The dreaded Lesson 9. I struggled with moving forward in this course and came to the conclusion that I would create 10 images in 7 days as dictated by the challenge, but I just have to leave myself open to also capturing any special nature sightings. The 10 images will focus on me being more careful in my compositions and use of light and learning some technical aspects of my camera such as focus stacking and in-camera multiple exposures (technically multiple images to create one, I know).
First image – introducing two of my new lockdown hiking buddies.
Set-up – Copper-coloured candle holder with tree-patterned holes in it and lit candle. Hiking buddies were glued to a piece of driftwood using a removable tacky glue. Lighting was the candle, the top left is a part of a fairy light string, and I had a ceiling light on in the room. Macro 60mm lens set at f5.0, 0.8 sec. A smaller aperture would have enabled more of the hikers to be in focus, but the bokeh wasn’t as appealing to me.
Processing – cropped to square to remove the obvious edges of the candle holder and straightened a bit.
Day 2. I just HAVE to report that I’m liking this challenge more! I spent my photography part of the day reading up on both my camera manual and online videos/e-books/articles about how to create multiple exposures in camera. Through that, I also found I could overlay two existing photos in-camera, or start a multiple exposure from a previous image.
Here’s the result of my first overlay attempt – combining a photo of some humble burdock with a photo of bokeh I had taken at the same time on Sunday when ice crystals were falling from a clear blue sky. I wanted to emphasize the magical feeling, so put more weight on the bokeh than the burdock image. Only caveat, the images are stored as jpegs. Minimal processing on this.
Image 1. I just CAN’T take the Christmas tree down – there are birds nesting in it!
Image 2. My first in-camera multiple exposure (not using previous images). I had seen images done using a profile of a person against a light background and wanted to emulate it. I got my husband to pose but found the second image isn’t interesting enough. Next time, I’d like to do it with a nice country road or bicycle tools as the second image. Our neighbourhood is boring.
Images 3 and 4. Practicing with my little hikers. A few things I worked on (besides struggling with getting them to stick to the rock without falling over or tilting):
– Drawing my planned image first, then finding props to emulate a hike across a bridge in the hills. Yeah, I know, I tried.
– Using my new inexpensive LED continuous light – shone up to a reflector which aimed back down on the scene.
– Finding out that the coloured gels give a pretty ghastly colour to the rocks, so created one image in b&w and the other did some desaturating.
– Focus Stacked both so that the hikers are in focus from the front of their bridge rock to the back of them.
Whew! These are the last 4 images for this lesson. Admittedly yesterday I was dying to get out and take lots of photos of some newly fallen “sticky” snow on the trees. So I did that, but just selected the first one of the day as my last image for this lesson.
Summary of photos:
– Silver Maple as a reminder of personal projects. I created a project for myself at the beginning of our lockdowns called “First Tree on the Left”. It’s the first tree I come to as I walk through the city farm. This day I wanted to capture it’s profile with the new snow. Processed in LR – mostly clarity down, texture up, shadows up.
– Scene with bridge/people – Decided to return to a favourite spot on skis and re-take a favourite view of a pond with a bridge. Played around with LR processing which made it a bit like a sketch. Interesting for me, although it may look over-processed – texture up, clarity down, exposure and shadows up, done globally and with graduated filters. The red kind of popped out on its own.
– Tree with farm in the background – Revisited a favourite tree and again played around with LR processing – Again I found raising the texture while decreasing clarity had an interesting effect, particularly on the barn.
– Large evergreen tree with smaller trees – I had walked around the neighbourhood without my camera deciding which trees I liked best with the new snow. This one seemed so proud, towering over its neighbours. I specifically shot above the rooftops so you are only seeing the upper parts of the trees. Again lots of LR processing on this. Both texture and clarity brought right down, with some haze added (dehaze slider), and shadows lightened. I really liked the effect, particularly on the background trees. I’d try this again when I can get away from the houses and capture the full trees.
Now I can get back to seeing all the lovely work the rest of you are posting. It’s been a great learning experience for me this week.