flower photos. It’s all about illustrating creative approaches and providing inspiration, about getting you outside your comfort zone to broaden your photography. It’s about learning new ways of seeing, developing a photographic vision, and enhancing and honing your creative skills to make stunning fine art flower images.

I love to teach and I truly believe that people learn best by doing and by seeing concrete examples. So not only have I provided detailed descriptions of techniques for you to practice and master, but I’ve also provided loads of examples of how I have used these techniques and creative approaches myself, to achieve specific results. Each image in the book has a description of how the image was made, so that you can see exactly how certain techniques and approaches yield specific results. For some images, I explain my thinking behind the image-making process and what led me to achieve the final result. Understanding why a certain approach is used is just as important as understanding  how it is used. With this book, you’ll learn both.

What’s in the book?

I cover the following topics:

  • Flower portraiture

  • Depth of field

  • Lighting

  • Selective focus

  • Composition

  • Indoors vs. outdoors

  • Macrophotography

  • Image processing

  • Equipment

  • And…. a large section on creative photography techniques, including multiple exposure, panning, zooming, image overlay, Lensbaby and a whole lot more!

What does the book look like?

Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips is a 109 page full colour pdf e-book that you purchase as a downloadable file. You can view it on any device – desktop or laptop computer, iPad, Android tablet, or even your smartphone.

The book is brimming with vibrant, colour images illustrating each technique and creative approach.

Here are some sample pages….

For more page samples, click HERE.

To purchase Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips, click HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Abstracts, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, equipment, Flowers, learning, Macro photography, Nature, nature photography, Photo-impressionism, photography, plants, technique, Vision, Wildflowers

Photo of the Week – Lensbaby Maple Leaves

This week’s Photo of the Week is focused on fall colours again (who can resist?!), but with a twist. I used a Lensbaby to make this image. I love the way it distorts portions of the image and can spice up a ‘pattern’ shot, but creating a vignette of distortion and splotches of colour. I love what the Lensbaby does to trees and so this time of year is my favourite to swap the zoom lens for the Lensbaby and get out into the forest. For this image, I used a medium-aperture insert (sorry, no real f-stop is associated with the inserts you use to manipulate depth of field or in this case, more accurately, the portion of the image in focus) to ensure that enough of the image was in focus and that only the margins of the image would be distorted.

If you own a Lensbaby, I hope you get out before the fall colours disappear. They really are a lot of fun to play with.

Click on the thumbnail below to see 44th Parallel Photography’s Photo of the Week.


Filed under Abstracts, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, equipment, Fall, Nature, nature photography, Photo of the Week, photography

Lanark County Colours

Today I spent part of the day driving around Lanark County, where I live, and into North Frontenac County, here in Ontario. This year’s show of fall colours has been nothing short of spectacular. Because of our drought this summer, it was predicted that the fall colours would be far more muted than usual. In fact, this fall has been just the opposite, with some of the most vibrant colours in years!

Nothing soothes the soul more than driving along a quiet country road, soaking in the vibrant colours of fall. Here are some photos from today’s outing.

Wishing all of you here in Canada, a Happy Thanksgiving. Take a moment to reflect on the things you are grateful for, especially the people you love most. And cherish every moment with them.

Poplar Leaf



Maple and Birch

Maple and Birch II

Birch Bark

Maple Vibrance




Birch and Gold

Golden Forest


Orange Poplar

Craggy Poplar

Forest Mystique I

Forest Mystique II

Don’t know about you, but I”m rooting for the turkey! Travel safely this holiday weekend.



Filed under Abstracts, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, Fall, Landscape, Nature, nature photography, Photo-impressionism, photography, plants

I Love My Macro Lens….

The other day I did a shoot of some purple asters. One of them is my Photo of the Week. Some other images I used for my new ebook on fine art flower photography. So I had a specific purpose for my playing, but play I did and man, was it fun! I love those times where you start making images and the more you make, the better they get, the more fun it gets and by the end of the shoot you’re on a total high. Well, photographing these asters was like that. I loved every minute of it. And since I’d been writing about extension tubes in my book, I dusted off my extension tubes, put them onto my Nikon 105 mm macro lens and played. And played. And played. I think I’m addicted to making abstract images of flowers – images that are soft and ethereal or very painterly.

If you have a set of extension tubes, put them on your favourite lens and give some flower photography a try. Spend an afternoon experimenting, forcing yourself outside your comfort zone and see what you come up with.

Here are a few images from my recent flower shoot.






Filed under Abstracts, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, Flowers, Macro photography, Nature, nature photography, photography, plants

Shelley Ball of 44th Parallel Photography – featured image on Committed Photography

Committed Photography, a fantastic online gallery is featuring Abstracts, as the featured style of the month and my image, Birches In Gold, is the featured image for the Abstract gallery. 

If you visit Committed Photography’s website, and click on View Collection, you’ll be taken to a gallery of wonderful and diverse images by a variety of photographers.

To see my images, type “Shelley Ball” into the search window and hit the search key. That will pull up all of my images in the gallery, including my abstracts.

Committed Photography offers a variety of print types and sizes for purchase, including fully framed prints. Prices are great and there are loads of superb images for sale.

To see more of my images, visit my galleries on my 44th Parallel Photography website.

Leave a comment

Filed under Abstracts, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, Fall, Landscape, nature photography, photography

No Limit to Photographic Creativity: Robert Buelteman’s Electrifying Images of Electrocuted Flowers

Every once in a while I come across something that is truly impressive, something that makes me think the sky’s the limit as far as photographic creativity goes. You know what I’m talking about – images that are completely different than anything you’ve seen before and they leave you thinking, “WOW!!”

Recently, a friend sent me a link to an article about Robert Buelteman’s images of electrocuted flowers. Eh? Electrocuted flower?! What’s that? It’s kind of hard to explain. I’ll leave the technical description to the following article in, about Buelteman’s imaging making. But suffice it to say it’s REALLY COOL! Essentially what he does is run 80,000 volts through a plant placed on colour film. After a brief blast of electricity, he develops the film. And voila! Funky, cool, impressive, unique WOW images!

Here’s a sampling from the Amusing Planet article:

Samples of electrified plants.

Now are these incredible, or what? I’d love to have one of his images hanging on my wall.


Filed under Abstracts, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, equipment, ferns, Flowers, Nature, nature photography, photography, plants, technique, technology, Wildflowers