Flower Contest Winners

Posted: September 23, 2016 in Uncategorized
This is always tough choosing six winners as there are so many amazing flower photos that are submitted.  Many of you sent in winning images, but unfortunately I have to narrow it down to only six.
I would like to thank, Tamron, Acratech, Vanguard, Hunt’s Photo, Wimberly for providing prizes.
Congrats to the winners.

1meinkephyllis

Phyllis Meinke – Winner of a Tamron 90mm Macro Lens

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2gerald-botkin
Gerald Botkin – Winner of the Acratech Ultimate Ballhead

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Longwood Gardens PA Blue Poppies

Rose Mary Lalonde – Winner of a Vanguard Tripod

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Sony SEL 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3
Jim Simpson – Winner of a Hunt’s Photo $50 Gift Card

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5denise-duhamel

Denise Duhamel – Winner of a Macro Boot Camp

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6gary-galger

Gary Galger – Winner of the Wimberly “Plamp”

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Happy First Day of Fall

Posted: September 22, 2016 in Uncategorized
Happy first day of Fall 2016. Doesn’t feel like Fall here in southeast Michigan, temps about 85. Can’t wait for cooler temps. The first colorful Fall leaves I see on the ground at this time of the year are Largetooth Aspens. Every year I find these leaves on the paths I travel in the woods, and they appear before any other of the leaves from other trees.

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Most macro photographers struggle to understand how to control depth of field in macro. I can teach you how to produce nice clean blurred backgrounds with a fully focused subject, soft focus images, and getting it all in focus. This is really simple and I guarantee you will be able to accomplish these simple techniques after viewing this video. Also covered will be diffraction when shooting high f/stop numbers.

How to Control Depth of Field

Length of video, 31 minutes.

Cost $9.95

To purchase click here

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Website click here
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Time for Mushrooms

Posted: September 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

Daily Macro View

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Butterfly Weed

Posted: September 21, 2016 in Uncategorized
Here in Michigan we have Butterfly Weed which is a species of milkweed native to eastern North America. It is a perennial plant growing to 10 in–3 ft 3 in tall, with clustered orange or yellow flowers from early summer to early fall.
This plant favors dry, sand or gravel soil, but has also been reported on stream margins. It requires full sun.
It is commonly known as Butterfly Weed because of the butterflies that are attracted to the plant by its color and its copious production of nectar. It is also the larval food plant of the Queen and Monarch butterflies. Hummingbirds, bees and other insects are also attracted.

In the fall you will find tall narrow pods that hold the seeds of this plant, and in the last few weeks these pods are starting to open and the seeds emerge.

I like to wait till the seeds are falling out of the pods, which will sometimes create nice compositions.

Here is a tight shot of the seed heads.

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Post Processing Decisions

Posted: September 20, 2016 in Uncategorized
We had some high winds blow through our area, and I always know when I enter into the woods I will find groups of leaves lying on the forest floor. And sometimes I find some interesting compositions of leaves.
Here is a small group of Sycamore leaves I found on the leaf litter. Near the center of the group you will see three leaves that are contrasting in colors. That’s a nice comp that I will frame up.

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Here is the shot out of the camera. Not all that exciting right out of the camera, but I know it’s going to get better with some processing. We see subjects like this and visualize how it’s going to look after we apply some post processing. What drew me was the slight variation in the colors of these three leaves creating contrast.

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I first ran the image through Topaz’s Simplify4 and chose the BuzSim Toned 4 filter which pulled out some of the details, and gave the outside area a white vignette.

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I cloned out some of the brown spots on the leaves in Photoshop Elements. Then I decided to see how this image would look as a black and white. So I brought the image into Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro2 and chose one of the filters and I think I like this image best as a black and white. Hope you like it.

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There are some many ways to go with an image like this in post processing, and that’s part of the fun of digital photography, playing with the post processing to see what we can come up with to make an image better.

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Off to Longwood Gardens Today

Posted: September 19, 2016 in Uncategorized
One of the best botanical gardens in the country is just outside of Philadelphia, and it’s Longwood Gardens.  Over four acres of flowers and plant life under glass, and plenty of outside gardens. Heading there this morning to teach a workshop.  Gonna be a fun day.
Put this place on your photo bucket list to visit.  Or better yet, take my next workshop there in 2017.

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Website click here
Macro Workshops click here
”Macro Online Course click here
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