When I saw this scene of our front porch, I felt like it was an impressionistic garden painting with all the pink and light green color. So, I post-processed the image that way using Topaz Impression plugin.
When things are working, keep the ball rolling. I was happy with the multiple exposure showed in my last post, so I thought I would try another as the wind was blowing the branches around. The multiple exposure feature of the 5D MkIII allowed me to see the combined image rather than waiting for post processing.
I was taking images of our flowering Bradford pear. I could not get anything that really caught my eye. Then the wind started blowing, the moving blossoms created a surrealistic image in my mind. How to capture this … why not try a multiple exposure. I took a 5 image multiple exposure slightly moving my camera, the wind took care of the rest.
Lesson Learned: Don’t give up. Work the image. Visualize and try something else.
As I was coming in from my morning shoot of our garden, I saw these two blooms intermingled in a clump of white and yellow daffodils. They reminded me of two close friends , one whispering in the other’s ear.
I cannot recall how many times that I have been getting ready to put my camera away for the shoot when that one last image pops up in front of me. It seems to be one of my most alert times. On multiple occasions, this last image is my select from the whole shoot.
Lesson Learned: Always be ready for the image to come to you!
Out in our “Back 40” we have several bunches of bright yellow daffodils. Ah ha … great background opportunity. Now I just needed to find something to put in front. A few emerging Japanese Maple leaf buds caught my eye. So I put them together. The challenge was to get an interesting composition while the branch was moving in the wind. A relative open f-stop and a moderate shutter speed gave me the best balance.
These subtle pink petals of our Star Magnolia caught my eye this afternoon. The tree is in full bloom. The blossoms are in a fresh crisp state which typically does not last very long. Wind and wet weather usually turn the petal edges brown within a day or two after the bloom. I caught it in the perfect state this year.
I softened the image slightly to give it a soft look. It adds to the feeling that I had when I was shooting the image.
These purple crocuses came out two days after the white ones. They do so every year. The white crocuses come out with a few blooms first, followed by the rest a couple days later. The purple crocuses seem to come out all at once. I was lucky with a couple of nice warm days when the blooms emerged. The last couple of days have been cold and rainy. The crispness of the flowers are now gone.
For Lexie: The way this image was achieved is different from the white crocus image in my post a few days ago. Large telephoto lenses have a narrow depth of field. My target here was to get enough depth of field to capture detail in the nearest petal, the center, and the farthest petal of the nearest bloom. It took an aperture setting of f/16 to achieve this. However, using this aperture also pulled in detail from the background flowers. I then took an image with the widest aperture (f/3.5) of my lens which only captured the center of the nearest flower in focus. The edges of the bloom and all the background blooms were not in focus. To make sure the images would line up when I processed them, I used a tripod.
Back on my computer, I combined the f/3.5 and f/16 images into a multiple exposure using Photoshop’s layers. The background layer was the sharp f/16 image. The second layer was the f/3.5 image. I added a layer mask to the second layer and “painted” through the nearest bloom of the f/16 flower. I then lightened the sharp bloom and darkened the edges to get the final image.
The following is the f/16 SOC image as reference:
These small 3/4 inch blooms are great targets for Macro photography. In recent years I have not spent much time doing macros. Macro’s in our garden usually require getting down on my hands and knees or on my stomach to get face to face with the object of interest. I am not as flexible as I use to be and am reluctant to get down in that position. But these jewels just begged me to do it … so I did.
For Lexie: When I take an image, I always try to specify what my subject is. My next step is to enhance the subject as much is possible. Then I try to reduce any clutter that may distract from the subject.
For this image my subject was the “mouth” of the single blossom, not any surrounding petals. To enhance the image I used a 180 mm telephoto macro lens focusing on the interior mouth of the bloom. I used a very small aperture to make sure I got as much of the bloom in focus as I could. In addition, I tilted the camera to get a more interesting perspective of the blossom.
The negative ramification of the small aperture was that I also picked up details surrounding the single bloom as clutter. To eliminate the surrounding clutter, I darkened and desaturated the background in post processing. In addition I added a blur to the mid-ground purple petals.
For reference, below is the SOC version of the image.
One more day and this star magnolia bud will pop out to a full bloom. I hope the weather will cooperate. We are expecting moderate to heavy rain for the next few days. It always seems to happen this way when these beautiful flowers bloom. In one day, the rain will turn them into droopy brown edged flowers. Last year, I did not even shoot the blooms because of the rain.
For Lexie: I used a macro lens to get this close up. The bud is about 3/4 inch long. I needed to get close to fill the camera image frame. I used a shallow depth of field to blur out the background evergreen bushes. Note that the bud casing in front of the blossom is out of focus. This is the trade-off I was managing. Also note that the shutter speed was high to freeze the bud in the wind. In post processing, I used Photoshop and NIK Color Efex Pro plugin. I used “tonal contrast” to pull out details in the bud and “darken/lighten center” to darken the edges and bring additional focus to the bud.