Macro Workshops 2016

Posted: September 1, 2015 in Uncategorized
(WINTER/SPRING 2016)
Check back, more workshops to be added.
Fine Art Macro – From Capture Through Creative Post Processing. SpringHill Suites, Warrenville,IL. February 6,7, Cost $159
Fine Art Macro – From Capture Through Creative Post Processing. Hampton Inn, Skokie, IL. March 12,13, Cost $159.
Fine Art Macro – From Capture Through Creative Post Processing. Staybridge Suites, Chantilly, VA. March 19,20, Cost $159.
Fine Art Macro – From Capture Through Creative Post Processing. Hilton Garden Inn, St Louis/Chesterfield,MO April 9,10, Cost $159.
Macro Boot Camp – Hyatt House, White Plains, New York, April 22,23,24, Cost $229.
Macro Boot Camp – Fireside Inn, West Lebanon, New Hampshire, April 29,30,May 1, Cost $199.
Macro Boot Camp – Ramada Plaza, Grand Rapids, MI. May 13,14,15, Cost $199.
Macro Boot Camp – Holiday Inn Express, Greenville, NC, May 20,21,22, Cost $199
Sign up at http://www.macrostoreonline.com

Birds of a Feather

Posted: September 1, 2015 in Uncategorized
Went the a local nature center and photographed some of the stuffed birds on displayed. This a great and easy way to shoot cool bird feather abstracts, they stay still unlike the ones in the wild. ;)

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What luck to have such an awesome sunrise on your very first day of shooting.
On a fall November day in 2001, I went out to Stony Creek Metro Park with my newly bought used Nikon N80 camera loaded with Fuji Velvia and Tokina 28-80 lens.
It had to be the very first time I pressed the shutter as the sun hadn’t come up above the horizon yet, so I couldn’t have shot anything before this.
I had no Idea what I was doing with the camera. I just saw this cool sunrise, and the bare tree and set up my tripod and shot. It was on a Saturday and a storm was coming in from the west over top of me and the sky was glowing.
You can see the leading edge of the storm where the yellow band is. I don’t remember anything about the rest of the day, if the storm let loose and I got drenched or not.

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Leaves On The Trail

Posted: August 30, 2015 in Uncategorized
I went out to one of my local parks to shoot and was heading into the park on a trail that is made up of wood chips. If you have been following me for a while you know I like to shoot a lot of leaf images. I found lots of cottonwood leaves on this trail and the night before we had a heavy rain and the water shifted some of the wood chips over the leaves.  I thought it made the leaves a little more interesting with the wood chips scattered over them. The wood chips also made a nice consistent textured background for the leaves.

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Here’s one that was lying in a puddle of water.

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Sometimes you find nice subjects to shoot in the simplest places.

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Photoshop Zoom Blur

Posted: August 28, 2015 in Uncategorized
I was shooting at the San Diego Botanical Gardens when I saw this flower and I thought it was a good subject for using the Zoom Blur filter in Photoshop.
Here is the original image, I started with some clean up with the specs of debris, and filled in the gaps between the petals showing any background, and did a slight crop.

After doing the clean up in Photoshop Elements, I then clicked on “Filters”.
In the next box place your cursor on “Blur”, and then click on “Radial Blur”.
In the next box look for “Zoom” and click the circle next to it.
Use the Amount slider to add or subtract the amount of the Zoom you want, and this is what I came up with.

After I got the zoom the way I wanted it, I went into Nik Softwares Viveza, and did some tweaking with the structure slider to bring out the details in the petals, and darkened and added structure in the dark center. Then popped the yellow a little more.
This effect works best with the flowers center placed in the middle of the frame like you see in these two images.
Here is another example.

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Where Do The Skunk Cabbage Go

Posted: August 27, 2015 in Uncategorized
When I started out in photography and searching the swampy wooded areas near my home, I found this great plant called a Skunk Cabbage. That’s a perfect name for this plant because if you rub the leaves with your fingers, the smell left on your fingers will remind you of a skunk, not good.
I’ve found that the large leaves have great deep veined patterns that make for really nice backgrounds and also good as abstracts.
The plants totally engulfs a swampy area in the woods, so much that when the leaves are fully grown you can no longer see the ground beneath them. This was shot in early spring so they are not quite fully grown yet.

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I mentioned they make great abstracts, and when you backlight one of the leaves with the sun, this is what you get. Look how the veins pop.

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I also mentioned that the leaves make great backgrounds for other subjects, and I have used them many times for that purpose. This is one of my favorites using the Skunk Cabbage for a background.

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One year in the late fall I was walking through an area that earlier had thousand of Skunk Cabbage plants, and I was surprised that the ground was not clutter in the large leaves of the Skunk Cabbage. We see leaves from trees lying all over the ground but no evidences that the Skunk Cabbage were ever there. I was quite puzzled by this, so did a little research online and found that these large leaves actually melt or disintegrate away, and leave absolutely no trace. What a cool plant. Here we are in mid August and the leaves are starting to die off.

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Here are a few of the leaves that are slowly melting away to nothing. If you live near wooded swampy areas, see if you can find the Skunk Cabbage plants.

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