This photo is 90% serendipity and 10% effort. It’s a feather I found stuck to a wood post on the back deck. (I posted a microscopic photo of it recently.)
I hate to admit it, because who wouldn’t want to be in control of all of one’s artistic expressions, but this photo turned out well by pure luck. OK, I brought out some of its features in processing, but this was just nature: a feather falls to a table top, I take a photo. The feather, the air, random luck played their parts well.
I did darken the background a little, I did adjust the contrast ratio to get a little more form out of it, but the lines are all © Mother Nature.
Technical info: Sony 135mm f/1.8 lens @ f/11 (to get more depth of focus), 1.3-second exposure (to get enough light!). The lens was on a pair of short extension tubes to give me more magnification than the lens along could possible do. Cropped to about the central third of the frame.
The Sony 135 is a truly amazing and sharp lens, and I thought it would do the best job of showing off the feathery details.