Photography By Barrie Dale A.G.S.A

Scissors, Rock, Paper

Scissors Rock Paper

This is playful natural abstract art.   Scissors, Rock, Paper is a game children play. It is a way of reaching decisions.  Two players reveal their hands simultaneously.  Then scissors beats paper, paper beats rock, rock beats scissors.  Perhaps politicians might borrow it.  

Capturing Natural Abstract Art

The image is a high-magnification photograph of Phalaenopsis.  The camera would have been pointing towards afternoon sunlight.

As usual, I would have taken the decision to capture the image instantaneously and instinctively.  Here, I can easily suggest reasons why.  The image shows the edge of a petal.  This is in sharp focus.  It constitutes the ‘Rock’.  You can see individual pigments cells.  There are also pollen grains.  I always find such things attractive.  At the centre-left there is a section of stalk.  This is in soft. focus.  It represents the ‘Scissors’.  I used to avoid the sight of a stalk.  Now I welcome it.  Finally there is the ‘Paper’, on the right.  This is an out-of-focus patch of illumination.  This is caused by a narrow beam of light finding its way through the flower. 

At high magnification the camera can focus on only a very thin slice of the subject.  This is the secret of this picture.  The ‘Rock’ is in focus, the ‘Scissors’ are in soft focus, the ‘Paper’ out of focus.  But in the subject they are only millimetres apart.  It is this sort of feature which leads to such variety in high-magnification photographs.  Please see

The image is entirely natural. This is in line with the theme of my site –

The question I need to pose is ‘Is it Abstract’?  Is it clearly of a flower?  This is difficult to answer.  I know that it is of a flower.  Others might have more difficulty. I have to hope so.

Other Examples

My galleries contain many other images of this sort – please go to They will include other examples of ‘playful natural abstract art’.