Dragonflies (Two Photographs) and a Note About Black and White

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I have noticed that compositions are more impressive in black and white when there is sufficient contrast to set out the subject and where the background is or can be made less intrusive. If you look at these two photographs you will see that the first works very nicely while the second marginally meets both criteria. I like both photos or I would not post them, but the second is a challenging shot in B&W.


Focused Detail (Three Photographs)

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An entirely out of focus photograph that has impact and makes a statement is not unknown. From everything being tact sharp to nothing in focus is quite a distance. We use selective focus in most cases to draw attention to a subject or part of a subject. I believe there is a third element to consider, selective focus as in the scenes here can be either chaotic, or make the photo interesting,. In saying that I think focus also has a certain emotional angle to it, with things sharp and clear our understanding is also clearer. So when things are in and out of focus, it may be disorienting, leaving an unsettling feeling.



Ring-Billed Gull (Three Photographs)

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The last time I posted photos of one of these birds I called it a seagull and was rightfully corrected. Names of birds and insects are interesting in and of themselves, never mind the taxonomical questions. Common names often confound the problem; the same animal on one continent has a different common name on another. Moreover there are generic names like Gulls and Seagulls that are easily confused. For these shots I used my 200-500mm lens, and I am learning that it is a little better, especially with birds in flight closer, than farther away. I hear Canon lens are the reverse, better with far away subjects than closer ones. By the way, the bird turned just after the last shot, but I was very happy to get a bird in flight face on.



Landscape Still Life (Three Photographs)

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One of the things I like to shoot is small things in the natural landscape, leaves, branches, etc. that fell and came together in interesting patterns. Color or black and white makes no difference, I like these natural compositions and I guess that is all that matters. Some people call these still lifes, others mini landscapes, and still others intimate landscapes.





A Green Heron (Three Photographs)

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It’s hard to tell if this Green Heron was going for a fish or a hairdo. The intense colors and contrast in these photos come from shooting at ISO 400. For a very long time it was my standard starting point. Now I have shifted to auto ISO on the D500 when shooting birds, and often the colors are more toned down. But understanding that this is the case I can shift back and forth in my settings as I chose how to shoot. It’s just one of those things that resulted from trying new things, learning new features on my camera. Well worth the effort!



Dragonflies (Three Photographs)

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As I never manage to get going really early or stay out late, most of my photos are taken in the middle of the day. This runs against most photography books prime contention that the golden hour or blue hour for that matter is best for photography (which I am not disputing). It’s just that interesting light and nature doing its thing happens all day and bright sunlight keeps my shutter speed where I like it. Working with daylight runs the risk of backlit subjects more highlights and shadows. However I cope and it works for me, especially with animals.



The Duck Experiment (Three Photographs)

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This photograph was one I set aside mostly because of the background. However I thought it might be good for an experiment. The first shot is Lightroom/Photoshop standard processing, cropping, exposure, sharpening, and levels. The second shot with the original changes was taken into Aurora HDR 2017 and minor adjustments were made to bring out color and detail. The third shot (again building on the basic edit) was converted to B&W, and essentially under exposed to get the effect you see here. Certainly the second shot improves on the first and the B&W stands alone. This was not in my view over-the-top processing; it’s a simple matter of bringing out from the file what was there all along.



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