Reflections (Two Photographs)

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In photography everyone experiments with reflections. With birds in water, they are especially sought after. In the photographs below you will see an issue with reflection, though whether this takes away from the photograph is another matter. I am speaking of diffraction, for example, if you put a pencil in water and it seems from the side to be broken in two, it’s a result of the bending of the wave of light. In the color version you can see, that there is certain displacement in the reflection, while in the black and white there is almost none. So it’s quite possible for your audience to focus on the strange diffraction to the detriment of your photograph. You can avoid this by changing your angle of view (perspective) or taking more shots when the bird is in a better position.

Reflection 2

A Mayfly and more about Getting Closer (Two Photographs)

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These are two photographs of the same mayfly, the only difference is that I moved myself closer to the insect in one than in the other. Given the nature of telephoto lenses even long macro lenses, the narrow depth of field gives the closer version an almost 3D look. The other point to be made about the closer shot is that the composition to my mind is more interesting. Getting closer, with a narrow depth of field has some effects on the way the background goes out of focus, most notably on the edges of leaves, and it may be difficult to decide how much sharpening to use (selectively) on the subject. I have erred here on a bit more sharpening to emphasize the dimensional illusion (3D).


Squirrel and A Word about White Balance (Four Photographs)

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Squirrels, especially the grays, make for great subjects in the fall when they are out looking for food. The darker of these four photographs are essentially out of camera (cropping, noise reduction, sharpening); the lighter set of photographs have a slight white balance adjustment of +17 applied to everything but the squirrel itself (radial dial in Lightroom). That change in the temperature of the light, to a warmer light, brought the fall colors back to the photograph. I shoot in the neutral or flat color setting which Nikon says is ideal for those processing their photographs, but it does often require work on contrast and color. Slight adjustments to white balance can have enormous impacts on a photograph.




Turtles at Play (Three Photographs)

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Quite apart from what these turtles are doing, the interesting thing here is the color. The color of the water is a reflection of the surrounding flora, it’s what I like to call a canvas background. Given the detail of the water this verges on a confused background. Thankfully the turtles are set off by contrast. In processing the photograph the fact that I took these at 400 ISO made the colors denser. It also added a blue colorcast to the wood that the turtles were on. I adjusted the color to bring it back to black. One argument made for black and white is that color can be overwhelming and it can distract from even the simplest story. So I did one in black and white and it certainly has its merits. I am not sure that either treatment is definitive in this argument. I am sure that personal choice plays a role. Photography involves many trade-offs and choices, in this case I think I like the color versions best.

Turtles at Play-2

Turtles at Play HDR

Male Wood Duck (Two Photographs)

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This male wood duck is out of its mating colors. The photos are out of the camera (a little exposure fixing, noise reduction, and sharpening). Several times I have seen large groups of people shooting ducks, especially the more colorful kind. It’s not just that ducks are easier to photograph than warblers but that they have character and in their almost continuous movement we can often find interesting ways to shoot them. In my view the fact that you can establish eye contact makes many ducks more interesting.

Male Wood Duck-2

Sometimes…(Two Photographs)

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Sometimes when we get close to a subject we see too much. Everyone loves ladybugs but under a microscope everything looks different. There is something paleolithic about some insects. The hard lives they live show on their bodies even as they go about their business. Too close and we see something unexpected. It’s something to think about in close-up photography.

Lady Bugs-2

Turtles (Three Photographs)

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Sometimes turtles look better in black and white, even painted turtles. I think it’s because for the most part they are sedentary and deserve to be treated like sculpture. Sometimes when you have an idea about what you would like the final photo to look like, it just takes time to find the right approach and more patience than taking the photo. Over-editing is a danger with the latest software, and I try to avoid going too far though sometimes the temptation is there. The shot with the four turtles is a single shot HDR.


Turtles HDR


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