Back in the saddle again…

So, it’s been a while since I wrote a blog post. I hit a bit of a rut and wasn’t taking many photos. Even now, I’ve not been in my darkroom for ages. But still, I’ve finally started taking more photos and I’ve started another 365 project, which is pushing me a bit. It turns out I was missing the need to take photos every day. It gets the old creative juices flowing!

Skimia Japonica
Primrose Flower
Some berries, sliced with the Edge 35 Optic.
The centre of a gerbera
A slice of autumn, with the Edge 35 Optic.
A glowing rose
The stigma of a hemerocallis, or day lilly.
And finally, a hairy little spider.

Up close, with a phone

So, I bought another set of MPOW clip-on lenses for my phone, having lost the last set. I decided to take them camping with me, rather than taking a camera. This was a bit hit and miss, especially when trying to capture the sunset. However, I got several good photos with the 20x Macro Lense, all taken whilst just messing about. All edited in Exposure X4.5.

365 (or how to stave off photographic boredom)

Well I’ve finally reached the end of my 365 project. What is it? You take a photo every day and upload it to your site of preference. Being motivated to take a “good” photo every day is difficult. There are days when you don’t know what to photograph and days where you don’t want to photograph anything.

As a photographer, I get bored very easily. Not of photography itself, but of lenses, cameras, subjects, format etc. I’ll shoot with Lensbabies for a few days, then switch to my Tamron macro lense, then something else. I might change to a film camera for a bit, or shoot exclusively macro. It all depends.

So anyway, here are some things I’ve found helpful for doing a 365 project, which may help stave off the boredom:

  1. Go for walks with your camera, even if it’s just round the block (or wherever). Keep your eyes open and get in the zone.
  2. When you go out, pick up crap. Really. It’s amazing what you can find to photograph, especially if you’re in to macro photography. Get closer and explore objects!
  3. Scour your home for everyday objects and try to find new ways of looking at them. Admittedly, this can get old… fast.
  4. Enter competitions and do themed photo challenges. Find something to get your creative juices flowing.
  5. Look at other people’s work. It doesn’t even have to be in a style you like. Just looking through flickr tags can give you some inspiration.
  6. On those days when you don’t even want to look through a viewfinder, all I can say is to push yourself. You never know, you might surprise yourself!

Captures of the Week (so far) : (28/08/19)

Not much to say in this blog post. I went through a spell of not being in the mood to make pictures, which meant that now I’m photographing again, I had to catch up with my – nearly finished – 365 project. This involved going round the flat, trying to make interesting macro photos with my ring-flash! Here follows a selection of the good ones, along with a couple of others.

Noze, up close
Curve
Little Hole
Spout
More Holes
Thingambob. Taken with a Lensbaby Composer and Edge 35 Optic
A spider eating it’s dinner. Tamron 90mm + Raynox 250.

Love of Lith

So, after a long period of not getting in the darkroom, I managed to get a session of lith printing a few days ago. It took longer than I thought for to get my eye back in, but I’m happy with a few of the prints.

I tried something a little different during this session, by using a higher concentration of developer, 40+40+1000 : A + B + Water, as compared to my usual 20+20+1000. I also used 200ml of old brown too (old, exhausted and oxidised developer) as compared to 20-40ml I’ve used in the past. I’ve found the addition of that much old brown gives colourful prints, earlier in the development cycle.

I’ve also enjoyed the shorted development times associated with this higher concentration developer, 6-8 minutes, as compared to 8-12+.

It’s a strange thing, waiting for a lith print to develop. I put on some music and sort of zone out, the process of waiting being almost trance like. Then as soon as the print is in the stop bath, and then the fixer, I become incredibly impatient. Minutes feel like hours. Eventually the time passes and I move the print to the water bath and turn on the lights.

Something I truly love about lith printing is the unpredictability of the process, something I’ve most likely mentioned before. Each time I make a print, I have a rough idea of what I’m after, but am quite often surprised!

Anyway, here are a few of the prints from this session.

Shot with a Nikon f100, Lensbaby Composer and the Edge 35 Optic on Ilford Delta 400 @ 400. Developed in Ilford DD-X 1+4 for 6 minutes @ 23 C. Border added in GIMP. Please excuse scan quality.

Captures Of The Week (Or There Abouts!)

So, I’m still playing about with my Raynox 250 on my Tamron 90mm Macro Lense. While I’ve been doing a fair bit of macro work, I’ve also been swapping in the lensbaby as the mood takes me. Still love the edge 35 optic 🙂

Peeking through the bokeh…
Just the centre of a flower
Hebe flowers
The carcase of a dead ladybird.
A dead fly. This was very small and quite difficult to shoot hand-held.
Some flowers, shot on paper, using the light from a window and tweaked quite a bit in Exposure X4.5

A mixed bag

So, I’ve been in a bit of a Lensbaby mood these past few days. I’ve also done some macro photography, but I’ve definitely been leaning towards the happy distortion a Lensbaby brings…

I’m a bit contrary like that, focusing on one or two lenses then getting bored of them and needing something different to do. This is also due to the 365 project I’m doing, as having to take a “good” photo every day gets a bit tiresome at times. Anyway, some more photos 🙂

I opened an unripe poppy seed head to find little nascent seeds. Taken with my Tamron 90mm Macro Lense and the Raynox 250.
Another shot of the poppy seeds
A Blue/Purple Petunia, Taken with my Tamron 90mm Macro Lense
Sitting by the beach. Taken with Lensbaby Composer, Edge 35 Optic
Fishing by the sea. Taken with Lensbaby Composer, Edge 35 Optic
Fuchsia Sticking Out Of A Bush. Taken with Lensbaby Composer, Edge 35 Optic .

Getting Even Closer!

So, I’ve been experimenting with a Raynox 250, as I said in my previous post. This is essentially a lense that clips on to the front of a lense to get you even closer. When combined with a macro lense, you get even closer. This does have it’s problems though, in that even with steady hands there’s still some shake, requiring high shutter speeds and a bit of luck. A tripod would make life easier when it comes to shake, but also makes life more difficult if you want to freely explore an object.

If I was feeling brave, I could even throw in some extension tubes and get closer still, but there’s only so much you can do whilst retaining your sanity!

I will be keeping the Raynox close to hand as it’s useful, but will need more practice using. Here are a few images I’ve made using it, mostly clipped onto my Tamron 90mm.

The luminous colours of a Dianthus.
The petals of a daisy type flower.
A close up of the centre of the daisy like flower.
A close up of the entrance to a Trailing Petunia
This image was and experiment. It’s actually a curve of bubbles around a glass of coke. I lit it with an LED lamp, with a black background. The focus isn’t perfect, but I think that actually adds to the sparkle.
This little fella is only 1-2mm in size. Had to crop it quite aggressively. It’s quite amazing the detail you can get.
And to end on an orange Viola.