Captures of the day (27/4/19)

Lilac flowers

So today is very much a flower day. Now that spring has finally sprung, there’s so much around to photograph. Our dog is slowly learning to wait for me when taking photos, though if he sees a leaf on the wind, there’s no guarantee I will get the shot I’m after!

Azalea Flowers

I’m still shooting with the Edge 35 Optic, and I’m still enjoying it.

A rosemary bush

The dappled light was hitting the rosemary just right.

Azalea Flowers

I was trying to choose between this shot of the Azalea and the one above… then I realised, I don’t have to!

Captures of the day (26/4/19)

A macro photo of some red berries. Lots of green leaves.
Sweep of Berries

All taken on a dog walk today. It’s amazing what you can find to photograph if you just look. Still using the Edge 35 Optic at the moment. Went to change it out yesterday and couldn’t find my Sweet 35, so left the Edge on. Kind of glad I did now, as I like how these turned out.

A false colour image of trees
False Colour Trees

I also like playing with false colours when an image just doesn’t “pop” for me. I found the structure of this shot to be really interesting, but the feel of it was quite dull. While I could have pushed the saturation, I felt it just needed something else, so started with one of the presets in Exposure X4.5 and went from there.

A black and white photo of a tree trunk.
Elephant Leg

I was very tempted to crop out the top of this image, but I think it’s better balanced by keeping it in. Lots of gnarly texture to enjoy.

Creepy and Crawly

Macro photo of a spider

Sometimes the mood takes me and I break out the macro lense, extension tubes and ring flash to hunt for insects hiding around the flat. Living and dead, I’m fascinated by all the tiny details revealed.

Another macro photo of a spider.

Getting this close brings it’s own problems, especially if you’re hand holding the camera. While using a tripod would make it easier to get the focus where you want it, for me it’s very restricting in the fluidity of exploring an object.

A macro photo of the remains of a fly.

The dead insects etc. are interesting in their own way. Details of their decay that would normally go unnoticed, are brought to the fore.

Sometimes, missing the shot – for whatever reason – can be serendipitous, giving a creepy image like the one above.

Lensbabies…

… Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the blur.

A distorted photo of a pier
Totland Pier (2008) – Lensbaby Composer, probably Double Optic with the distortion caused by the Wide Angle Adapter

What are lensbabies ? Essentially they allow you to create certain effects in camera. They come as lenses or as optics for a lense, having a modular approach. I have only explored the optics for the lensbaby composer series, the other lenses being currently outside of my price range. The Lensbaby Website can explain better than I can.

A dog and hand
Our dog looking adorably up – Lensbaby Composer, Sweet 35 Optic

They create distortion and imperfect images, which I fine very appealing. Different optics give different effects, some more subtle than others. You can also use certain lensbaby optics with extension tubes, to create interesting macro effects.

A close up of a daisy flower
A raggedy daisy flower – Lensbaby Composer, Sweet 35 Optic, 12mm + 20mm Extension Tubes

If you can afford the initial purchase, lensbabies can give you a lot of pleasure as a photographer, as long and you’re not in pursuit of the “perfect” image.

Sweeping trees
Trees from a dog walk – Lensbaby Composer, Sweet 35 Optic

Captures of the day (23/4/19)

Pink blossom

These are a few shots taken today, at or near Lake Community Gardens.

A tree

Again, I’ve been using the Edge 35 Optic in a Lensbaby Composer, with mixed success.

A seed head

The software I use for managing and editing photos is called Exposure X4.5. I’m still tied into lightroom for my past photos, but I prefer Exposure for it’s ease of use and power. I also use GIMP or Photoshop when the need arises.

A rusty gas lantern (I think)
I love a bit of rust!

Messing around with the Edge 35 Optic

Berberis Darwinii with orange flowers

I’ve had the Lensbaby Edge 35 Optic for about a week now. It’s a bit of a beast, in that I have to really work to learn how to use it. I’m used to slapping a new optic into my Lensbaby Composer and being ready to go with a shallow learning curve. Not so with the Edge 35.

Pinky purple heather flowers

What is interesting is that the optic works very well as a prime lense. When the composer is straight ahead, it’s like shooting with a nice, crisp 35mm lense.

White blossom

It’s a bit difficult to get a good slice with extension tubes, but I intend to keep experimenting!

A feather in orange

Up Close

An abstract, black and white, macro photograph of some strips of staples.

There’s a reason why I called this blog “Up Close And Personal”. I love macro (close up) photography. I enjoy finding objects and exploring them, looking for interesting composition.

A macro photograph of a spider.

Back to the start again for a moment. I was agoraphobic for 7 1/2 years. During this time, I quickly ran out of subjects for my growing love of photography. So, getting closer and closer was one of the few options available to me.

A macro photograph of some pins.

Through this state of affairs, I’ve found macro photography, and the general practice of viewing small things up close, very enjoyable. Whether it be insects, flowers, strange industrial looking objects or other natural wonders, I like photographing them. I’m also a fan of abstraction, creating strange macro landscapes that make you scratch your head, trying to figure it out.

A macro photograph of a ring-pull.

I hand hold the camera for most of my macro subjects, as I find it makes it easier to explore an object. This does however mean that I make a lot of “bad” photos, where the focus is off. It’s a process with lots of serendipity and one I enjoy.

A macro photograph of a daisy.