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Photography is an Art Form (Two Photographs)

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I am a firm believer that photography is an art form and that you can be very creative in this medium. It’s one of the reasons I decided to try extreme macro, the abstracts and designs are endless. In this case an old tape measure.

Imperfect Mirror

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I use shots like these to explain depth of field. The closer your subject is to the camera and the further the background from your subject the more out of focus and potentially more pleasing the background.

Fall HDR

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There was time when HDR was maligned for a propensity for psychedelic colouring. The idea that you could actually achieve a more toned down result wasn’t mentioned much. I use Photoshop’s HDR function, and I find it works very well for my purposes.

On a Broom Stick

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This is my favoured pose for a dragonfly, they look like they just might be flying a stick.

Swallowtail

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With butterflies it is sometimes hard to tell if they are in flight or not. Their wings say one thing and their proboscis another.

Sunflower Visit

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You could never call this a photo of a sunflower, though that was what I was after. The Japanese beetle photobombed my composition.

 

A Muscular Bee

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This bee struck me as fairly beefy as bees go. As usual it ignored me completely, but I still got a nice portrait eyes and all.

Lights, Camera, Action…

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At one point I worked in the Movies but that was a long time ago. My current camera, I am told, makes wonderful movies. I sincerely doubt that I could make a quality movie with any DSLR or mirrorless without purchases of necessary accessories, a considerable learning curve and new software. I am quite content with stills. The shot here was not easy and took three lights: a gridded soft box to the left pointed along the table, a second light highlighted the unraveling film, and a third acted as fill for the rest. After 60 shots I got the reel of film illuminated, after that it was smooth sailing.

Goldfinch

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After a week of macro abstracts I did not wish to leave the impression I have strayed from an interest in other forms of photography. We just live in challenging times and I am taking advantage.

Patina of a Medal (Two Photographs)

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The medal here is from 1918 Union of Former Soldiers founded by President Clemenceau. I picked it up years ago in a flea market. Close-up it’s just another abstract.

Spooky Button (Two Photographs)

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As I was on sewing theme I thought about buttons and came across this one. With motorized focus stacking you have a choice to mount the apparatus horizontally or vertically, a change that requires rebuilding the stage (another hour or so in the process). I did this one both ways, with vertical being the winner. Vertical stages are more prone to shake, a passing truck can make the difference. There’s a way to compensate but it adds time and exposures to the stack.

Spool of Thread (Two Photographs)b

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This was an exercise in trying to figure out what caused the colour shift. It has not occurred with any other focus stack. I took this one twice with different exposures, checking the colour style in camera only to have the same issue. Not that I don’t like the result its just nice to know how it got there.

Thimbles (Three Photographs)

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Thimbles turned out to be quite interesting especially with all the wear and tear. These are easily 40 years old and have seen a lot of use. I will be coming back to these for some different angles. By the way each of the close up photos takes over an hour to shoot and sometimes more. Getting the exposure right, setting up the focus stack, building the stage for the thimble to stand on etc. etc. and then the processing of 40-100 shots depending on depth wanted can add another hour.

Thread (Two Photographs)

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Thread is made up of smaller and smaller strands making for interesting compositions, with the caveat that close up there can also be a lot of fuzz.

A Screwdriver (Two Photographs)

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With extreme macros it’s unlikely that your audience will be able to guess the subject, all they see is your composition. So I have made it easy, this is a close-up of the wooden portion of the screwdriver shown below.

 

Ruins

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These are the ruins of an old bike shop. Abandoned places like this make for great photography.

Nothing Here

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I cannot think of a better way to say that there is nothing here.

Not a meteor

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Actually it’s the head of match. I’d have lit it but was worried about my gear, instead I went for dramatic lighting.

Looking About

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My cure for feeling that I see nothing to shoot is to look at things from a different perspective, one not intended. This is the pedestal of a statue.

Strange Two

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The sky and the weathered concrete have an almost end of world look. Lowering highlights alway enhances great skies.

More Pop Art

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I am still working at perfecting my 5x life macro skills, and of course flat objects are easier than objects with depth that require focus stacking. These are from some tea packaging and a Kleenex box.

Strange

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Sometime reflections add a surreal edge to a photo. The technique was much used in early cinema noire.

Glass No.7

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A proud door reflects its view.

Glass No.6

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Windows add light to this odd balloon advertising an exhibit on germs.

Glass No.5

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Getting low for the reflection in a lobby creates an interesting and unusual point of view.

Glass No.4

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Juxtaposition is another way I have taken photos including glass, landscape and foreground subjects.

Glass No.3

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Glass for glass sake is another approach to street glass photography.

Glass No.2

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Reflections can get very abstract, almost cubist.

Glass No.1

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In my street photography I have found glass to be a wonderful part of any subject.

Sparrow

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One thing I like about black and white is how you can affect the essence of the photograph with colour filters. Using them can change the nature and mood of the photo as well as alter the luminance of certain areas of the photo.

Great Blue Heron

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I will readily agree that not everything looks good in black and white, but portraits and shots with a bit of drama do well in black and white.

Green Heron

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In almost every shot I have of a green heron (there is one on my business card), they have this look of steely determination.

Pileated Woodpecker

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I caught this woodpecker taking a drink from the lake. I was closer than I would have liked but woodie did not care.

Gull

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It may just be my experience but gulls seem to pause for their portrait, not for very long but just long enough.

Egret

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I have yet to see an Egret that didn’t look like some maddened wizard.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

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What a name! Certainly doesn’t look like a sap. The bird kept peeking around the tree and having got his rhythm I took this shot.

Canada Goose

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In black and white there’s old time look to this shot. The Goose does not disappoint with its stance and gaze. Ready as it is for its portrait.

Medley of Wood

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Just a mix of old, new, texture and chiaroscuro. While I like photos that have a more general subject like texture, I recognize they break some of the established “rules” of photography.

Mallard Duck

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I am always impressed at how these ducks just plow through the water like tugboats. They go a lot faster when they have to,  much faster than I would have guessed possible.

Light

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The object here was to preserve the natural spotlight of the sun coming through a hole in the canopy of trees in the forest. A natural vignette just as I saw it.

Last Call

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I realize that not everyone enjoys their time behind the computer screen, but I find some photographs are surprisingly interesting to edit. Working on this one I realized how dark the mood of the picture was and I had some fun with that. The process had the opposite effect on my mood.

Cabbage White

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Every nature photography article I have ever read talks about the importance of eyes. When it comes to butterflies, frogs and other nature subjects, the eyes are amazing in color.

Not Graffiti (Two Photographs)

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The designs on most coloured cardboard packaging like Kleenex boxes are dot matrix, up close it’s just dots and ink bleeds. I thought it would make good modern abstract art.

If you agree, please let the Happiness Engineers at WordPress know that you are unhappy with the Block Editor.

Leaf

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Ending the week on a floral note. This time an HDR of a leaf in the forest.

Bluenose (Two Photograhs)

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This is a detail from a Canadian dime, it shows a portion of the deck of the Bluenose Schooner at 5:1. The dime at 1:1 is below.

Excitement on the Trail

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All kinds of wonderful things happen in the forest, most unpredictable. But when a mating pair of dragonflies landed on my wife’s hat when she was taking a photo it was hard not to laugh!

Old 43 and 45 (Two Photographs)

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Details of wartime Canadian nickels. Given shortages in some metals, coins were made of different mixtures of metals left over from the demands of the war effort.

 

A Political Pose

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I know of at least one politician who thinks Mussolini’s up the nose pose still works today. I don’t recommend this unless the idea is to show off haughtiness.

Wood (Two Photographs)

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This is a continuation of my work at 5:1 (at that magnification light and sharpness are a challenge). The first photo is of a pencil shaving and the second is of a scratch in a wooden spatula.

Bucolic

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Among the things I am looking forward to this summer.

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