Flowers

Fill the Screen (Two Photographs)

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Almost every photography teacher will utter the words “fill the screen”. In journalism it’s a very good idea to include all the details in the frame, but in art and nature what is in the frame or not is a matter of opinion and how close we crop is a matter of taste.


Falling (Two Photographs)

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Once you master the basics of photography and have found subjects you like, the two stage process of composing begins to take on more importance. First there is composition in camera and while filling the frame sounds great (and it is for journalism) remember the sensor format in your camera is not 8×10 or the size of any standard picture frame. Nor does it usually follow editorial requirements. So the second stage is the crop in post production.  As a personal rule I try to leave room in the camera composition to enable a reasonable crop in post processing.


Realism (Two Photographs)

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Sometimes when it comes to processing a photograph I find the raw photo extremely realistic and there is little or nothing to do to the shot but prepare it for the web. I don’t call this out-of-the-camera as the camera’s computer and the import into Lightroom modify the shot.


Depth of Field

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Narrow depth of field, to isolate your subject is not just a matter of the aperture you use (the smaller the better). It’s also influenced by the distance between your subject and the camera, as well as the distance of your subject from the background. You want the background to be further away from your subject than the camera is to the subject.

 


More on Choices (Two Photographs)

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The approach we take to a photograph, the cropping, etc. all involve choices. For some that is what make photography interesting. We would all prefer to spend less time behind a computer screen, but in many cases that is where the photo comes to life and lets us further interpret the scene.


Choices (Two Photographs)

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In my last post I said photographers interpret the world around them, in other words, have choices to make as to their final product. The choice between colour and black and white could not be easier today, given that many software packages make conversions easy. Given all the options I am often stuck with hard choices.


Colour (Two Photographs)

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Most photographers today grew up in the world of colour photography, TV and movies. That does not mean we have less appreciation for black and white. It’s just that colour is seen as closer to reality and more familiar than monochrome. The danger is of course two-fold: the technicalities of colour reproduction make it hard to be true to life, and secondly the temptation that few can resist, to improve the colours (even with just a bit of contrast). In black and white the latitude for “reality” is arguably wider as one works with shadow and light.


The Sweep (Two Photographs)

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You don’t have to read a lot about photography before you hear about how leading lines lead the eye into your composition. Taking that one step further, the leading line can be the subject. Think of majestic staircases or vines like the photos here.


A Background (Two Photographs)

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After my suggestion to take photos from many angles, my next suggestion is to be mindful of the background. It can help or hinder your photograph. Simple is only better sometimes. In short watch your backgrounds, change your angle or distance to get a nicer one.

 


Stark and Formidable (Two Photographs)

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Building on post processing techniques I used earlier this week in another post on leaves, I have tried my hand at two more photographs I took last year, this time with a bit more contrast. Post processing software  is moving along faster than I can keep up, every update brings more tools and things to learn.


Natural Chaos and Order (Two Photographs)

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One of the parks I frequent for photography was very badly hit by a flash storm that knocked trees to the ground. For a while the animals seemed in short supply. But nature is a bit unpredictable and a very short distance from the hardest hit area was this patch of greenery totally unscathed.


Beetle with Flower

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I say beetle with flower but it could just easily be flower with beetle. Moreover a close look at the flower appears to show some strange looking faces looking back at you (or so it seems to me). Combined it’s an odd but interesting combination that breaks a few of my photographic guidelines but still has potential to create some interest.


Yellow (Two Photographs)

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Most people have favourite colours and science proves that colours influence our moods. I am sure there is relationship between those two facts. Nonetheless, and science not withstanding, I find my tastes in colour varies by the season.

 


Dystopia (TwoPhotographs)

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These days we don’t have to look too far for dystopia.  Eventually things will return to normal and those of us hibernating will be able to comfortably come out of our cocoons. But it’s a ways away and curbing impatience is a trial for us all.


Composure (Two Photographs)

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Perhaps it’s unfair of me to be so adamant that the rule of thirds is not a rule but a guide. Do I use it, yes but unintentionally, it is meant to be a guide to composition. I have almost lost my composure over clubs that rule photos out of competition because they do not following the “rule”. I believe composition is part of the artistry of photography and may at times follow the “rule”. Here I have shown an experiment in composition, two shots of the same scene to give me a choice of composition in processing which leads me to my rule: “ when possible take a shot from more than one perspective”.


Tableau (Two Photographs)

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Walking in the reserve I often see scenes that remind of the painted tableaus I have seen in museums.  In these photographs I have tried hard to capture that perspective. However, photography is its own art form and I have avoided any painterly effect.

 


Never Bored (Two Photographs)

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Photography can be frustrating at times, but it seldom bores me. Being an opportunistic photographer I am not out to shoot anything in particular. I am more interested in the exploration. Exploration of new ideas and techniques or approaches. I say this because photography is an investment in learning, skills and gear and it pays to be a bit more open to other themes in photography.


Purple (Two Photographs)

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Purple is a royal colour. In some societies it was restricted for use only by the serving monarch. Purple continues to be a symbol of royalty even if over time it has been considered garish and monarchies in general past their due date. But in nature while the colour is not rare it still stands out in a field.


Flower Photography (Two Photographs)b

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I seem to take a greater number of photographs of flowers than any other subject. I tend to think of myself as an opportunistic photographer, who will take shots of anything of interest and who is always trying something new in photography. But given the numbers, I cannot avoid the statistics that call me a flower photographer.


Lessons Learned (Two Photographs)

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As I continue to try my hand at extreme macro I am learning quite a bit, for example: microns are also called UMs, and flowers out of water and hit by many flashes wilt very quickly. From these two lessons, come these rather abstract photos of fresh flowers. As the shots for stacking and combining were taken, the flowers entered a surreal and abstract zone that turned out quite well to my eye. But technically it was a disaster.


Coming Soon (Two Photographs)

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We live in uncertain times. Fall is coming and after this super hot summer I wonder what the winter will be like. The government predicts a repeat performance of the pandemic, especially if masks, distancing etc are not followed. I’ll be hunkering down and a mite unfriendly as I avoid possible contagion.


Some Needed Color (Two Photographs)

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The pandemic makes everything a little bleaker, and though we could walk in the woods, the trails are mobbed, the ticks are out and West Nile Virus has made a comeback. No locusts yet! Speaking of ticks, on one of my rare outings I took home a small garden flower to photograph. As I was processing the shots I discovered that it was home to a tick (unfortunately, the tick is out of focus in some of the stacked photos and I threw the flower out immediately).


HDR Photography (High Dynamic Range Photography)

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High Dynamic Range Photography (HDR) is where you take several shots of your subject with different exposures, a few marginally under and over, no more than one stop. Then you combine them in software designed for HDR. I have tried many programs but I like the results from Photoshop’s HDR functions. I use this technique often with my Fuji XT-3 camera, when I am walking around town. As a result I get better exposure, better colour and better detail.


What is a Fence Without a Vine? (Two Photographs)

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Fences have the connotation of someone wanting to protect something or hide from view. There is a slightly unfriendly air about them. But when people make attempts to paint them, grow vines etc. that hostility fades just enough to make a difference. I still feel a bit cheated by not knowing what is on the other side.