I have had the great opportunity to shoot several times at Henry Mercer’s Fonthill Castle with my good friend John Barclay. Some of my previous work is currently on display there. Most of my work has been with the larger scenes in each room. Today I focused on several of Mercer’s collection pieces that are displayed around the castle. It was a dreary day today in Eastern Pennsylvania … great light for capturing details. To capture the mood, I also focused on capturing images for B&W processing.
I was after a subdued image of our Bleeding Hearts on a bright early morning. I stood above these “hearts” and shot through an Atlas Cedar. A slight gap between the branches framed the “hearts”.
I next got down on my belly and shot the macro below focusing on the simple two heart image. I added a little contrast and darkened the background to highlight the “hearts”. I plan to use this one for a Mother’s Day card for Mom.
This post will be my last of my “Emerging” series … at least for a little while.
I saw this emerging Lilac blossom against the bright red of a Flowering Quince and could not resist shooting an image. As they say, “When you see red, shoot!” The red background tends to overwhelm the Lilac buds. I tried to separate the two with a shallow DOF. Later in post processing, I added a little structure to the Lilac and added a little blur to the Quince which helped the separation a little more. Just experimenting …
I was experimenting with swipes and pans on this Redbud tree to create some interesting images for backgrounds. While I had my camera set for a blur (f/32, 1/4 second, ISO 200), I let the wind create a little magic on its own. I just held the camera still, waited for a gust of wind, then snapped the shutter. It’s pretty amazing what nature can do!
The lesson that I was exploring as I took this image was from Tony Sweet: “Pick a background and put something interesting in front of it”. The late afternoon sun brilliantly lit up the new spring grass. The blossoms in the pear trees lining our driveway were in partial shade. Normally I try to pick dark backgrounds with light shining on the foreground subject. This time it was just the opposite. I kept a moderate aperture size to blur the background and keep the blossoms in acceptable focus.
Post processing was also simple. I added a little contrast and structure to the leaves as well as darkened the background using NIK Viveza. As a final touch, I lightened the center and darkened the edges with NIK Color Efex Pro.
Today is the First of May. It is time to appreciate the emerging Spring flora. For the next several posts, I will focus on the emerging buds and blossoms in our back yard. This image caught my eye as I walked by one of our Japanese Maples. It looked like the emerging leaves were wings ready to take off and fly.
For processing, I cropped the image to put the “wings” in the right perspective in relation to the edges. I slightly brightened the center and darkened the background to add a little pop to the leaves.