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!
What a fun privilege, capturing moments from someone’s wedding day. I would guess there is no other day quite like it for bringing together wider family and friends. A day when happiness is king! It’s important to get all of those “standard” images; family groups and important moments. The ring, the vows that first kiss…The “fly-on-the-wall” is a fun way to ensure the other incidental elements are saved; these are the simple things that form the tapestry of that day.
This photo I captured while the bride prepared; another wonderful privilege, to be there as the she transformed into a bride. The other side of that coin is the groom but lets face it, they have it pretty easy with a tie, suit and buttonhole to wrestle with.
On the technical-side is another great example why you need a fast lens o your toolkit. Here it is the trusty 50mm 1.8 (lovingly referred to as the “plastic fantastic”). For the conversion to monochrome I used Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (not Silver Efex this time); I love that ethereal quality you get with Infrared conversion.
I’m having all kinds of fun with this snazzy little filter from Topaz Labs called “Clean”. When I first saw this I figured it was some kind of noise reduction or portrait tool. Either that or dust cloth for my lens; after all Apple sell covers and socks for some of their stuff!
Actually it has nothing to do with noise, the best way I can think to describe is it is a tool for enhancing surfaces and edges of images. You can use it to create a cartoon look for your photos and I think that would work well with the Art History Brush in Photoshop to make a nice “painting”. At the moment I’m interested in what it can do for edges in nature; trees, grass, leaves etc.
Using it is a snap; just load your image into Photoshop (or use their Fusion product and launch from within Lightroom or Aperture) and then apply a preset within Topaz Clean 3. The interface operates at 100% by default as otherwise the changes are too subtle to see. On the close-up of these leaves I used the “Stylize Details” as my starting-point. I’m not going to do a full-breakdown of the tool here but I do plan that in the next week or so – check-back.
Of course you’ll can mask-in areas as you see fit and on my image I ended with a curves adjustment.
Have a look at the full-size version and you’ll see the detail changes.