I’ve always been fascinated by colors, patterns and textures that occur in nature: a tree’s bark, a pile of fallen leaves, strewn rocks along a river’s shore. Even as a young girl, my goal was to find a way to capture nature’s strength, character, and the awe one can feel. Photography became my medium.
Nature is full of amazing sights that bring out human emotions, each scene occurring only once, never to be seen exactly the same way. A beautiful red rose bud, its upright petals wrapped tightly around a core of yellow, opens to become a gorgeous light-infused red bed of curving petals. No two roses form the same way, open the same way, or have the same color. Capturing what the eye sees and rendering it into a photograph takes skill—finding the best angle, selecting the proper lighting, choosing the right focus, all takes time and experimentation. A camera can easily record a picture but not the subject’s essence, strength, and character. When skill and patience pay off, the photograph becomes art.
My goal is to create art that stands out, beckoning the viewer to return over and over again and still be moved. Although in the past my tools have consisted of a camera and natural lighting, recently I’ve added a microscope and polarized light to capture the unique natural patterns formed when crystals grow.
One day I grew crystals on a slide and placed it under a microscope’s lens. The crystal’s radiance, intense iridescent colors, and unusual patterns appeared on the small microscope slide. Some mimicked land formations or seascapes while others invoked the viewer’s imagination. I was amazed. Each slide contained incredible diversity. Creating and viewing these microscopic crystals opened up a whole new world of extraordinary scenes that were previously unimaginable. Each photo is unique and will never occur again in nature.
Many steps go into creating a micro-crystal art piece. Most crystals must be created more than once before they form a shape that is photogenic. Each time I grow crystals and place the slide on the microscope’s stage, new dazzling sights spring forth through the lens. I never know what I’m going to find. Moving the microscope knobs ever so slightly, viewing through the eyepiece, applying just the right amount of polarized light is a process, which can be time-consuming and frustrating. Many times the crystals do not yield an image that will elicit emotion, and I have to start again. But when I find the perfect combination of patterns, textures and beautiful iridescent vibrant colors, I catch my breath.
A micro-crystal photograph allows the viewer the opportunity to let their imagination soar. The artwork doesn’t just sit on the wall: it can build and strengthen the room’s character. As the ambient light changes throughout the day, so does the artwork. The image’s iridescence and colors transform. Stand in front of it. Move from side to side. How do the colors change? What do you see? You may just be blown away.
Southern California, 2012