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For years, I’ve been fascinated by the squiggles the cucumber vine tendrils form in my garden. Simply put, I just think they are fun and once I began to focus my lens on all the different shapes, I then found them to be quite beautiful.

Now, I rarely do collages. However, in this instance, grouping of the various shapes came about as a natural progression. On their own, each squiggle appeared static, but as I began to put them together, the photos suddenly eruptedwith a sense of movement. 

“Bounce” (Abstract Collage/Cucumber Tendrils) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4, 1/320s, -1.0EV, ISO 400, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.7EV, Color Efex Pro Bi-color Filter

In the first collage I see chaos, like the pent-up energy of a Wham-O Super Ball released inside a room. Your mind wonders if the boxes will be able to contain them or are they destined to explode outward and onward.

Then, as if in complete contradiction, the second collage emotes a sense of calm, like the gentle ebb & flow of the sea or, perhaps, a wisp of smoke as released from a cigar and illuminated by the flame of nearby smouldering fire.

What do yousee?

“Undulation” (Abstract Cucumber Tendrils) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4, 1/320s, -1.0EV, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV

If interested, all were shot in color, then converted to B&W with a bi-color filter added to accentuate the natural twists and turns. Enjoy! 🙂


  1. Hmmmm… What I see are things that I want to straighten.. lol.. and then watch them coil back up to their previous form… and then wash, rinse and repeat… 😉

    They sure do make quite the interesting image though Tracy…

    • Hehehe! I always love your comments, Brian! 🙂

      Yes, I could see a neurotic need to straighten the coils. That would probably be fun!

      Thank you, Brian! 🙂

  2. I love these! Especially the color treatment. Fun!

    • Thanks much, Barbara!

      I thought they needed a little extra ‘something’. In their original color form, it was pretty much green on greenish/brown. Not appealing. When I converted to B&W I tried a cyanotype treatment. Nice, but not quite there. So, I turned to my favorite bi-color filter and boom! we were in business! 🙂

  3. Wow, I never knew that cucumbers produces such beauty (mentally added cucumbers to my list to plant next spring 🙂 ). I really love the “Undulation.” Just beautiful, and my eye goes from the circle on the right to the one center left. Great work!

    • Yep, they sure do! Snow pea & zucchini squash vines do this as well. Look for pickling cucumbers – that is the variety I grow. The cukes are small and delish! 🙂

      Awwww, you noticed the circle wrapped around another tendril….I thought that was just so cool. Almost musical note-looking.

      Thanks, Katie! I appreciate your stopping by and commenting! 😀

  4. This is amazingly creative, M.P… I love it!
    The fading yellow ends remind me of the tail of a comet…
    or with those swirly ‘flight patterns’ possibly fireworks…
    very cool!

    • Thank you, SIG! 🙂

      YES! I thought ‘comet’ and ‘fireworks’, too! Just couldn’t figure out how to put either idea into an interesting blogpost, so I went the Wham-O Super Ball route with those golden fading tails suggested the path the bouncy ball took. Can you blame me? 😉

  5. Just beautiful hun !!!

  6. I really understand why you are fascinated by these Cucumber Tendrils! You’ve made some magnificent images of them – truly unique!

    • Thank you, Truels! 🙂

      Sometimes, it is the simplest things!

  7. I would have thought that they were ribbon curls. I know exactly the curls you are talking about, they reach and attach themselves to anything, even weeds. Love that you chose to photograph them, nice eye for detail.

    • They DO look like ribbon curls!

      Yes indeed those tendrils are quite aggressive. We have a ‘spot’ designated in the garden for the pickling cucumbers and inevitably, every year they over-step their bounds and pretty much go wherever they want to!

      Thanks so much, Becky! 🙂

  8. how cool!! Love the colors reflected on the tendrils. Very original and cool!

  9. Yeller and blue cucumber tendrils. Interesting.


    • Howdy, Rupe!! *waving back*

      Interesting good (I hope)?? 😉

  10. Very cool! Now I want to plant cucumbers in my non-existent garden just so I can photograph these trendrils – beautiful!

    • Thanks much, JP! Have I started a cucumber tendril craze??? 😉

      hehehehe….non-existant garden…too funny…

  11. The first one is wild and free. The second one is a continuous stream from one to the other. Could denote even friendship or love. (See, there’s my voyeuristic tendency coming out again 😉 ).

  12. I really like what you did with these. Cool. As a cucumber. 😉

  13. I just want to say that I was out doing some photography this morning and I ran into some tendrils. Not like these absolutely marvelous ones, but still, I had to shoot them, and now I am on the look out for such wonderful things! I have no doubt that I cannot recreate what you did, but still, I want to at least see if I can capture the pure elegance of it. Thanks again for these beautiful photos!

    • You are too kind, Katie! I assure you…I took many, many, many, many shots of the tendrils to get the few that were ‘keepers’! A trick I use often is to underexpose by a stop (-1.0) to get a darker background and pop a diffused flash on the subject to make it stand out more.

      It touches my heart that my silly squiggles have provided you some inspiration! That is what it is all about, right? Inspiring each other to seek out and find what makes us want to click that shutter! Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  14. Tracy, I like the collages. The color effects on the tendrils are snappy!

  15. I don’t like cucumbers, but sure love the tendrils! Nice processing and great result.

    • You don’t like cucumbers?? Hmmmm..they are such a benign vegetable!

      Thank you, kc! 🙂

  16. Very interesting, nice and creative, both of them, – the lines in the last one are so elegant.

  17. So pretty….these deserve to be framed.

  18. I love spirals and I love your shots here, they are stunning, Tracy.

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. By A very good year « Milkay Photography on 17 Nov 2011 at 1:59 pm

    […] got all ‘artsy’ in September with a series of cucumber tendrills… "Undulation" (Abstract Cucumber Tendrils) […]

  2. […] photography at Milkay Photography. Her photo of swirls stopped me in my tracks (see the post here), and I’ve had it in my mind that I wanted to try something similar, but also put my own spin […]

  3. […] photography at Milkay Photography. Her photo of swirls stopped me in my tracks (see the post here), and I’ve had it in my mind that I wanted to try something similar, but also put my own spin […]

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