Flower Photo Contest

Posted: August 30, 2016 in Uncategorized
I am running my annual macro contest and this year it’s for the flower photographers.
You may enter up to five flower images, and please send them not larger then 600 pixel on the longest side of the image, along with your, name, and where you are from.
The contest is free, and I or my sponsors do not claim any rights to use your images.
The contest will run until the end of the day on Sept 20th.
Winners will be announced on my blog (mikemoatsblog.com) soon after the contest ends.
Send images to macromadness@outlook.com.
First Place – Tamron SP 90mm Di VC USD, model F017, available for Canon, Nikon and Sony A-mount. Value is ($649) click here to see lens
Second Place – Acratech Ultimate Ballhead ($299)
Third Place – Vanguard Tripod and Head – Alta Pro 263 AB100 ($199)

Fourth Place – $50 Gift Card from Hunt’s Photo

Fifth Place –  Entry into a Macro Boot Camp of your choice ($199)
Sixth Place – Wimberly Plamp II ($43)
GOOD LUCK!

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Windy Day Sumac

Posted: August 30, 2016 in Uncategorized
Most days macro photographer have to struggle shooting in the wind.  I have in the past shot flowers blowing in the wind which creates some nice out of focus shades of colors, and on this windy day I tried shooting blowing leaves of a sumac bush.  I varied the f/stops and shutter speed to create different looks.  This is the one I liked the best out of the camera.

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I then processed the image using Smart Photo Editor, and here is the final results that I liked.

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Before and After

Posted: August 29, 2016 in Uncategorized
I liked the look of the leaves from a Teasel plant. The problem is the main subject is green and the background is green as well, so not enough pop in this image. It looks just okay, but I wanted a more dramatic feel.

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I thought why not add some nice striking contrast in Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4. I used the “Solarizaton” filter which darkened the background and intensified the plant. The background didn’t totally black out, but when I went back into Photoshop Elements, I used the contrast slider which helped to finish blacking out the background.

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Creating Rain Effect

Posted: August 29, 2016 in Uncategorized
I’ve seen this idea done before but never tried it myself.  I set up as the sun was coming up so it would backlight the water spray to make it stand out.  I positioned one of our potted flowers in front of a little pine bush.  Got out the hose and sprayed water on the flowers.  Set up my camera on the tripod and set the composition.  Set the self timer on my camera to 10 seconds, giving me some time to pick up the hose and spray the flowers.  I varied the f/stops, shutter speeds, and ISO which created a different look in the water.  Using a longer shutter speed gave the water a silky smooth feel, and a fast shutter speed stopped the rain creating a harsh look.  I liked the silky look of the water and ended up with this one.  Nikon D7000, Tamron 16-300, Exposure 0.3 sec, f/32, ISO100

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Website click here
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Waiting for a Better Background

Posted: August 28, 2016 in Uncategorized
If you like chasing dragonflies in the fields, it takes a lot of patience to find the subject on the right perch with a nice clean background. Sometimes a dragonfly will like a certain perch and keep coming back to land there. If you find that special perch,  you can set up your tripod and camera and wait for it to return.
I was using the Tamron 18-270 lens. With the lens set in the 270mm range, it allowed me more working distance between me and the subject so the dragonfly wasn’t spooked as easily. I set my f/stop at f/5.6 to help blur out the background.
On this overcast day I followed this little guy around the field waiting for it to land on a perch that would allow me a camera angle with the least distracting background so the dragonfly would standout.
This was the first perch I found the subject on. The background was a bit close to the subject causing my image to look cluttered. So I will follow it until I have a better background.

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So it moves to another plant, but this time I have a seedheads and stems in the frame, so not good.

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I keep following and finally it gives me something to work with. Now with the clutter a good distance away from the subject, I can get the nice solid blurred background and nothing competing for attention except my D-fly.

Website click here
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Stump Art

Posted: August 26, 2016 in Uncategorized
A few years ago I found this old downed tree trunk, and it had this hole with a very cool design in the wood around the opening. I thought it was really cool looking, but on it’s own I didn’t think it had enough going on to photograph by itself. I came up with the idea of turning the hole into a natural flower vase, and inserted these Marsh Marigolds and called it, Stump Art.

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After that first stump shot, I was on the look out for any stumps or downed tree trunks that I ran across that had holes that I could add flowers too. Here is another cool opening I found that worked well with these nice Orange Star flowers I picked up at a flower shop.

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I used the same hole from the last photo and placed these small white flowers and made it a horizontal.

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So keep your eyes peeled for old tree trunks with holes to create your own Stump Art.
Website click here
Macro Workshops click here
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Flower Photography

Posted: August 25, 2016 in Uncategorized
If you own a Tamron 150-600, you are mainly using this lens for birds and wildlife photography.  So I picked up this lens to see if it could also work for my flower photography.  It actually shoots a pretty small area, and does a great job at blurring the backgrounds.  The working distance is about 8 feet from the subject when you’re near the minimum focusing distance, which is going to be great for dragonflies, butterflies, frogs, turtles, and other live subjects that take off as we get close to shoot.  So next time your out shooting the birds and wildlife, take some time to look around you for some flowers or bugs to shoot.

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Website click here
Macro Workshops click here
”Macro Online Course click here
”Creating Art With Macro E-Book click here
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You can buy my images from a select group at GreatBigCanvas.com
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