Waiting for a Better Background

Posted: August 23, 2015 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 than 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 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 and I shoot again. This time I have a seedhead 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 I can get the nice solid blurred background and nothing competing for attention except my D-fly.

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This Image Needs Some Contrast

Posted: August 22, 2015 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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Before and After

Posted: August 21, 2015 in Uncategorized
Went out this morning and shoot some Queen Anne Lace flowers.  I was looking for something different then the usually shots so came up with this one.  I got down below the flower and shot up towards the sky so I would have a nice solid color background and the flower heads would be silhouetted.
Here is the before
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I went into Nik Softwares, Color Efex and tried this Bi Color look.
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Then went into Smart Photo Editor and in the Textures filters applied this.  I like this one best.

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Hope you like it.

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Study The Fallen Tree Trunks

Posted: August 21, 2015 in Uncategorized
Next time you’re out in the woods where you shoot, take a good look at any downed tree trunks.
Here’s an old trunk which over the years has lost the out side bark, and exposed the underneath.

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Look at the center of this image and you will see that small round raised area on the trunk. That is where a branch had once been before it rotted and fell off.

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Now lets take a closer look at that raise area and near the center of the frame you will see the interesting swirling lines, which is what you want to look for on these old trunks. So study the areas where a branch has fallen off and look for the lines and texture left. Now you won’t always find interesting lines like this, but at least be aware that this is possible and study each tree trunk.

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We move into that area where the swirling lines are and this is what we find. By itself this image is pretty interesting, but it seems to need something to help put it over the top. This subjects make great backgrounds to go along with a main subject that is more recognizable.

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In this first one I added a Turkey feather, so now it has something that the viewers eye can go to that they will recognize and connect with, and than they will study the interesting tree trunk after they view the feather.

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In the next image I added this tiny Oak leaf. Again the viewers eye will first go to the recognizable subject, the leaf, and then roam through the background thinking wow, that’s pretty cool. Without the feather or leaf, most viewers (non photographers) would not appreciate this subject as much on its own. Now if the viewer was an artistic person or a photographer who can understand the value of interesting lines and texture, then they will get it even without the feather or leaf, but if you take the feather and leaf out, the vast majority of the public won’t understand why they are looking at a bunch of swirling lines.

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Stump Art

Posted: August 20, 2015 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 flower 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.

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For all those who have been asking when I will be bringing the Macro Boot Camp to New York, here it is, right next to New York City.
Held at the Hyatt House Hotel, White Plains, New York
April 22,23,24,2016.
Cost $229
Sign up here, http://www.macrostoreonline.com/product.sc?productId=151&categoryId=1

Before and After

Posted: August 19, 2015 in Uncategorized
I’m loving the creative things I can do with the Smart Photo Editor program.  No hassle, just click on the any of the thousands of pre made filters, and maybe some slight slider tweaks in the filter, and add filters on top of filters and all with simple mouse clicks.  This was a kinda boring shot of a bee, and not all that sharp out of the camera, but that’s the great thing about processing software, you can take a poor image and make it into a work of art.  Had fun adding a little colors to this one.
Here is the out of the camera shot.
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The finished artwork.

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I will be teaching these programs and techniques in my new workshops “Fine Art Macro – From Capture Through Creative Post Processing. http://www.macrostoreonline.com