Backyard photography

Fun with my New Lightpad

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Pansy Heart Close-Up

Rich got me an ArtOGraph Lightpad for Christmas, after seeing me drool over some of Denise Ippolito’s flower shots.  I infuriated Squirt by photographing some pansies on the Lightpad out on his porch, where he sat waiting to devour my subjects as soon as I finished photographing them.  Whiskey was right there, too!  At our house, flowers are meant for eating…at least according to my favorite felines. I had a great time with the lightpad.  The lightpad provides a bright even white light to use as a background for high-key images.  It was a cloudy day, so I used my flash on my 5D III to throw some extra light on the flowers.  I had fun in post-processing, trying different effects with the colors and details.  The first image is just the flower lying on the light pad. I really like playing with close-ups of flowers, so after I did a few shots of the whole flower, I put the extension tubes on my macro lens and started focusing on the center of the flower.  I really liked how the high-key background brought out the whites of the flower. I kept focusing closer and closer until finally three extension tubes […]

Backyard photography

Frozen Orchids

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Frozen Orchid

My mom’s neighbors (hi Dick and Connie!) recently gave her a branch from a flowering orchid, and my mom was sweet and froze it for me!  I guess she wanted to see more frozen flowers on my blog. :)  Then she was nice enough to keep it in the freezer for me for a few weeks until I had a chance to take my macro lens over to shoot.  So I finally got my frozen orchid pictures… Orchids are pretty flowers, and fun to photograph.  My mom had positioned the flower on a nice angle, such that the petals all froze at the top of the ice.  That was really good, because the parts of the flower that are buried in ice don’t tend to be as pretty in the photo.  When I first took it out of the freezer, the ice was covered in pretty frost.  It didn’t last long in the 80 degree Florida heat!  (Yes, somebody forgot to tell Florida that it’s wintertime.) I got to experiment with flash and I tried to use the flash light to illuminate the flowers from behind.  I thought that might bring out some really pretty details.  Instead I ended up […]

Backyard photography

Photographing Pansies in Rain

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Pansy Droplets

I have a secret.  Don’t tell Squirt.  The last time we bought him pansies, I didn’t give them to him right away.  I took them to the backyard and photographed them.  Then he got to devour them. I have another secret.  I wanted to try photographing pansies in rain, but there was no rain in the forecast.  My solution?  A garden hose hanging from my crape myrtle!  That and a slowish shutter speed make for nice rain shots. Usually when I use a hose or spray bottle to make artificial rain drops, it looks really fake.  But this time the hose did a pretty good job.  My favorite shot from the day was a line of water droplets on the pansy’s stem.  The water droplets reflected the grassy area behind me.  I created my own texture by applying the Fractalius filter to an image of falling water droplets.  That texture was a nice finishing touch to the droplet image. After a while, the pansy couldn’t take the force of the water droplets anymore.  The stem broke off and the flower tumbled down to the mulch.  The sun came out and shone on the poor little flower getting battered by water. […]