It is feeling so good to get back to doing a little still life photography! Now that the house is no longer torn up, I have some space and time to set up some stills. I’ve been especially eager to try out a birthday present I got from my friend, Debbie- a vintage window! It’s been piled in the garage with everything else, but now I can get to it, along with some of my other still life props that were covered up.
I propped up the window on a table outside in the 95 degree heat and had a great time composing this image. I edited it using Kim Klassen’s darkday preset (desaturation, a matte tone curve, and split toning, among other adjustments).
As usual, I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I took it into Photoshop and Topaz Impression for a painterly look.
Here’s another Topaz Impression version- a new one called Wispy Sketch. Love this!
It was too hot to create any more still life vignettes- but look for this window in the future! Thanks, Debbie!
You may remember my series of chair photos from last year- some including this hat. Well, the bunch of chamomile I picked up at Trader Joe’s put me in the mood again- so here’s another in the series, this time in black and white.
Another flower- this time an orchid.
Not mine, fortunately (orchids shrivel up and die when I get too close)- they were at Sunnylands. 🙂
My little AAUW photo group had the assignment last week of photographing a subject in different ways, from different angles, and/or edited different ways. I had a busy week so allowed about a half hour for shooting and a half hour for editing- I almost made it. I used my 35 mm for 3 shots and switched to my 85mm macro for the other 2. I quickly edited all in Lightroom and then added textures to two in Photoshop- all on schedule. But I was in such a hurry and so out of patience that I kept messing up the collage in the Lightroom Print Module. I threw up my hands and sent them all to my phone where I made a quick layout in Pic Collage, which added only about 5 minutes to my allotted time. When I picked up my print at Costco, I realized that I had sent the wrong photo to my phone for the middle one on the left- it was unedited! And so it was. . .
I added a bit of contrast, clarity, and sharpening to that unedited part of the collage before uploading to my blog- so it looks a little better (no, I did not re-make the whole collage!).
This is what can happen as you arrange flowers for still life photography. . .
I was somehow compelled to stick a sunflower in with my branches and kind of liked the contrast between the shapes (and of course the lensbaby blur). So here is the result- two ways.
Just a book and a rose. . .
More branches in a jar. This was shot with the Lensbaby Edge 80 again, but then I used an oil painting filter in Topaz Impression and a Flypaper texture after that. Yup- just playing with sticks. . .
I found a couple other shots I took when I was taking my berry still life for my class. These were taken before or after- without a tripod, because I couldn’t get high enough with the tripod. I used a shallow depth of field for fun- and I guess I wasn’t very steady on the stepstool, because these would definitely not pass the sharpness test! I like them anyway.
BTW, my hummingbird passed muster yesterday in my new photo class. I wondered how people (especially the instructor) would respond to the background, which had been edited using Topaz Impression- but they were fine with it. If you read my blog regularly, you’ll recognize this photo from last summer. The only critiques were some thought the little twig under the hummingbird could be cloned out, and one person would have liked a closed beak. One thing I’m learning is that people have differing opinions of each other’s work- and it’s all ok. It’s a very nice group of people, which makes it all easier.
“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape.
Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.”
– Andrew Wyeth
I couldn’t post this until after Christmas, because I was knitting this scarf for my daughter. I used to knit all the time until about five years ago, when I realized that my hand and wrist issues were being exacerbated by the repetitive motion. I have a real love of yarn and handknits, and, although I was never an expert knitter, it was a relaxing and creative outlet for me. So, I dug out some of my yarn and found a scarf that I had started to knit in 2010- and, knitting only a little at a time, I finished it up for my daughter for Christmas. I made so many mistakes, but finally the muscle memory kicked in. I know my hands aren’t up to more than a half hour or so a day of knitting, but I plan on digging into my yarn again and finishing up a few projects- a little at a time- baby steps!
It’s actually looked a lot like Christmas since Thanksgiving! I love my house at Christmas- all the traditional little knicky-knacky things brought out- and then there’s the tree. It’s fake, which was never our tradition, but it’s decorated with ornaments from our kids’ childhood and some newer ones picked up over the years. I started acquiring snowmen in the last ten years or so; here’s one that sits in our entryway.
Yes, it’s taken with a Lensbaby!
I confess to having a photography love affair with my white pumpkins.
I like the orange ones, but there is just something about the white ones that I can’t resist!
These are ALMOST the end of the white pumpkin photos, but, since Halloween is over a week away, there just might be more!