Flowers

24-70mm (Three Photographs)

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I walked into a posh camera store and the owner noticed I had a full-frame 24-70mm on a cropped DSLR camera. He said such a wonderful lens was ruined on that kind of camera. My argument was that cropped sensors affect the angle of view so what I was using was the same as a 36-105 mm lens. At 36mm great for street photography, at 105 great for portraits and in between for everything else. I also pointed out that there was no danger of vignetting and that the quality of any shot at any F stop or zoom would be perfect as I was only using the center of the glass. I would make the same argument today and add it’s one of the best all in one walk around solutions (though when compared to most mirror-less cameras big and heavy). I have never regretted buying it. These flowers were all taken with it.


Leaves (Three Photographs)

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Entomologists are always telling me to look under leaves, I seldom see any insects but the view is still interesting. I took these three years ago and I can still remember why. Just looking at these leaves I was thinking about some of the Impressionist paintings I had seen and thinking it would be nice to see if to some extent that could be reflected here. I tried processing them for that effect just after I took the photos but was not pleased with the results, now years later a slightly different approach to processing the photos makes them look much better.


A Flower (Two Photographs)

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This series speaks to a subject that annoys some but pleases others. On the one side are those that insist sharpness is everything, on the the other sideare those who say that only people need to be sharp everything else is a matter of taste. I am more often in the former camp than the latter, but with flowers fun things can be done. You see why, from the second photograph a little softness is sometimes a kindness.


A Flower in Black and White (Two Photographs)

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I start with a colour image to get to my black and white image, regardless of how it is shot in camera. A bit more saturation and color helps the process (see the final colour version below the black and white). After transferring this to black and white very little was needed, except for some contrast and exposure tweaks.


Helpful Criticism and Framing (Three Photographs)

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Helpful criticism is one good way to improve in photography. The other day someone commented that I crop a lot of background out, and that I am selective in how I portray context. This is the call to fill the frame one hear’s so often. So in these photographs, and within the bounds of eight by ten (my crop) I have left in more than I would have normally. Going forward as I process photographs I will be just a bit more flexible in my thinking about what should be in the frame.


Flora in Black and White (Two Photographs)

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I find black and white photography interesting and challenging. Black and white photography has a longer history, a huge pedigree, when you think of all the greats who shot black and white by preference. It’s also more nuanced, with contrast playing a greater role. So in my endeavour to build my skills I will sometimes take photos that are very good in colour and see what can be done in black and white and if they stand on their own. There seems be an ebb and flow in interest in black and white, it would be interesting to know why. Temper of the times, new people on the scene, I have no idea but I have noticed it over the years.


Composition (Three Photographs)

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The first of these photos is my favourite and it reminds me of a photographer I knew years ago. His fixation was composition. Exposure etc. was a whole other world. He once sat down with a magazine and showed how almost every photo could have been cropped better. But the one thing that stood out for me was his admonition that even in photos without clear subject matter or with multiple subjects, there was always a way to improve the photo through a careful crop, the first two photographs here illustrate that maxim. As a result cropping, is something I think about when I shoot and it often takes me longer than other elements of post processing to get where I want it.