A Hint of Green


When thinking of a sunflower you usually think yellow leaves with a darker, brown or black, center. But that’s because most sunflower photos look like that. There are a few that show the sunflower in the state before it starts to get ready and grow its seeds. During this stage of its life there’s a green center which can be very appealing.

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Now to throw another photo into the mix for a little quiz.

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Both of these photos look very similar and that’s because they are of the same sunflower. Now for a question. One of these were taken with the Nikon 20mm f/1.8 lens and the other with the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens. Can you tell which is which? It’s very difficult to tell just by looking at them. But if you look close enough you can see the little differences that just might tell you the answer. And for those who are wondering, yes I did crop the photo taken with the 20mm lens. But not by much and to give it the same frame as the macro shot. I also did this just to show how such a big difference in focal length doesn’t always mean a big difference in the final outcome.

Reaching – Original


I know I said I was going to post what the photo that I posted two weeks ago last week, but I couldn’t find the time. So here I am a week late. Better late than not at all though.

Here is the edited version so you don’t have to view the last post:

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And here is the original that I used to create that photo:

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Now can you see what it is? It’s an orange, but more specifically,  a mandarin orange. I liked how it looked when I peeled it so I decided to take a photo of it. Don’t know when my next post will be. I’ve been busy getting things moved out of my house and searching for a new house. Looked at 4 so far and haven’t liked any of them. I’ve got quite a few on the list though.
The next one is less than half an hour from Lake Michigan so it would be nice to get that one. I hope we like it. Two state parks near by as well.

Until next time!

Reaching


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You are always told to not play with your food, but where is the fun in that? With that in mind, can you guess what the above photo is of? You won’t find out in this post. To me it looks like it could be a minuature tree reaching towards the sky.

Unlike my other photos this one was taken with my phone and edited in snapseed. Once you have a vision and the tools to create that vision, it doesn’t matter how well those tools are as long as they get the job done. It would have been nice to use the DSLR but I didn’t have access to it at the time. LR would have been nice to use but I didn’t feel like going through with the amount of time it would have taken with transferring the photo over and doing the processing. Plus I was happy with the results I got anyways.

I wish I could say that there are more photos coming soon. Instead I’ll say that I have no idea when I’ll be able to process more or even get the camera out again. I’m still working crazy hours, a couple weeks with 70, and on top of that in the process of selling and buying a house. Add trying to keep up with three kids and that leaves me with very little sleep each night and no time to even think about photography. I’ve got David DuChemin’s newest book and some other photography materials but no time to go through them. I think about how much I wish I could and still I wait until I have the time. Patience is something I’ve learned to live with.

I’m hoping this busy life will slow down soon so I can get back to what I enjoy. Until then have fun guessing at what I have presented you with.

Frosted with Pollen


Frosted with Pollen

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 105mm
Aperture: f/20
Shutter Speed: 1/200
ISO: 100

I really enjoyed shooting this flower. I couldn’t seem to get enough shots of it but had to stop at some point. I’ve still got a lot of photos to edit but having a hard time finding the time to do so. The pollen on this flower almost looks like frosting. The flowers have since died and are now gone though so I think it may be time to pick up a new batch and give them a go.

Surrounded by Purple


Surrounded by Purple

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 105mm
Aperture: f/29
Shutter Speed: 1/200
ISO: 100

I know in the past I have said that in order to get a black background I have used LR and turned the exposure all the way down for the areas I wanted to be black, but for this shot I used a different approach. I used a flash. I made sure that the camera wasn’t picking up any ambient light from the background and also made sure to position the flower where no other objects would show up. The only thing I ‘edited’ out was the stem of the flower, otherwise the rest was from the use of the flash.

Inspiration with Water


A photo of a flower can be great when shot under the right light and composition. But add some water and you add another element to the photo, one that can create an even better scene. I think it is the drops of water than can bring the photo to life more than it was than just having something wet, but a lot of water might work as well as long as you have a vision you are trying to achieve.

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I didn’t get any shots of this flower from a christmas cactus without any water, but I did get many different shots with water drops. While shooting I decided to press the shutter as I was spraying the water on the flower to see what I could catch and here’s what I came up with.

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As you can see now there are not only water droplets on the flower itself, but also caught in mid-air around the flower both behind and in front of the focus point. Below I have included a gallery of some shots of a flower with and without water in different compositions so you can see the difference it can make. I like the shots without the water but I think the water does bring another element to the photo to make it look more interesting. What do you think? I also think this flower makes a nice photo in B&W. Will probably post one next week.

Monochrome Madness – Drop of Life


Drop of Life

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 105mm
Aperture: f/20
Shutter Speed: 1/100
ISO: 100

Whenever I find that I have a little bit of free time and some inspiration along with something to work with, I can’t help but work with my flash and camera to come up with something creative. I have found that a lot of photos I’ve been taking lately have been right in my dining room or kitchen. For this photo I used a water dropper to place a drop of water in order to give this photo something else to help it along. For other great monochrome photos don’t forget to visit Leanne Cole’s blog for Monochrome Madness this week!

Monochrome Madness – Beads of Light


Beads of Light

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 105mm
Aperture: f/18
Shutter Speed: 1/200
ISO: 100

For this weeks Monochrome Madness I decided to get a different angle of the rose after I had photographed laying down. I decided to process this in B&W to focus more on the details and lines that the rose provides us. To see more great monochrome photos visit Leanne Cole’s blog every Wednesday!

Monochrome Madness – Fuzzy


Fuzzy

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 105mm
Aperture: f/3.2
Shutter Speed: 1/500
ISO: 100

Monochrome Madness is now onto it’s second year and going strong. To view more great monochrome photos visit Leanne Cole’s blog every Wednesday!

Thought I would also put in that I finally got a smart phone so now I am also on Instagram. I’m not sure how you would find me on there but if anyone would like to follow me on Instagram then let me know what I need to give you.

Resting


Resting

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 105mm
Aperture: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/500
ISO: 320

This was an interesting moth (Large Tolype) that I couldn’t pass up. There were three of them just sitting on a tarp. It had been raining all day and they didn’t move. I’m glad that they were kind enough to allow me to stick my macro lens in their faces while I shot away.

The Skeleton


Skeleton

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 105mm
Aperture: f/4.5
Shutter Speed: 1/200
ISO: 320

As summer turns to autumn and autumn to winter, the leaves slowly change colors from green to a beautiful array of yellows, oranges, and reds to brown then slowly start to decay. We don’t think about a leaf having a skeleton but after seeing this one I would say that they do.

A New Beginning


A New Beginning

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 105mm
Aperture: f/8
Shutter Speed: 1/500
ISO: 400

Trying to get this photo to look the way it does was very difficult. Usually to get this look I would need to export it out to Nik’s Silver Efex Pro but lately I’ve been learning how to work with LR’s Tone Curve sliders in order to get a higher contrast photo. In order to get the leaf to stand out more I ended up dropping the exposure in the background by quite a bit. In the original photo the background wasn’t much darker than the leaf itself. For those that are interested this is a leaf from a grape vine.

 

Side note: It seems like the prologue I posted yesterday for my story took a nice start. In a way the title to this post also applies to my blog a little as it is also a new beginning for for my blog. I’ve restructured the menu to make it easier to find things if you are looking for something specific. I’ve been wanting to go through and tidy up the Categories for all of my photos but have yet to do so. It’s more or less on my list of “things to do” that I’m not sure when I’ll get around to doing it. I’ve also decided that since I’m going to try and keep up with the story that I might as well update the title of my blog as well to allow it to expand past the photography. Just need to think of a name now. Wish I could change the URL but oh well. I don’t really like the idea of creating a new blog and porting things over either. I’ll just live with it I guess.

I’m trying to become more structured in my schedule where I can hopefully find time to process and post photos on a more regular basis. I’ve finally figured out a working schedule that I think I can make work without feeling too tired all the time. Because of that I think I can get back to doing more of what I like outside of work instead of thinking about wanting to sleep most of the time. For now, if I can keep up, I plan on posting the story one chapter at a time on the first Monday of each month. So the first chapter is scheduled for Monday, February 2nd. It’s taking all I have to not post it now but I have to pace myself so too much time doesn’t lapse between postings. I’m hoping to be able to keep up with it and then hopefully that will force me to finally finish it. Something that has always been at the back of my mind the past few years. If I am able to write enough to post every other week then I’ll transition over to that. Thanks to everyone who supports me in my photographic journey and now in my writing journey!

Pods of Life


Pods of Life

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 105mm
Aperture: f/4
Shutter Speed: 1/100
ISO: 100

I’ve been getting good at learning how to make a black background in LR. Originally I wasn’t expecting to process this photo anything like it turned out but after doing some experimenting I ended up liking it more with the black background.

For those of you who are wondering how to create a black background in LR, it’s actually quite simple. The adjustment brush is the one I used. What I do is highlight the areas I want to black out then shift the Exposure slider all the way to the left to underexpose. If your photo is too bright then you may need to do this multiple times until it gets black. The Graduated Filter tool is also something you could use if you wanted the background to transition into black as well. I would think by moving the Exposure slider all the way to the right would be a good way to make your background all white as well if you wanted to go that route. It’s a great little trick when you can’t work with layers though!

Awaiting Growth


Awaiting Growth

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 105mm
Aperture: f/5
Shutter Speed: 1/200
ISO: 100

A pine cone sits in the sand waiting for it’s seeds to take root to grow into a new tree. It’s not common to see a lot of sand in Wisconsin but it’s there in a few places. This was taken in a park that I went to hoping to find one thing but ended up finding another. With the wide angle lens on hoping to get some nice landscape shots, I had to switch over to the macro lens and look at the smaller picture. I’m always glad I carry multiple lenses with me when I visit places.

On a side note, I know this is technically a photography blog and even changing the title doesn’t help that the url still has “photography” in it, but I have been debating on whether or not to share a fiction story I’ve worked on with others here. After doing this small snippet I have been pondering on whether or not to start sharing my story piece by piece which may give me some motivation to finally get to finishing it. In short I basically came up with a unique story line and created a whole new world with a map and towns with back stories to family histories and a lot of things. In other words, I’ve already put a lot of time into this. I started it back in 2006 and worked on it every chance I could find but never really got anywhere, especially once I started a family and got a day job. And now with photography I’ve got even less time. I’ve got the outline done to do three books so all I really need to do is just fill in the details. So here’s where you all come into play. I don’t really want to post any of it if no one is interested so is there anyone that would be interested in reading my work even though this is a photography blog? I don’t really want to create a second blog since it’s hard enough to keep up with one. Thanks!