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Playing with Color and Black & White

Published November 2nd, 2011

Decided tonight to practice my slider skills in Lightroom and attribute layers in Photoshop. I focused on adjusting color in an image to create images that are predominantly black & white but have color in them to highlight an aspect of the photo.

Descriptions are with the images, and before and after images are at the bottom.

Images like this are not necessarily something everyone likes. What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.

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Playing with Flower Macro Photography Indoors

Published October 17th, 2011

I guess I'm just not the patient type. I sprang for the Canon macro 100mm f2.8L lens on Friday night rather than waiting a while.

Saturday morning I spent a few hours shooting various flowers from a bouquet I bought for just such a purpose. I set up the living room so I could shoot next to the window and provide natural light from the side. I provided a black backdrop behind the flowers using black cloth draped over a portable clothes rack. I shot macros both dry and wet. The wet came from a spray bottle.

Now, some would say that shooting flowers from a bouquet, indoors, using a water bottle instead of good old rain could be considered cheating. I definitely acknowledge these things made it easier to capture the shots, and my hat is off to those who do similar shots "in the wild" with wind and fickle weather and unpredictable lighting. I've done those before too and trust me, this was much easier! :)

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Forecourt Fountain & the New Camera

Published October 11th, 2011

Finally got my Canon 5D Mark II, 24-100 f4L ISM lens, and a better tripod. :)

Took some macro shots with the lens and borrowed extension tubes. I'm not sure the extension tubes are the way to go since my exposure times were longer than I'd like, even at the higher ISOs I can get off the 5D. The 100mm macro I'm looking at is f2.8, and would be good for wedding portraits next summer. . . but maybe extension tubes could let me wait a while to pick up that lens. . . food for thought.

More successful was the foray to the Ira Keller Forecourt Fountain in downtown Portland. This is my all-time favorite fountain (yes, it even beats out the Trevi Fountain in Rome, in my book).

I played around at the fountain with long exposures using my vari-ND filter again. This time I tried to combine it with a polarizing filter. . . tricky stuff since both of them work by rotating them and this meant screwing one rotating filter onto the other rotating filter then trying to rotate each independently to ...

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More Long Exposure Experiments

Published September 24th, 2011

Still feeling the need for a sturdier tripod. Made another attempt at long exposures using a variable ND filter, this time in the Columbia Gorge. Feeling kinda frustrated at the lack of quality of the images. Shortcomings: images not crisp (tripod, camera body and lens could all be better), so-so processing (need more practice on my part), so-so composition (wasn't really my highest priority as I was still in experimentation mode and the place was crowded today).

Starting to shop for my new camera, tripod, and lenses. Hopefully we won't find out the shortcomings were on the part of the photographer all along! ;)

These were taken on my Canon EOS Rebel XTi with the Canon EFS 18-135mm IS lens, using a vari-ND filter. Processed in Lightroom 3.

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Playing with a vari-ND Filter on the Oregon Coast

Published September 4th, 2011

My husband and I went to Canon Beach, Oregon for our anniversary in August. On the way out to the coast we stopped at a camera shop and Norm bought me a new backpack camera bag as my anniversary gift (he's a good guy!). While we were there I couldn't resist picking up a new toy: a variable neutral density filter. Not to be confused with a graduated neutral density filter, the variable neutral density filter (vari-ND) I bought is a screw-on filter that rotates like a polarizing filter, darkening the entire field to increase exposure times up to 10 stops. I wanted to play with getting long exposure times on moving water, and where better than the coast?

This was my first try with this type of filter, so the expectations I set for myself were:

1. become comfortable using the filter on my lens/camera

2. practice taking long exposure photographs using a tripod, remote control and bulb settings

3. experiment with what the filter can do visually for my images

4. be thrilled if any of the ...

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