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.


Macro abstracts of Freesia? No way.

13 05 2011

At least that’s what I always thought. I told myself that freesia blossoms lack details to be good subject for macro photos and they are too small to stand as models for abstract shots, I thought. When my wife got a bouquet of freesias a week ago I wasn’t realy interested until I saw them in beautiful warm evening light shining thru them. I grabbed a camera and looked for some compositions with magnification ratio set very near to 1:1 and what I saw simply amazed me. I took one, two, three photos, all great to me and I suddenly realized that I couldn’t have been more wrong thinking that freesias can’t be good subject for macro or abstract photography! I set up my tripod and my first indoors evening shooting session started.

Here is the first photo from it. Please, click on photos below to see them in bigger resolution. It is much better.

1/6 sec. @ 100 mm, f/2.8, ISO 100

I really like how those stamens(?) look like a star symbol or a symbol from china alphabet.

Do you know that feeling when you take a photo, check it on camera’s LCD and you really like it already? You “KNOW” that this is something very good? That’s what I felt when I saw all the photos from this post on camera’s LCD. I really, really like them and I wonder what will be your reactions.

Ok, let’s take a look at another photo.

~ Floating Camel ~
1/8 sec. @ 100mm, f/4,  ISO 100

Can you see the camel? 🙂 This photo works well also upside down and I think that it would make great diptych with previous one.

I was simply mesmerized by those colours beautifully blending to each other. Freesias has many blossoms on one stem and even those can vary in colour. Every blossom is unique and it gives endless possibilities to a photographer. The bouquet contained also simply yellow and white blossoms but these weren’t so interesting for me. I rather worked with those having multiple colours like the next one.

1/15 sec. @ 100mm, f/4, ISO 100

This is a crop from original photo created by cropping it from sides. I thought that in this case extension rings would be handy.

So, that’s it for today. I am already looking forward having another photo session with freesias, hopefully it will be soon.

Enjoy weekend and let me know your opinions on these photos.

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

Tulip details and some news

3 05 2011

I hope that you’re not tired of seeing tulip photos here, yet, because it will be no difference today . When I was taking photos from previous post I focused also on small details of those beautiful tulips. Today I present two photos each with different intention and impact. First one was intended to be very soft with shallow depth of field (DOF). I took a photo with fully open aperture (f/2.8) which gave me the softness I wanted but unfortunately DOF wasn’t deep enough for capturing all the details in stamen so I took another photo with exactly the same composition but with little bit wider DOF (f/4). Then I stacked both images in Photoshop with the f/2.8 on top and I created a mask in which I carefully painted the stamen so it became visible from the layer below. After some final touches in Lightroom I got result which you can see here.

~ Fluffy ~
1/30 – 1/15 sec @ 100 mm, f/2.8 + f/4, ISO 100

Next photo was created at the same time only with slightly different composition but the main goal here was to have everything in focus. For achieving this I had to take 3 shots, each at f/20. I was pretty close to magnification 1:1 and it was impossible to have everything in focus in one shot. Then I did the same procedure of stacking and masking as in previous case and again after some final touches in Lightroom I got satisfying result.

~ Tulip Chaos ~
3 shots at  1.3 sec @ 100 mm, f/20, ISO 100

These photos show also different possibilities of capturing details in complex subjects. First photo shows hot it is possible to separate subject and bring viewer’s attention where you want. In the second photo I wanted to capture the complexity of the subject and the chaos created by nature. It wasn’t easy to find suitable composition and framing but I hope I succeeded. Viewer’s eyes slide across the photo not knowing where to stop and that’s what I like also.

Let me know if what I did works for you or does not and why. Your constructive criticizm always helps me to be better.

And now it is the right time for NEWS. I have three of them.

First, I sold first photos! It was rather coincidence. I did preparation for selling my photos in the beginning of this year and even before I displayed them in any shop/gallery I was contacted via Flickr by lady from Australia who was interested in prints of 2 of my photos and directly in dimensions 80x120cm (31.5″ x 47.6″). What a luck! The good part was that I had everything ready and so I could cooperate immediately, the bad part was that she was asking for making the prints using printing service with which she has good previous experience but I had none. After gaining more information about the service and short communication with them I decided to go ahead. Today my first client has the prints, “gorgeous” to use her own words, in her office and I know that I can relly on Brilliant Prints in future. I am so happy!

Second, my prints are now available in another internet gallery, it is company where I make my photos print. Bad news for all but Czechs is that gallery is primarilly in Czech language and even though it can be translated into English it is done automatically using google translation service and the results are not always granted. The link to gallery is here.

Third, I became a father for second time! My 2nd son was born on 1st May and I really wish it has no big impact on my time for photography but I think that it will remin only as a wish. My family is my priority nr. 1 anyway.

Enjoy May in full bloom!

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

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  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.


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.


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” 🙂 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?


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  “different” photos, rather artistic than descriptive. Here is one that I like the most.


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:


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


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


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!

Cactus Macro photography

28 07 2009

I realized that I haven’t seen much macro photographies of cactuses in bloom, to be honest I don’t remember that I have seen a one. And cactuses have such a nice blossoms!

My wife has planted a lot of cactuses before we got married and she still has about two dozens of them. Their blooming season just started and so I decided to take some close-up and macro photos of them. The first one which I present today is of genus Echinopsis (probably Echinopsis multiplex), a cactus that is home in South America, blooms only once per year, has usually only one blossom  and blooms 1 – 2 days. The blossom has trumpet-like shape, it’s around 20cm long and it has around 8cm in diameter by the blooming end. The centre of the blossom is bright green, petals are rather greyish around the center and changing into pink in the direction to petal edges. At the end the colours were not much appealing to me so I turned photos into B&W.

Here you can see the centre of the blossom with lot of details.


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

Following photos are rather abstract in my opinion.


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


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 and enjoy these summer days!