Year Two (123) – Adding Autumn

I am looking to invest in another prime lens I think at some point, so I headed out in the New Forest today with my Canon EF 100mm macro lens to see if I could get it to shoot portraits for me the way I wanted to, as my current lens combination sometimes sees me shooting wider than I originally intended. Continue reading

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Year Two (118) – Smokin’

I have photographed smoke a couple of times before… but took the opportunity to capture it again and to see if I could pick up some new tips. Smoke is a great material to photograph, it has a mind of its own and you never quite know where it is going to go, but they make great textures and brushes that you can use to enhance other pictures and images.

This time I took the opportunity to experiment with shutter speeds and to learn from other photographers.. I had the dark background much further away that made it easier .. and I used my 100mm macro leans and a snood on the flash to direct the light. These are some of the different results I achieved:

ISO200, 1/640sec, F7.1
ISO200, 1/640sec, F7.1

Continue reading

Year Two (102) – Fancy a coffee?

The lengths we go to for a perfect cup of coffee … how you choose to light a photo, create an image and develop your style is also a bit like how you drink your coffee … some like an expresso – a dark moody shot, others before a flat white – a shot with no direction lighting at all, some photos are all froth like a latte , some stick to the old favorite and never venture into a new area, and for others anything goes they have no preference – but if it is available they have to try it!

How do you drink yours? Continue reading

Year Two (15) – Frogs and other reptiles

Another old bakery session, but this time with a twist – one end of the hall was set up with a tether computer, studio lights and props and my end of the hall – I shared the space with John – where we were using glass, speedlites and some natural props I had round up from home.

I had talked to John prior to the shot and I wanted to capture the top and bottom of the frog at the same time… I had an idea to photoshop it together with another image – but that did not get taken…. but I still wanted to experiment and understand more about light. I actually found myself using my light meter successfully to help set the shot up and aim for a variety of experimental looks.

Tree Frog on Glass
Tree Frog on Glass

Continue reading

Year Two (13) – 1 day 12 photos

On the first of Saturday of the month there is the #1day12photos challenge on Instagram, I have done it before but today I thought I would try it with a twist … on my must do list was the followings tasks:

  • Experiment with my 100mm macro lens before my next macro studio session
  • Use my photography friends – I recently discover noch and wanted to compare them to my hornby version…
  • Experiment with one flash
  • On camera culling.

So today I decided to tackle all four, every shot was taken with a photographer in shot, with flash – actually on my dining room table in the same lighting conditions, so I had to use the flash – with my 100mm lens and I was going to cull on camera so I only had 12 shots to edit and upload! Continue reading

Day 317 – Out and about with flash

I never take the flash out of the studio situation. Why? I don’t know… However if I am photographing a wedding or an evening event I do .. so I really need to use my flash more to get creative with it during the day. I also tend not to shoot manual – so today I went manual, I experimented with beech leaves in a forest enclosure to see what I could achieve with my flash.

Darkening the background - ISO100, F8, 1/200sec
Darkening the background – ISO100, F8, 1/200sec

I experimented at first with creating a dark background in nature and then adding light. Manual mode ISO100, F8, 1/200sec worked well.

ISO400, F8, 1/200sec with bounce flash
ISO400, F8, 1/200sec with bounce flash

I soon spotted how vibrant the autumn leaves were on that setting, so I experimented with the ISO to add some ambient lighting to the background – it was overcast, with ambient lighting you eye is drawn to the brighter leaves but you get more of a sense of place.

with the flash I can freeze movement - ISO400, F11, 1/13sec plus flash!
with the flash I can freeze movement – ISO400, F11, 1/13sec plus flash!

When the pony appeared on the path before me, I was not ready to take a photo – ISO 400 captured the ambient light, F11 gave a good depth of field to the image – but 1/13th sec was too slow a shutter speed for the horse, however having the flash mounted on my camera almost saves the image as it gives a sense of movement as the horse moves along the path. It was have been best if this was taken with the flash on rear sync – so that it flashed as the shutter closed, but I am just please that I understand the concept!

Ettl flash - 1 stop, ISO100, F8, 1/200sec
Ettl flash – 1 stop, ISO100, F8, 1/200sec

I was using ETTL flash and letting the camera choose, with the flash diffused and bounced on camera – I am using the canon 560 speedlite. If I dialed down the exposure the colours of the leaves were much softer.

ISO100, F11, 1/20sec - No flash - Aperture priority - not sharp.
ISO100, F11, 1/20sec – No flash – Aperture priority – not sharp.

If I turned the flash off, switched to AV mode, at ISO100, I was unable to freeze the leaves at a similar depth of field – the colours look much duller as well.

ISO500, F5, 1/200sec with bounce flash - ambient light
ISO500, F5, 1/200sec with bounce flash – ambient light

If I increased the ISO to capture the ambient light and use the flash I am able to create catch lights in the photo buddies eyes, and really separate him from the background.

ISO100, F5, 1/200sec bounce flash
ISO100, F5, 1/200sec bounce flash

If I see something tiny in the undergrowth (compare the toadstool to the pine needles) and the bounced flash enables me to handhold at a quick shutter speed and pull out the details.

I came away thinking I need to do this more often, I can make backgrounds disappear by turning them really dark – perfect for occasions when there is a lot of clutter in the background and I want to focus the viewers interest, and I can catch lights to ambient light which makes the photos more interesting – if I practice more.

Day 272 – Morning Dew Bokeh

At the weekend I shared some photos of some experiments on my lawn with a reflector. I also spend some time capturing the dew drops, and felt that I wanted to share those in a separate blog post.

Today’s set up:

  • Canon 100mm macro lens
  • Tripod – with the centre pool reversed and the camera hung underneath
  • A shutter release cable
  • A reflector

I wanted to practice my focusing for macro – I don’t seem to always focus as sharp as I know i should be able to … so the dew drops would provide an opportunity to experiment. Continue reading

Day 270 – Morning Reflectors

Today I went outside to enjoy the morning dew – it was beautiful. A sign that Autumn is on its way, my grass needs cutting and a great reason to get close and look at the details with my macro lens.

Today’s set up:

  • Canon 100mm macro lens
  • Tripod – with the centre pool reversed and the camera hung underneath
  • A shutter release cable
  • A reflector

I focused on some toadstools in my lawn Continue reading

Day 251 – Mystery Object

One of the great things about Marco photography is that you can get close to the subject and take photos of the detail. Today something new arrived at our house … it was all shiny, so after trying it out I decided today I would get up close and take some abstract images of this new “thing” and see if you can guess the Mystery Object – if you know what it is … why not post the answer in the comments box… or have a guess and I will let you know….

!00mm Macro Lens - What am I?
100mm Macro Lens – What am I?
!00mm Macro Lens - What am I?
100mm Macro Lens – What am I?
!00mm Macro Lens - What am I?
100mm Macro Lens – What am I?
!00mm Macro Lens - What am I?
100mm Macro Lens – What am I?
!00mm Macro Lens - What am I?
100mm Macro Lens – What am I?
!00mm Macro Lens - What am I?
100mm Macro Lens – What am I?