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Photomatter Blog is an extension of Photomatter.com's Photography web site featuring photos by James Markus. The blog will focus on photography, business practices, equipment, new photographic creations, important photographic news/information, recent work, and my occasional posts.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fractals in nature...the sunflower

Here are a lovely bunch of sunflowers. Shot with the Nikkor 16mm f3.5 ai.
 I recently watched a documentary about fractals. In the 1980's Mandelbrot sets were discovered and the mathematical equations to describe fractals. In the Mandelbrot fractal "sets" are ever repeating and never ending patterns. Regardless of direction (either smaller or larger) the pattern repeats over and over again. There seems to be a key fractal to define each and everything in nature. These shapes are beyond simple geometry. Shot this with a Nikkor 105mm ais + extension tubes.
The sunflowers have reminded me of these Mandelbrot fractal sets. The complex geometry seems to be a repeating pattern. It also reminds me of what I was taught in school about Democritus in 450 BCE thinking that matter was made up of indivisibly small versions of the object we could see. For example:that a chair atom looked like a little chair.
I'm not sure If I have remembered this all correctly or not, but I can see a repeating pattern in sunflowers...in the petal, leaves, and seed forming area. I find it all fascinating. In the center of these grocery store bought sunflowers is a dime sized area with a tightly packed black geometric pattern of the sunflower. Shot this with a reversed Nikkor 28mm ais.
For more info see Arthur C. Clarke's documentary about fractals
 "Fractals: The Colors of Infinity" http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/fractals-colors-infinity/

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