Experiment #3: Crazy Like a Phlox

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This phlox faithfully reappears at my front door every year, making the doorway to the house a little more inviting… which, I’m sure, is important to the UPS guy and the many people who leave lawn-care/pressure-washing/handy-man flyers on my door. :)

I photographed these little flowers right after a rain, and as you can see, I was able to capture magical light bursts on some of the raindrops. (Hehehe, just kidding, added later.)

Experiment #1

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This week is going to be a week of photo experimentation. I’m only planning to experiment in the post-processing phase, not the subject choice nor shooting technique.

This was a shot of some dainty little flowers we saw while walking along the Suwanee Greenway. As you can see in the original, unedited shot below, it was nothing special. I ran the photo through a series of filters to pull out color saturation and then added some distressed effects. Finally, I separated it into four sections to draw attention to each point of interest in the photo, as well to “spread the color around.”

unedited

Lethal Beauty

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I was given direction from my boss today about how she wanted a new printed piece of ours to look… “clean and slick” were her exact words. For some reason, I spun off into wanting to photograph something with those same words in mind.

Thinking of one of my guns, I decided it would be my subject for the evening. I gently rested it on my black glass stove top and used only the range light above it, creating a pretty decent image.

At first, I had the focus at the end of the barrel, but I think there’s more interest (at least at this angle) around the cylinder. I was shooting up close to it at 27mm, so the drop off in sharpness is pretty severe in front of and behind the focal point, but I think it works.

In case you’re wondering, this is a Ruger GP 100, 357 magnum with a 4.2″ barrel, stainless steel with a satin finish. And yes, it’s loaded… with hollow-tipped .38 special bullets.

Be sure to call and let me know you’re coming if you decide to visit in the middle of the night. :)

Don’t Believe Everything You See

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This amazing vehicle is a Polaris SlingShot. The husband of one of my co-workers brought it by the office a few days ago, and needless to say, it was getting a lot of attention in the parking lot. It’s an automobile/motorcycle hybrid (an “autocycle” if you will).

So I took a few photos in the parking lot, but decided it was too lovely a vehicle to have all of the parking lot distractions around it. I knocked out the background and “built” a studio background for it in PhotoShop. Just for fun, and to prove a point that you can’t believe everything you see, I changed the color as well. Granted, the reflection is not correct, but that’s because I didn’t want to spend anymore time on working on this one photo. To appreciate the beauty of this ride, you really should click the photo above to see the full-size image.

Here’s the original shot below. What can I say? The girl’s got some mad PhotoShop skillz. :)

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32 Seconds at 5:23:42 a.m.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugI’ve posted a picture of sunrise at this lighthouse in Maine before, but it was a compilation of nine shots to capture lights and darks together. This photo, however, is one shot that was exposed for 32 seconds.

Notice that the water has a gauzy, glassy look, and the clouds look a bit “choppy.” Why? The gauziness is because the water, obviously, is moving during that 32 seconds, and the play of light in the water movement is recording ripple on ripple on ripple and on and on until the shutter closes. Same thing with the clouds, but since the wispy clouds are broken and not continuous like the water, you can see their start and stop points over 32 seconds.

So how can one shoot straight into the sun for 32 seconds without “blowing out” the entire photo? I used a neutral density filter that attaches onto the end of the lens, reducing the amount of light hitting the sensor without changing the wavelengths of the colors. Sort of like sunglasses for a lens.

This was my first time using it in a “real world” setting, and it was mostly hit and miss… guessing what the optimal time for exposure was. This one was the best of the few I did. Because this method takes so long to shoot and to write to the memory card, I didn’t do that many. The sun rises a lot faster than you think it does, and I didn’t want to miss out on shooting from other areas. :)

You can see details better if you click on the photo to see a larger image on SmugMug.

(Portland Head Lighthouse, Maine   |   August, 2014)

You’ve Got to be Orchidding Me

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These gorgeous flowers are orchids that seem to thrive in my office, despite my not knowing a thing about how to take care of them, other than watering them regularly. I’m sure there’s a name for this kind/color of orchid, but I have no idea what it is. I like to call them “Officemus Beautificus.” :)

From a photography standpoint, I like how the background is so blurred while the flowers are in sharp focus, mainly because that stuff in the background is other plants and office things. I was not even using my best camera/lens for this shot and was still pretty impressed with the results. Also, I rarely use a light vignette around the edges, but it seemed to work well here.

And then, I just liked the quote, so I added that too. :)