It’s been 5 months since Robyn started up the One Four Challenge and I’ve participated in 4 of those months. It has been great so far and I’ve learned how to use different tools within LR that I never knew about before. Trying to come up with a different look for a photo that you’ve already achieved a good look for is quite challenging, especially once you get down to the last week. I look forward to continuing this challenge in the months ahead as I learn how to edit photos in more ways. I don’t know if I’ll ever settle on one specific style as I like to evolve with my photography.

Until next month, here’s a gallery of the photos of the months I have participated in.

One Four Challenge – April Review


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.

Surrounded by Purple


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.

DSC_4729

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.

DSC_4745

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.

Inspiration with Water


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 – Drop of Life


Sitting on the Edge

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 20mm
Aperture: f/13
Shutter Speed: 1/25
ISO: 100

The sun looks like a small ball of fire sitting on the tip of the ice. When I got this shot there was another photographer to my left about 100 feet away but was getting a more traditional sunrise shot. He had his camera on his tripod standing up while I had my camera on my tripod upside down and laying on the ground. I’m sure he got a nice shot but I know he didn’t get anything that looked like this. I don’t really have many of the normal looking sunrise shots but I can’t let myself let photos like this get away when I have the chance either.

Sitting on the Edge


Sitting on Ice

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 105mm
Aperture: f/16
Shutter Speed: 1/200
ISO: 100

While out trying to get some winter shots as winter was pretty much gone, I came across a piece of ice that worked perfectly for an idea that I had. I decided to get out my flash and experiment with some acorns on the ice. My initial shots I took I didn’t have the acorns wet but I accidentally dropped one in the water and decided that look was better as the wet acorns worked better with the ice. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Sitting on Ice


Winter provides us with many different things that we never get to see any other part of the year. People who don’t live where it gets cold never get to experience these things first hand. One of them is frost. It always has many different forms and shapes. It forms on many different items.

DSC_3704

When it gets cold enough outside and we keep our houses warm, you may find some frost on the windows. The thing I find most interesting about this frost is that it never appears as the same shape every time it forms. It’s also such a hard thing to photography as you need to focus just right but I’m sure it does take the same patience and experience as shooting snow flakes.

DSC_3705

If you look close enough though you can see very fine and intricate patterns that form. It’s almost like an art form itself that other nature provides us. These few photos that I have managed to capture make me want to learn how to manually create the frost myself on pieces of glass in order to photograph them at my leisure. It would be an interesting project. These photos were taken on my patio door which wasn’t so clean but with some clean glass I’m sure I could gather quite the collection of many different frost patterns.

DSC_3707

One of the Wonders of Winter


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 – Beads of Light


DSC_4336 - Copy It is now time for the final post for March’s One Four Challenge. We are also on break next month which is somewhat of a relief because I have no idea what photo I would use. That will give me a month to prepare for May when it returns which is nice because I’ll be away for the first week. Having some extra time to prepare is always nice. Some have responded that they like the look of the original photo so I decided for my final edit to work on that look a little. I decided to only crop a little from the bottom then worked next on bringing out the details and colors of the remaining elements. I think I liked the red look more than the original so I made the rose more red. I also wanted to bring the green out a bit more in the leaves in the background that complimented the red color of the roses instead of the more flat green look of the original. To me this version gives a bit more of a natural look and feel to it vs. more of a photographic art look like the other ones. For reference I have also included the original RAW and previous weeks photos below.

Reflections - RAW

RAW

Reflections - B&W

Week 1

Reflections

Week 2

Red Droplets

Week 3

ONE FOUR CHALLENGE – March WEEK 4


Overlapping

Click on the image to view a high res version.

Focal Length: 105mm
Aperture: f/18
Shutter Speed: 1/6
ISO: 100

I know I missed last Thursday’s post but it was a busy week so was unable to prepare one. But this week I have another low key photo for you. Hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!

I would also like to say that winter has ended in my area which to me is a disappointment because it is my favorite season to photograph. There were some nice ice formations I wish I could have made it to but could not find the time. Now I just hope that next year will bring more and hopefully I’ll have some time. But in the mean time I’ll be working on my low key photography with more plants and flowers.

Overlapping


Every time I go out and shoot I have one goal in mind. To create visions that are unique. Why visions and not photos? Because to me a photo is just a photo. But a vision is something that stands out. Something that is more unique. Already seen something that was shot before and you have the opportunity to replicate it? Look a little harder to try and create something different. It is nice to duplicate what has already been done in order to prove to yourself that you can do it, to learn how to do it, or to have a photo that you can say you shot yourself. But what’s more exciting is when you are able to create something that stands out and is unique because you haven’t seen it before. Even if it has already been done doesn’t mean you are duplicating it if you don’t already know it has been done.

Fire from Inside

Instead of getting your traditional sunrise shots, go for something that is different. For this photo I wanted to show the colors of the sun and shoot towards it, but not actually show it. What’s better than using a piece of ice that can use the light from the sun to show you something different? Light can be used in many different ways and the unique colors that it gives us during the golden hour can help us create something that is much different than any other part of the day.

Rays of Color

Find a way to frame your shot to create a different look. It was a tight squeeze getting into this space but I found it rewarding because it created something different than anything else I’ve done before. I’ve seen quite a few photos that are framed in a similar manner, but I wanted to create something that was unique to me. I was able to use a smaller aperture in order to get the rays of he sun to expand like they did in this photo. Most of the framed shots I see do not do this.

When you shoot to create a vision and try to be more unique, then you become more creative. This helps you stand out and have a better chance of being remembered by others. It is difficult to keep up with because of how many other photos are out there, but it is a competitive environment for not only photos, but many other things as well. If we created the same photos time and time again, people would get bored with them. Let your creativity wonder and create visions that are unique!

The Vision of Unique


Red Droplets

It is now time for week 3 in this month’s One Four Challenge. I’ll state the obvious right away that I did crop this version down to get rid of the reflection. I knew I was going to do a version like this in the beginning but just wasn’t quite sure on exactly what I was going to do with it. For this version I wanted to make it a bit more low key so I darkened it up a bit and pronounced the shadows. I also wanted to make a change to the color to make it look like a completely different photo from the original but still make it look natural. If you look at the original you will notice that the rose has more of a purplish red color to it. For this version I wanted to make it more on the red side. I can’t say exactly how I made this happen as the edit was done across multiple days just slowly changing different settings within LR. Still not sure what I want to do for the final week but we’ll see!

This photo also made it on Explore on Flickr! 🙂

For reference I have also included the original RAW and previous weeks photos below.

Reflections - RAW

RAW

Reflections - B&W

Week 1

Reflections

Week 2

 

ONE FOUR CHALLENGE – March WEEK 3


When it comes to photos and Depth of Field (DoF), shallow is sometimes the way to go. A shallower DoF can sometime enhance a photo and make it look better. If you are looking to put the focus on a single subject where there are other potential subjects in the frame to steal the spot light, then the best way to do that is to throw everything else out of focus so the viewer is drawn to what you want the main subject to be.

DSC_1878

If you look at this photo for instance, shot at f/13, it may be easy to see that the mushroom on the far left of the frame is the main subject, but there are so many other elements in this photo that seem a little distracting. You could easily add some blur in post processing if you wanted to but I don’t think it would look the same as just opening up the aperture a bit more to get a shallower DoF.

DSC_1879

For this next photo I opened up the aperture to f/5.6 and you can immediately see the difference. When I look at each photo, the second one seems less distracting to me. I am not as drawn to the background because the trees are more out of focus and another thing that I notice is that I’m not distracted as much by the log as I move to the right of the frame. When looking at the first photo I find myself going all over the photo and have a hard time trying to find a single place to rest my eyes. With the second photo I am drawn more to the mushroom on the left side and my eye wonders along the log towards the right but then I’m always drawn back to the mushroom.

The one thing I wanted to do with this photo was to show the environment in which the mushroom lives in with its surroundings without taking away from the main element, that one mushroom. I think by creating a shallower DoF I was able to accomplish that while still making the photo interesting. This is also something that I believe separates your typical snapshots from the better looking photos. I know this isn’t the best example but yet shows how a normal everyday scene in the woods can be transformed by just changing one setting on the camera. Well, technically two because when the aperture is changed the shutter speed needs to also be changed to maintain the same exposure, but you get the point.

And for those that may not have seen the macro shot I got of the mushroom:

Glowing

Shallow Isn’t Always Bad!