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Archive for April, 2010

I had a little bit of time to play with Lightroom tonight and I decided to try processing one of my Pepper shots in Black and White.  My favorite part of this image is the way the lines draw your eyes right to the texture of the seeds, and how the dark background seems to just go on into the distance.

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This shot shows how you can fool the eye and mind into believing they see something other than reality.  At first glance it would appear to be a quart of Vodka with 3 luscious tomatoes.  In reality, it’s a small single-shot bottle, set up with 3 small cherry tomatoes.  This was a fun shot to set up in my lightbox.  But the question still remains… is the Vodka better for you if its Organic?

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Another angle on the pepper, using a black background this time.

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I grabbed a few veggies from the refrigerator, a small cherry tomato was the perfect accent of bold color against this cross-section of yellow pepper.  I’m particularly pleased with the highlights on the tomato – almost like a catchlight captured in the subject’s eye.  I solved the problem of the grey background too – just zoom in close and eliminate it altogether!

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Peep, Peep, Peep

It’s a rainy day so I decided to play with my lightbox a bit, expanding on the set up I’d put together for the Easter Eggs awhile back.  He seemed to belong in the nest and I like the way the sugar sparkles.

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Not a flower…

I thought I’d give Ron a little respite from the flowers – perhaps this fungus might be a bit more to his liking.  If you look hard enough and keep your eyes open you can find some nice textures in unexpected places.

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Selective focus

I didn’t get the focus quite as sharp as I wanted for this image, but I love the colors and lighting.  The effect sort of reminds me of the Lensbaby images, though this was not taken with a Lensbaby.

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I like the color contrasts here which creates a balance between the two sides.  It’s almost divided right in the center, so I see it as breaking the rule of thirds, but maybe I’m missing something – what do you think?

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This is a remnant from last week’s Friday Photowalk Tip, to fill the frame with a single, dominant color.  It also works in two other Friday tips, this week’s tip to break the Rule of Thirds, and the tip from late March, to change up your point of view.  In this case I was laying down on the ground to get this ground-level view of the Hosta plants that had begun to sprout up from the ground.  I like the layering effect of the leaves in the immediate foreground contrasted against the softer background.

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I know it’s yet another Daffodil shot but try to look past that at the composition – the slight downward tilt looking down on the bloom, the soft background with the slightly bolder verticle sticks on either side, framing the shot, focusing your eye towards the center with the sharp focus on the trumpet, and top petals, with the lower petals drifting off into a bit of softer haze.

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Julie mentioned she’d like to see a bit more texture in the background log, and suggested that the adjustment brush in Lightroom might bring it out a bit more so I gave it a shot.  It’s a subtle difference, but I think she’s right, it did give it a bit more contrast and texture. You need to enlarge them to see the difference. What do you think – do you like one more than the other?

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Textures

Water-worn pilings along the shore; it looks like they caught a larger log washed up during the storms last month.

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I was squirting everything with that waterbottle just to test out the effect.  I tried to move in close on this one to fill the frame with Yellow for the Friday Photowalk Tip to make a single color predominant in the image.  This is a close as I could get without a macro lens.  I tried cropping in closer but I liked it better with the tips of the petals visible in the image.

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Glow

The sun was low on the horizon, falling on the face of the flowers.  The result of looking high and low from every angle was this shot capturing the sun-glow and shadows of the overlapping petals as I viewed the blooms from behind at ground level.

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Blooms

We’ve been blessed with  unseasonably warm weather and the spring flowers have burst into bloom.  My daffodils (one of my favorite flowers) have delighted me with multiple lush blooms.  The softer light of the early evening brought out the richness of the yellows.  I grabbed a spray bottle as I headed out to the garden to play a bit with misting the blooms to get some water drops.  I think the mist was a little too fine and evenly dispersed, but I still like the effect.

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I set this shot up with the Friday Photowalk Tip in mind, seeking Simplicity.  It’s a start, but I can see at least 3 things that need improvement.  If I were to set it up again I would increase the depth of field to get more focus on the terra cotta pot,I would adjust the background lighting to get rid of  the distracting blue cast on the right side, and the color saturation was lost a bit in processing as I tried to lighten the background  a bit.  I did try to increase the saturation more but the colors didn’t look natural when I did that.  What else would you suggest to improve this shot?

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The suggestions to crop in tighter were right on target – I like this version much better.  I also used the brush tool in Lightroom to do some selective exposure control to darken just the egg to get a bit more intensity in the color.  Wanting to put the focus on the egg I added some viginetting in the corners to darken them a bit.   Now… put your sunglasses on before you scroll down to the next variation – I solarized the shot to really give it some color – just for you Ron!

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I was playing with composition with my Easter Egg shots.  Which do you prefer, the previous shot with the egg close up and centered in the square image, or the this one, offset to the side using the rule of thirds?  Let me know which is your favorite, and why you chose it.

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Delicate

More experimentation with the lightbox.  I used my tripod (something I don’t do enough of) and I’m pleased with the resulting sharpness so I guess I need to use it more.

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My never ending quest to perfect my lightbox skills met up with my quest for a good Easter Egg shot.  I think I’m getting closer on both counts; I’m pretty happy with the results on this one and I have some ideas for improving upon the image and the lighting.  I’d like to try expoloring this a bit more.

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