You know what it is like when you’re getting towards the end of winter; day after day of gloom with no end in sight. Winter can seem so long. Spring is almost here now and the first flowers are making their tentative appearance. Its almost like they are putting their “toes” into the cold water, testing it before jumping in!
I’m constantly looking for anything that looks vaguely like a flower and so I do find them in the strangest places. That said the best place in the depth of winter is the botanical gardens or anywhere with a decent glasshouse. Failing that I go back over my archives, longingly gazing at flowers I’ve photographed in the past.
Here’s a lovely rose I came across from the end of last simmer. My botanical knowledge is pretty limited I usually refer to flowers by the their colour. In this case I like the yellow looking one!
This photo by the way was captured using the so-called “plastic” 50mm 1.8 lens from Canon. At the price it is a must have if you’re branching away from the kit lens that came with your new camera. Often people think they need a big zoom or longer reach lens but really the standard 50mm is so versatile its hard to beat. I’ve got the Canon 50mm 1.4 semi-permanently attached to my Canon 5D as a great walk-around lens.
Takes pretty good “yellow flower” photos too, it turns-out.
I always hard to figure out what to photograph on one of those miserable rainy days. The skies are grey and birds are hiding away waiting for the storm to die down. I reckon these kinds of days are when getting out a macro lens and either creating something abstract or capturing some nature is the way to go. We were lucky enough to find this weta (a New Zealand native insect) right outside the back door. Weta’s are often found in damp places so the odd bit of rain didn’t phase this character. They can grow very large but this one was only about 4cm long; I was careful to not annoy the insect as it has a long stinger at the back. I’ve been stung by one and it really hurts (harmless though)!
To take the shot I placed the weta on a piece of think glass and then used an off-camera flash from below. I dialled-down my flash to 1/32 power; just enough to give him and the rain drops a little sparkle. Now is the time for some full disclosure; the rain had let up a bit by now so I used a little spray from a $2 water spray bottle to add in a few more drops. Don’t worry it was pretty gentle and there was no danger of swamping the insect. After the shoot I returned the weta back to the garden.
You can buy a print of this to scare your friends here.
Use the coupon SUPERSAVERJUNE2012 during June 2012 to get 40% off!
I’ve recently discovered a neat little cove near where we live. It takes a little effort to get there; climbing over the rocks a through a few caves. Sometimes you have to take a few risks (dropping your gear!) to get a shot. I was climbing over rocks with a couple of cameras strapped over my shoulder, using the tripod as a walking stick. Really the only risk was wrecking my gear. Having said that I did manage to bang my head on the roof of a cave. There’s nothing like shedding a little blood for your art, right?
This image was captured with the new Canon 5D Mark III, with a 24-105 f4 lens attached. Actually the hardest part is keeping the lens clean with the constant salt spray whipped-up by the wind. By the way, I just corrected some exposure and levels on this to create the image. Finally adding a little vignette to complete.
So, take a risk and find somewhere new to capture beauty.
You can’t beat a simple reflector when it comes to controlling natural light. The one I used on this shot is a 5 in one type, large round reflector. The subject had her back towards the sun (it was low but not setting) and I had my assistant angle the gold side until it hit her face. Really that’s all there is too it. I exposed for the face but the reflector compresses the light in such a nice way that it makes that pretty easy too.
The only minor thing I did in Lightroom was to remove some of the gold light from her teeth. I thing to watch-out for! If you cant afford a reflector just use the a foil window shade (the type you get for a car). Of course they are normally silver so not as good as the gold in this case. My reflector also has a white side, which lets you filter direct light. I took a few shots with that as well but in the end the sea made a much nicer background.