Springtime

21 05 2012

Another month has passed and I had only one new photo to post.

~ Born To Be Wild ~
1/3 sec. @ 100 mm, f/5.6, ISO 100

My wife bought these tulips some 2 months ago. It wasn’t really possible to guess their colour(s) but those ruffled petal edges looked interesting to her. When they opened I really liked the torn edges and colourful blossoms with bright yellow centers and red petals or green petals with red streaks in them as you can see it on the photo. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any suitable composition without the pistils which may seems as distracting to someone. The photo was taken with afternoon sun behind the flower making the colours really glow.

With nice almost summer weather of last weeks I went outside with a camera couple times to practice but guess what, wind, the spoiler of good photography has been blowing almost all the time! Sometimes so strongly that it did not make sense to go outside with camera at all, sometimes so slightly that not a leave stirred but still too strongly for persisting a fragile flower under 1/100 of second. So after some attempts and failures I decided to work through older unprocessed images and found this one of lily pistils.

~ From A Hand ~
1/8 sec. @ 100 mm, f/2.8, ISO 100

I liked the unusually colourful petals which makes nice background in my opinion. The pistils looks to me like an open 6-finger hand from which center grows the stigma. With the bright fresh colours reminding me a spring it matches the tulip photo above even though the processing and feel of both photos differes a lot. At least they match in my eyes.

Have a wonderful springtime!

Technical information: all photos in this post were taken with Canon EOS 450D camera and Canon EF 100mm USM macro lens mounted to a tripod, under natural conditions, indoors.





Daylilies 2011

29 07 2011

Daylilies are flowers which brought me to macro photography and to flower photography in general. We have a daylily “bush” in a garden and I try to take some photos of it every year when it is in bloom. This year their season is slowly ending and so I am posting my latest attempts.


~ A Probe ~
0.5 sec @ 100 mm, f/2.8, ISO 100
Click on the photo to see it in bigger resolution.

The more photos of one subject you take the more complicated it is to take another and not repeat yourself. With daylilies I still focus fully on “colour flows” and lines but I am also looking for something unique in the blossoms that would make the photo special. In the photo above it is the stigma which is usually erected out from a blossom but sometimes it stays inside.


~ A Lift ~
0.4 sec. @ 100 mm, f/2.8, ISO 100
Click on the photo to see it in bigger resolution.

I like to look for an interesting interaction between abstract shapes and lines supported by colour gradients. In the photo above two stamens were going in parallel evoking look of those double glass lifts. Lifts for insect perhaps.

Photos above are “common” ones, with minimal post processing. As I was working with the photos below I thought that perhaps it’s time to try something a little bit different. To make these abstracts a little bit more special.


0.4 sec. @ 100 mm, f/2.8, ISO 100
Click on the photo to see it in bigger resolution.

Image rotation, low contrast and high brightness did the trick here. I was tempted to give it title “Ribs” but I resisted because the photo evokes pleasant feelings in me which wouldn’t persist if I would use the title.

Brightness slider went unusually high also for last photo even though not as high as for the previous one. I like the juicy colours in this one.


0.3 sec @ 100 mm, f/2.8, ISO 100
Click on the photo to see it in bigger resolution.

All these photos were taken indoor this time. The blossom was on the windowsill to absorb as much sun light as possible and then slightly shaded from direct light so the colours could pop. Without shading the colours and light were too strong, too harsh. I will be definitely glad for your opinions and if you would like to compare it with my daylily photos from previous years, here they are (2010, 2009).

Enojy the weekend!

Technical information: all photos in this post were taken with Canon EOS 450D camera and Canon EF 100mm USM macro lens on a tripod; under natural conditions.





Into the eye…

6 03 2011

I wonder what it is that power that forces us to look into the eyes of others? I bet you all know this. Sometimes you simply can’t resist to look into eye of other person or animal or sometimes, even flower. Now you can raise and objection that flowers don’t have eyes. Well, literally they don’t, of course, but don’t you think that center of blossom of some flower looks like an eye? Especially in cases when the flower center has a lot of interesting details such as in case of daisy, rose, clematis or… primula which you can see on following photo?

~ Psycho Primula ~
0.6 sec @ 100mm, f/8, ISO 100

Sometimes the “eye” of the flower has interesting colours, other times it has so many details that we don’t even recognize them until we look at them though macro lens. But they are always worthy to be investigated, in my opinion, and they always draw my attention. Try it sometimes. You might be surprised what you will find.

Enjoy the Spring sunday where Spring has already arrived!

Technical notice: all photos in this post were taken with Canon EOS 450D camera and Canon EF 100mm USM macro lens mounted to a tripod, under natural conditions, indoors.





Christmas Cactus (A tripod test)

24 11 2009

It’s been a while since I posted information about my purchase for a tripod and you may already wondered when I will post some first experience and shots from a tripod testing. Well, the time is now ­čÖé

To start from the beginning, the very first test shooting was a disaster. I bought the tripod with intention to be able to take photos inside our house during upcoming short days so it’s obvious that I wanted to test it in these conditions. With the Christmas Cactus already blooming the subject for testing was clear. It was a nice sunny day (Saturday 2 weeks ago if I remember well) sun wasn’t shining directly to the room, yet, so I had a nice strong natural ambient light, cactus standing on the wooden dining table, camera upon the tripod and the testing started. I already found pleasing composition beforehand so I just started shooting. I decided to go to a Live View mode, 5x magnification and then I immediately noticed that whenever I touch the camera, it moves. I “pushed” it with every single push of any button. When I removed my hand the camera came back to its original position so it was not a problem at all. First I tried some shots with shutter speed around one second (with 2s delay which automatically shoots in mirror lockup mode) and was surprised when I saw that the images were blurred ­čś« I immediately recognized what was the problem – it was the floor! In Live View mode I could see that my every move on the floor makes the image on LCD to move.

We have wooden floors in the house and they seem to be quite soft. Made of wooden planks, it often creaks (is it the right word?) on certain places and bends down when stepped on on others. You can also notice smaller things rattling on table, fridge and so on when you go over the room fast ­čÖé So, I tried some different positions and places in the room and became almost desperate because the only thing I found out was that if I want sharp images I need enough light for shutter speed > 1/2 s. And before you ask, no, I couldn’t try any other room. Our kitchen is currently the only available room due to windows position and due to the fact that we (meaning me, my wife and son) share our house with my wife’s parents and grandparents and I don’t want to bother others with my hobbies.

As I said in the beginning, the first shooting was a disaster. I had 0, yes, ZERO, usable photos after maybe an hour of shooting.

I had another chance after a week during next weekend. Maybe I was more patient or what but I have found out that some planks are maybe less soft… :), anyway, this time I took some photos that I dare to present here even thought they are far from what I would proudly present. Still I find them appealing.

The first one is rather a test of post-processing skills as it consists of 6 stacked images automatically aligned but manually stacked in PS CS4. The background is our beech table with a bit enhanced colour. I’m a complete newbie in shooting against “blank” background so any tips are welcome ­čśë See larger version, please.

6x 1/2 sec. @ 100 mm, f/10, ISO 100, stacked manually

For second image I was attracted by bright green colour of back-lit cactus “leaves” and I especially liked the contrast between a back-lit and not back-lit leaves.

1/5 sec. @ 100 mm, f/8, ISO 100

For the final image I looked for some see-throughs and even though I didn’t find any suitable, I really liked how a group of backlit blossoms was almost glowing with white, red and all the shades between them.

~ Red Vision ~
1/30 sec. @ 100 mm, f/5, ISO 100

I like how the small bud on the leave is “hidden” from the light and guarded by soft thorns. Several names for this image came to my mind and the one I like most is Red Vision. It’s like looking on the world through a window covered by a raspberry jam (think of anything YOU like instead of jam) ­čśÇ

Technical information: all images in this post were created with Canon EOS 450D camera and Canon EF 100 f/2.8 USM macro lens upon tripod, and under natural conditions.

I hope that you like it and am impatiently awaiting your comments.

It seems that Father Autumn don’t want the Lady Winter to rule the world yet, so enjoy every single warm rays of sun light you have, they’ll be cooler soon!





Notocactus

20 08 2009

Today I would like to present here photos of a cactus of genus Parodia, also called Notocactus. The genus has about 50 species with beautiful fragile blossoms with colours ranging from white/grayish through yellow and pink to bright red. The one in my wife’s collection bloomed some 2 weeks ago with wonderful bright yellow blossoms with reddish petal tips and fantastic purple pistils. I couldn’t resist to take a couple of photos.

Notocactus-I

1/500 sec. @ 100mm, f/5.6, ISO 200

Notocactus-II

1/125 sec. @ 100mm, f/13, ISO 200

Notocactus-III

1/200 sec. @ 100mm, f/6.3, ISO 100

Technical details: all photos were taken with Canon EOS 450D and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM lens.

I hope you like it. Enjoy the ending summer!





Gymnocalycium cactus

4 08 2009

There are 2 particular reasons why I decided to continue taking cactus macro photos and presenting them here. First reason is that I like these fragile┬á little blossoms blooming only for one or a couple of days, some in bright colours, others in shades of white or grey. Second reason is that as it seems you were quite satisfied with my Echinopsis posts for which I’m really glad.

Today I will present you blooming Gymnocalycium cactus. Gymnocalycium is a genus of about 70 species  which are at home mostly in South America. One cactus usually has more than one blossom which is about 3-4 cm long and about 2-3 cm in diameter.

If it is posible I try to have a part of cactus body in the image even though I focus mainly on the blossom as in the following photo. The skull-like pattern is really interesting.

Gymnocalycium-I

1/320 sec. @ 100mm, f/10, ISO 200

For the following 2 images I used a image stacking technique for the first time. Somehow I wasn’t able to get the centre whole sharp so I took 2 images and then stacked them in Photoshop.

Gymnocalycium-II

1/320 sec. @ 100mm, f/10, ISO 200, 2-image stack

Almost immediately after taking this image my little son came with a small bucket of water and “gave the cactus a shower” ­čÖé Fortunatelly, the blossom was tough enough so it was not destroyed, rather the opposite! The water dropplets made it even more appealing to me. I still can’t decide if I like more the next image or the previous one. Which do YOU like more?

Gymnocalycium-III

1/400 sec. @ 100mm, f/10, ISO 200, 2-image stack

As the water dropplets were nicely glittering in the bright sun I tried also a couple of┬á “different” photos, rather artistic than descriptive. Here is one that I like the most.

Gymnocalycium-IV

1/400 sec. @ 100mm, f/10, ISO 200

If you are interested in more information about Gymnocalycium genus, this page may be a good starting point. On this page you will then find very nice gallery of different species in this genus.

Technical information: all photos were taken with Canon EOS 450D and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM lens.

OK. I hope you’ll like it. Enjoy the summer!





Echinopsis cactus in colour

1 08 2009

When I posted black & white macro photos of Echinopsis cactus I haven’t thought that you will want to see them in colour so much. As I wrote I transformed them into B&W because I don’t find echinopsis colours as appealing but it’s truth that every human being has different perception and so many of you may like colour versions much more than me. So here they are:

Echinopsis-I-in-colour

1/160 sec. @ 100 mm, f/5, ISO 200

Echinopsis-II-in-colour

1/800 sec. @ 100 mm, f/4.5, ISO 200

Echinopsis-III-in-colour

1/125 sec. @ 100 mm, f/4, ISO 200

Technical information: all photos were taken with Canon EOS 450D and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro USM lens, hanheld and under natural conditions.

Let me know what you think, if you like these or B&W more,and … enjoy the summer!