A difficulty of choice

27 12 2009

We had a fine winter week with couple of centimeters of snow and temperatures below -10°C followed by couple of days with rain and temperatures above 0°C and one day with 15°C! It seems that Mother Nature can’t decide if we should have winter or still autumn.

When I woke up today everything outside was covered by thick frost. Temperature was at -4°C and it was rising very slowly so I grabbed a camera and a tripod (for the first time oustide) and spent an hour looking for some interesting frosty themes. I focused on meadows around our house which are full of Golden Rods, Queen Ann’s Laces and other plants. I found following one.

1/25 sec. @ 100mm, f/8, ISO 100

This image mirrors the reality probably the best. In me it evokes the atmosphere of freezy morning as it should. Nevertheless, when I was post-processing this photo I tried another ways and got another 2 results which I like also for some reasons.

The conversion to black & white is a reasonable choice for me in this kind of photos and I like the result even though I think that someone may find the background a bit disturbing.

The third image has significantly higher contrast, warmer colours and dark vignette which makes it look more… live. I can’t come up with better word for this.

I like all 3 results and can’t really decide which I like the most so I decided to post them here and let you choose. I’d also like to hear if you have such difficulties of choice when processing your photos.

That’s all for today, enjoy the Season!

Technical information: the photo was taken with Canon EOS 450D camera and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM lens upon a tripod under natural conditions – overcast, thin fog.


Merry Christmas!

24 12 2009

Christmas Eve is knocking on the door and I would like to wish all of you who read this blog, either regularly or sporadically, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year with tons of new experience either related to photography or in general.

15 sec. @ 100mm, f/18, ISO 400
Canon EOS 450D, Canon EF 100mm USM macro lens on a tripod, combination of natural and lamp light

Thank you all for visiting this blog and especially my followers, namely Ed Vatza, Barbara Kile, Anita Bower, Bernie Kasper and Mark Graf, for wonderful encouraging comments, constructive critique and kind words. You helped me a lot during past year and I hope that I’ll produce images good enough to keep you coming back from time to time in next year as well.

Enjoy Christmas, being with your families and having fun!

Photogenic subjects in nature

12 12 2009

If you are waiting for next photos of the orange bush presented in previous post, don’t be afraid, your waiting is at its end. After your warm responses to previously posted image I opened it again in LR and adjusted a bit accordingly to your suggestions and suggestions of other fellow photographers. The most of you suggested a bit lighter background and less tight frame. I wasn’t very happy with the frame either so here is updated version. The background is not so saturated and a bit lighter, frame disappeared and a slight vignetting was applied. What do you think now?

1/200 sec. @ 100mm, f/4, ISO 100

I would like to write about more or less photogenic subjects in nature now. Have you ever wondered how is it possible that some subjects draws your attention more than the others? Have you ever realized that you can take several great photos of one subject while none or only one in case of another subject? Some subjects literally draws your attention and you just find another and another wonderful compositions while it is extremely hard to find a single suitable composition of other subject no matter how hard you try. Do you have the same experience or is it only something in me?

Anyway, this red/orange shrub was of the first class, I was finding another and another compositions and all of them looked pretty well through the viewfinder. Well, reality is a bit different when you download all the files to your computer but still I ended up with 3 images which I liked. The first one is above and here is the second one.

1/160 sec. @ 100mm, f/4, ISO 100

If I’m really attracted by such colourful subject and I already took a certain number of photos I sometimes “switch” to abstract mode and I look for some compositions where colours and shapes could create something interesting. In this case I wanted to achieve a wash out colours. I wanted it to look like painted with water colours. If I passed or failed is up to your consideration.

The third and last image was taken with similar intention as the previous one but with an idea to have at least something in focus and the rest only as shapes. I wasn’t very happy with the colour version because of greenish background so I tried some enhancements in LR and was satisfied with Antique Grayscale preset.

1/160 sec. @ 100mm, f/2.8, ISO 100

Technical information: all the images were taken with Canon EOS 450D camera and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USm macro lens under natural conditions (autumn sun light, slight wind). All post-processing was done in Adobe Lightroom 2.5.

It’s a very long time since I gave some advice here and now is a good time for one: never be satisfied with the image you wanted to take. Try to examine the subject as much as you can, try different f-stops, compositions, lightning conditions, try to exploit as much of the subject as posible. I guarantee you that you’ll be surprised with some results.

That’s all for today, have a nice weekend and enjoy the Christmas preparations!

Impression in Japanese style… ?

8 12 2009

When I spent a weekend with my family in the mountains 2 weeks ago shooting oak leaves from previous post I was attracted by interesting bush, unknown to me, with very thin branches and tiny thin spear shaped leaves. The bush had amazing variety of autumnal colours from yellow through orange to red. I took a couple of photos (well, around 40, I guess) as sun shone through the leaves and a slight wind was playing with them. Here is one of the photos. When I post-processed it I played with vignette settings in LR 2.5 a bit and I came with a setting that reminded me those simple Japanese Zen drawings usually drawn with black ink and brush.

1/200 sec. @ 100mm, f/4, ISO 100

Technical information: the photo was taken with Canon EOS 450D camera and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM lens under natural conditions, hand held.

What do you think? Is the orange too prominent? Is it too tight? Does it evoke any feelings?

I will post some other photos of this bush next time.

Enjoy the first snow where you already have it! (We have only rain, fogs and cold 😦 )