I love all aspects of photography…except one. That’s macro photography. I’m really not that good at it. It takes me a whole bunch of time, and I really don’t like sticking my butt up in the air to get a photo! With that said, I’ve been seeing this photograph all week thinking, “This would make another good example for the Share the Season photo contest.” So, after looking at the idea for a week, I finally decided to get the D800 out, attach the 70-180macro (damn fine lens) and go for it.
When I take our dogs out in the morning, the sun hits the frozen drops of water on our Aspens just right. I see all these sparkly, specular highlights dancing on the limbs like Christmas lights. I thought there might be a photograph there so off to capture it I went. Below you can see my first attempt, it goes in the “suck” category but at least you get the picture. So with it being obvious that what I was seeing wasn’t going to translate into what I want you to see (or, I wasn’t going to take the time on a macro shot to make that happen) I went off to see what else there might be. I was as usual looking for light. I needed a darkish background to make the frozen drop come to life. I found one and racked the lens out to 170mm, focused to MFD and moved the whole unit to compose and get sharp. And then the very first thing, the main reason why I hate macro photography, the limb started to move! Up and down, back and forth, yikes! I couldn’t feel a breeze so started to look around to see what was moving the limb. Damn, it was me! I hate that! So I moved to not touch the limb yet still keep my angle of view and background and not get in my own light. Anything has to be easier than macro photography! Well, I ended up with the image after all of that and only deleted 98% of the frames, but it only takes one to tell the story.
And there you have another example for your idea folder for the Share the Season photo contest. We need the image, camera trivia and story along with the photo to enter. I hope to have the website up this weekend and announced on Monday for you!!
Our snow storm this past weekend brought all sorts of ideas to my head to share with you for my Share the Season photo contest (did I tell you I’ve giving away a brand new D600 as the prize?). So I grabbed the D4 and 50f1.4 AFS and rushed outside in the storm. What you see here then us the thought process for creating the final image that would be the one used in the contest (I might just enter myself…kidding). Keep in mind, the story behind the photo is just as important as the photo.
After working to keep the blowing snow off the front element, I made an exposure for the trees more than the snow. What does that mean? I shot with no exposure compensation, I wanted the blacks in the wet tree trunks and branches. With that, I went into ACR and processed normally except I changed the Contrast which I normally never do. I then took that photo in Photoshop and used Silver Efex Pro 2 just like I demo in the videos on the site there. This was all pretty cut and dry stuff. And as it stands, that B&W photo of snow works perfectly for Share the Season photo contest. But I wanted to add a little extra touch.
So I went and created the red ornament and starburst (hard to see in this small version) in Photoshop (plenty of tutorial online how to accomplish this). The only difficult thing for me is deciding where to hang that ornament. It literally took me 20min and lots of “placements” to decide where you see it here. And it might move in the next version. But that’s all part of the contest, sharing how you saw, made and created the photo. Still working on the website for posting so keep shooting! mtc