Photography By Barrie Dale A.G.S.A

SpaceCraft Approaching Enceladus

SpaceCraft Approaching Enceladus

Here is some imaginative natural abstract art.  I hope I you like it.  

Capturing Abstract Art

It is of the orchid Phalaenopsis, at high magnification.  But I have given it the title ‘Space probe Approaching Enceladus’.  This shows the opportunities that you can take with close-up images of natural forms;  the image is not like a flower; but with a little imagination it could be seen as a space probe approaching Enceladus, one of the moons of Saturn. The space probe Cassini did in fact visit Enceladus in 2005; but nobody was there to see it!  So my image is of something that nobody ever saw.  I take great delight in that.

Explaining the Image

Cassini showed that Enceladus is covered in ice, so my image is truthful in that respect. I took he photograph was taken looking across one petal in the foreground towards the out-of-focus tip of another petal.  The body of the flower, completely out-of-focus, provides the dark background, representing the vast bulk of Saturn itself.  The details in the foreground are the tiny liquid droplets that accumulate on the surfaces of flower petals.  There is some evidence of the texture created by individual pigment cells.  This is all quite normal in images taken of flowers at this magnification.

To get these effects I usually take photographs from the shadow side of the flower, looking into afternoon sunlight.  This way, light filtering through the complex body of the flower can produce myriad, unexpected effects.  The magnification has to be high to ensure that the flower fills the picture, but no longer appears to be a flower.

The image would have appeared suddenly during a high-magnification search.  I would have captured it immediately, instinctively.  As always, I feel the need, afterwards, to ask ‘why?’.  I don’t know the answer to that, but I suspect that in that moment I wanted to be on Enceladus, watching the space-craft come in.  I would have been able to rejoice in being somewhere as yet unspoilt.

All my images require an exercise of the imagination.  I hope that you see that as a recommendation.  Of course you, the viewer, with a different imagination, might see something entirely different; again, I hope you see this as a ‘positive’.  I have tried to justify my way of producing abstract art at

For other, similar examples of imaginative natural abstract art please visit my galleries at