Archive for July, 2011

I would like to thank the great people at SWMCCC for inviting me to participate in there Summer Weekend Of Photography in Holland, Michigan.  My three macro presentations went well and meet lots of great photographers.   It was nice to see the hardest working guy in the camera store business, Gary Farber of “Hunt’s Photo” and Nik Software expert Janice Wendt.  Got to meet some facebook friends, which is always nice, and many photographers that have attend my past Macro Boot Camps.

Thanks again and hope to be invited back in the future.

As macro photographers we have lots of nice art in nature to photograph. Learning to see art in nature takes lots of time spent in the field.  It may take years before that talent kicks in and you become really good at it..  None of the images from my first three years shooting are in my macro portfolio, so stick with it.   I once asked a student photographer in one of my workshops how many times a month she was able to get out to shoot, and her response was about once a month. That‟s only twelve times in a year. I‟m sorry, but no one will develop if they only shoot twelve times a year. If you‟re serious about becoming a good macro nature photographer, you must get out to shoot at least once or twice a week.

 

Every Friday I will be featuring some of the macro photographers that I have gotten to know and become friends with over the years, and wanted to share their talents with the people that visit my blog.

There are so many good macro shooters and I see them all the time at my Macro Nature Forum and on many of the online nature forums throughout the web.

Linda is one of the active members of my Macro Nature Forum, and is always posting some really great macro images, so she was a perfect choice for a featured macro photographer.  Check out here interview and images.

#1 How many years have you been shooting.
I have always had a camera ever since childhood but only shot images of my family.

#2 What camera, lenses, tripod make do you use.
I purchased my first DSLR, Nikon D90 with a Tamron 18-270mm lens and I then read an article on Macro Photography by Mike Moats and purchased a Nikkor 105mm Micro lens in 2010. I use a Manfrotto M Y tripod with Quick Release Ballhead. I also use a Lensbaby Composer with Macro lens.

#3 What are your favorite subjects to shoot.
I like to shoot flowers but also anything that is small and interesting, I am not that big on the critters but don’t mind bees and butterflies.

#4 Do you shoot a certain style of macro.
I do like shooting sharp with a shallow depth of field but also like Lensbaby images and some abstract.

#5 Have you won any awards, been published, or any other successes.
I purchased the book “Tiny Landscapes” from Mike Moats last year and liked it to much that I took “Mike Moats Nature Photography Online Macro Course”. I learned so much from that course and am stilling learning, using all the rules. Other than that I am completely self taught. I did win 7th prize in a macro contest and in January I won a Lensbaby Composer in a macro flower contest. I have had a photo published in the February 2010 Issue of Shutterbug Magazine but was not macro.(It was on Spot Metering) and a Macro image of a snowflake in the 2011 spring issue of “Photo News” magazine.

#6 What program(s) do you use to process images.
I use Photoshop CS4 for processing and have just recently purchased Color Efex Pro 3.0 Complete from Nik Software. I am now learning how to use it and it is great.

#7 Where are you from.
I live in Monetville, Ontario, Canada on the shores of Lake Nipissing in the French River District.

#8 Your website, or blog address.
I don’t have a website or a blog address but I do have a Photo Stream on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/54017466@N06/

Need that extra depth of field while maintaining a nice blurred background, try focus stacking.  Using  Helicon Focus to get the job done is as easy as loading the images and clicking on the “Run” button.

Let’s say you have a flower that you need to shoot with the macro lens aperture set in a lower range at f/8 to blur out a cluttered background.  The problem is the f/8 won’t allow you enough depth of field to get the whole flower in focus.

Leave your aperture at the f/8 and shoot multiple shots at different focus points through out the flower.  Then take the images and load them into Helicon Focus and merge them all together for a fully focused flower while maintaining a blurred background.

Here is the first image I shot of this Turk’s Cap Lily.  I placed the point of focus on the front petal of the flower.  You can see the middle and back portion of the flower has a soft focus look.

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The second shot I refocused a little father into the flower.

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Third shot I refocused again a little deeper into the flower.

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The last shot I focused on the stem which was the very deepest part of the flower.

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Okay I’ve got four separate images with different focus points through out the flower.   I open the Helicon Focus program and load the images into the program.  Once the images have loaded I click on the run button and it will merge the four images together and I’ll have a totally focused flower with a blurred background. Here is the finished image.

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At the f/8 setting of the aperture I was able to get this flower in focus with four shots.  If I had to shoot the lower ranges in the f/2.8 or f/3.5, the depth of field would be much shallower and would require me to shoot more images at different focus points.

Check out this program at,  heliconfocus.com

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Thanks to all those who attended tonight’s “Finding Character Through Your Marco Lens” webinar.

If you missed it, the webinar will be repeated again in August, so watch for updates.

I will be at the “Summer Weekend of Photography and Digital Imaging” this weekend in Holland, Michigan

I will be presenting my “Four Seasons Of Macro” as the Friday evening feature presentation, and two presentations about “Finding Character Through a Macro Lens”  on Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon at 1:00 each day.

If you are attending, take a minute to stop and say hi.

See info about the conference Here

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Feather Art

Posted: July 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Feathers make great subject for creating artistic images.  When I shot feather I what the viewer to see all the great details in the subject and the backgrounds, so I shoot these in the high f-stop range for maximum depth of field.

Gull feathers on the beach


Here are some turkey feathers.

Peacock feather with a Lensbaby

Crow feather

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