Nothing makes me more content than exploring flowers with a macro lens. Here’s a gerbera daisy from my latest grocery store fall bouquet.
Yesterday’s snow had disappeared before lunchtime- so I’m glad I made it outside with my macro lens before it all melted away. Our shrubs and trees looked like they were decorated with little jewels as the melting bits of snow glistened in the sunlight.
The hush comes with the deepening of Autumn; but it comes gradually. Our ears are attuned to it, day by quieter day.
But even now, if one awakens in the deep darkness of the small hours, one can hear it, a foretaste of Winter silence.
For as long as I can remember, Fall has been my favorite season. I think I like autumn leaves on the ground almost as much as the leaves on the trees. And to my eye, they are melancholy and mysterious in black and white- I love their fragile, crispy crunchiness and ragged, tired edges- reminding us that Winter is coming (a Game of Thrones reference, with my apologies). Snow is in the forecast in the high country, but I don’t think we’ll see any here. In the meantime, I’m enjoying every minute of Fall!
If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I treasure little family trinkets from bygone eras and that I have quite a few- being an only child has its rewards! When I started my first Project 365 almost 5 years ago (!), my daughter suggested I photograph the contents of my father’s dental cabinet which houses much of my family’s memorabilia. Over the years, many of the items have been featured, but today I am featuring some trinkets from another family.
My friend, Claudia (who is a fantastic card-maker), has always encouraged me on my photographic journey. When she learned I wanted a dish of old marbles to photograph (and to display), she gave me some that are from HER family treasures! I have puzzled how to photograph them in an interesting way. I did some shots last month that never made the blog, because they just weren’t appealing. Last weekend, I tried again.
I got out my trusty macro lens and attempted to set up a simple still life. I discovered that the garage floor isn’t level, as the marbles kept rolling around and off the folding table I use for still life. I finally set them on my old washboard, which gave a contrasting texture to the smooth roundness of the marbles- and kept them from falling onto the floor.
As I was clicking away, the wind was blowing some of the leaves I had gathered for another still life onto the garage floor- which gave me an idea!
Tucking the marble under one of the leaves on the floor kept it from rolling around. I was lying on my stomach for this shot- a pretty sight indeed!
Expect to see more marble shots sometime in the future. . .
This is what happens when I have been binge-watching Game of Thrones- and am avoiding the things I have to do by playing in Perfect Effects.
Winter Halloween is coming. . . bwaaahaaahaah!
I had a photo already to post today, but then I came upon these ranunculus photos in Lightroom that hadn’t yet made my blog- one edited and one not. I had fun editing the second one to kinda-sorta match the first- so here they are!
Editing notes: I really need to start consistently labeling my layers in Photoshop. I could tell I added a filter to a layer in the first photo- and then some texture (which comes in with a label automatically). I assumed I used Topaz Impression- but which filter??? No idea. For the second one I used Cezanne II, one of my favorites. And another thing- is there a way to mark favorites in Impression? Anyone, anyone?
I took some time a few days ago to take some abstract macro shots of lilies. I added a couple textures for that painterly look I love- and the first one I also took into Topaz Simplify. Truthfully, because of the shallow depth of field, it looked pretty painterly already, but I love to fiddle around with my images. It is my form of a mindfulness meditation and satisfies my childhood ambition to be an artist when I grew up. 🙂
I think dreamy macros of flowers, weeds, or leaves are my favorite photos to take. There is something so relaxing about seeing objects so closeup, so different from the way you would ordinarily see them- and then moving the camera or changing the aperture or area of focus just a slight bit to get an entirely different view. It’s like a mindfulness meditation. And then there’s the editing- so much fun! I used different Lightroom presets as starting points in editing the dandelion macros below- I’m not sure which I like best.
Posting from the archives today- here are some butterfly images that never made it to the blog.
It was hard to let them go, so I took a few lensbaby shots of my peony petals before saying good-bye.
One of the new experiences we’ve had since we’ve moved to Arizona is tumbleweeds in our yard. Last week we discovered a new one, and before my husband could capture it for yard waste, I picked it up with gloved hands to take into my garage studio for some macro and still life shots.
The photos below (showing how sharp and prickly these guys are!) were taken with the Lensbaby Sweet 35 with macro converters. All have Kim’s kk_organic preset applied.
Happy Earth Day!
Yesterday’s visit to Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale produced over 800 photos- yikes! Here are a few of my instant faves- and there are more to come!
I bought a Clickin Moms Lensbaby tutorial series back when I only had my Lensbaby Mobile for the iPhone, (no Composer Pro, no optics), because I was so eager to learn how to use these cool lenses. One of the tips I learned was that the Edge 80 with macro converters does a great job capturing sun rays, especially when taking photos under leafy trees. I only have one tree at this point that has enough leaves to provide a canopy for the sun to just peek through, so I spent 10 or 15 minutes the other day crouched uncomfortably beneath the plum tree looking up at the sun. I thought I didn’t get anything much until I played with a few images in Lightroom and discovered that I did get some interesting effects from the sun- including sun rays. Fun!
The image below is the same as the last photo in the collage at the top of the post, except it has some Florabella textures added.
I’ve been keeping to my word about practicing with my Lensbaby every day. I thought a major part of my practice would involve getting the Edge 80 off the Composer (so tight for these weak hands!), but so far, so good! Maybe it’s loosening up- or I’m getting stronger! I hadn’t done much with macro using the Edge 80 until recently, and I’m having fun with it. Raspberries were on my breakfast menu on Easter, so I took a few moments to take some macro shots. I’m finding the Edge 80 to be nice and sharp- similar to my 85mm macro.
1- edited in onOne Perfect Effects (tonal contrast)- and then Photoshop, adding kk_chill to soften what I did in Perfect Effects!
2- kk_lettherebelight preset
3- kk_eve preset
1- onOne’s Perfect Effects
2- my basic edit
3- kk_lightairypastel preset
Getting back in the groove and linking up with Texture Tuesday today!
My photography goal for April is to practice with my Lensbaby every day. We’ve been out in the backyard the last couple days, so the Lensbaby came out with me yesterday.
The fountain is up and running again. Is it just me, or does this look like a lady juggling?