Photo Storify

Photos, Stories and Scrapbooking

Tag: macro

Peonies

Every Memorial Day my Sarah Bernhart Peonies bloom. This year I grabbed my camera and walked out to capture the blooms in the early morning light. Then this afternoon, I went out again to cut some for a bouquet. I love these flowers. I will cut the new blooms each day while I have them, but I wish that they lasted longer than a week. They are spectacular blooms. So when those buds start appearing, I’m out in the yard practicing with my camera, an art medium that I’ve been neglecting recently.

Place Photograph and Template Layers
  • Create a new 24×12 inch document in Photoshop
  • Select a focal photo and size it to fit one side.
  • Drag the layers of template 4 from FotoInspired Template Pack 2J.
  • Reduce the size of all layers to 85%.
Place Paper
  • Place solid paper 1 from ArtPlay Palette Rougir on the left side just above the large photo.
  • Add another copy of the paper but flip it so that the flowers are on the left.
  • Add a layer mask to the second copy of the paper.
  • Use an AnnaBlendz Artsy brush to mask out all but the flowers of that paper layer.
  • Add a Color Overlay from the FX panel at the bottom of the layers panel. Select a darker pink from the photo and change the blend mode to Color.
Clip Photographs to Small Masks
  • Clip photos to small masks.
  • Add Adjustment Layers as needed.

Note: I adjusted the white balance on the photos that I shot on my deck in the afternoon light. I clipped Levels Adjustment Layers on Soft Light blend mode to most of the photos.

Add Artsy Transfers
  • Place the layers of Transfer 1 from Artsy Transfers Rougir above the paper layers but under the double frame at the bottom of the template. Delete two transfer layers and dark splatters and art stroke. Adjust position.
  • Place the the layers of Transfer 3 below the masks on the left side of the template. Position and delete layers as desired.

Note: I added a Color Overlay to a stain in Transfer 1 and a transfer in Transfer 3 to coordinate with my photos.

Add a Button
  • Add a button and thread for dimension.
  • Give the button a shadow.

I had wonderful light as it rose above the roofs when I went out with my camera about six o’clock in the morning. There wasn’t even much wind, something we don’t get often in a prairie state like Nebraska. By the afternoon, the wind was blowing again, but I found a protected area with good indirect light on my deck. I placed a piece of white board on the table and used with my small macro lens to capture different arrangements of the blooms that I had cut before putting them in a vase to bring inside.

The hardest part of this page was deciding which photos best told the story about photographing my peonies. Looking through my photographs in Lightroom, I can see some changes that I need to make for better photographs next time. Unfortunately, as I look out the window, my poor peonies are bent to the ground with all the rain and wind we’ve had over the last two days. I could bring some in to photograph, but the time to capture them outdoors is over for this year.

I encourage you to play with your camera and some flowers both outside and indoors. Then create a page using one of Anna’s FotoInspired Templates. I will add this page to the other pages that I’ve created for a book with my flower photography.

On a Windy Day

Every photographer knows that wind makes it extremely difficult to capture flowers in focus. I spent a windy afternoon at Lauritzen Gardens today. I was able to capture a few daffodils with the focus sharp, i.e. this shot at 1/5000 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 400 with my 60mm macro lens. Even with that fast shutter speed, my photo appears a little soft.

So I decided to play with the double exposure feature that is available on my camera. Artistically, I think these shots play up the action of the wind this afternoon. I like the effect.

Double exposure worked with some pansies too.

Aside from flowers, I experimented with double exposure and garden decorations. I especially liked the way the ball looked in this photograph.

I think this old door took on interesting dimension when photographed via double exposure.

I’ll try this camera feature again, definitely when I’m out on a windy afternoon, but first, I plan to return one day this next week to capture the tulips that were just about ready to bloom. I’m hoping for a windless morning.

Photographing Cyclamen

This is my favorite capture of the Cyclamen blooming at Lauritzen Gardens this morning. I don’t know if it is the leading line running from lower left to upper right, the pink and white color or the soft background blur of the photograph that appeals to me. I captured this with my 60mm f/2.4 macro lens.

The instructor, Will Fields, wanted us to work with a longer lens today in order take advantage of the compression in longer lenses that contributes to blurring the background. My 60mm f/2.4 macro lens was the longest lens I had with me.

In California, Cyclamen were a winter flower for me. I used to put them in pots on my front porch.


The photo below is probably my second favorite because of the leading lines in the photo and the repetition of the pink on a small Magnolia tree in the background.

The blooms on that Magnolia were just coming into full bloom. I used to have a Star Magnolia until it died following a recent cold Nebraska winter. Thank goodness I have a place to go to photograph a few favorites during the long, cold winters here.

I worked in manual mode today, first with my 35mm f/2.0 lens and then my 60mm f/2.4 macro lens. My work with a course specific to my Fuji X-T2 a few weeks back, recommended by Adryane, really paid off today. I knew my buttons and dials.

My instructor suggested that I look at the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson when I mentioned how much I preferred working with my 35mm single focal length lens, equivalent to a 50mm lens, rather than the 18-135mm zoom that I have. Following a quick search, I’ve already learned that Cartier-Bresson, a French photo journalist, photographed with a 35mm Leica in black and white. When needed, he used a 90mm lens. Will recommended that I research Cartier-Bresson as well as some other famous photographers. So in addition to practicing with my camera, I also have some on line homework.

It’s important to me that I develop my skills both in photography and Photoshop simultaneously this year. I am currently enrolled in two scrapbooking classes with Anna Aspnes. In an effort to continue improving my photography skills, I’m going to enroll in another upcoming photography class on Monday to be offered at the Gardens. I’m loving this dual focus this year.

Shopping and Eating

Today, Glenda and I went shopping. One place we stopped was Samy’s Camera because Glenda wants a small, uncomplicated camera that blurs the background. We found a couple of options. She made notes on her iPhone so she can do more research before actually buying.

After more shopping, we stopped at Tender Greens for lunch.

We had what they labeled a Harvest Salad with citrus and chicken on a lovely bed of real greens; no iceberg lettuce on this salad.

Today’s little treat was from See’s Candies, a store we don’t have in Nebraska. I used my macro lens for this photo. I don’t want to forget how healthy dark chocolate and almonds are for me.

I actually worked with the raw files for this post. I haven’t photographed in raw for quite a while as they generally always have to be processed. It was much quicker than I anticipated. I learned a nifty trick about Lightroom in which you shift click the whites and blacks in the develop module. It worked very well on these photos.

We’re flying up to San Francisco tomorrow to have lunch with my friend, Adryane.

Signs of Spring

2016-03-26_SignsofSpring

A macro lens makes the tiny buds and leaves of early spring loom large, much larger than they actually are in reality. However, if you are as desperate as I am for any signs of spring, it’s worth grabbing a jacket and stepping outside in the rain with a camera and macro lens in search of spring. Over the weekend, I walked around the yard, moving in close with a wide aperture setting on my camera’s lens to capture these photographs. I think I’ve learned to appreciate these little details in life, especially after a long winter of cold and snow. I want my family to know how much I enjoy the coming of spring as I remove the clutter and focus on the details of the moment. Yes, I am one of those who also enjoys removing clutter as part of a good spring cleaning at home.

For my scrapbooking, I don’t think that photographs that are cropped in close are necessarily the best candidates for blending into a background. Sometimes, I just want to try a different look from my pages with extractions or blended photos. Often, I am inspired by the photography and art of others. One person who inspires me is ViVre. She makes beautiful photographs and then combines them on pages with just enough art to enhance and emphasize her photographs. Sometimes she uses templates to display her photos. There is always a clean, uncluttered look to her artsy pages along with her own creative flair for combining photos with artsy designs and elements.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve 2015-05-10_God'sArtistrybeen drawn to ViVre’s style of focusing on photos. I felt her influence as I created the page on the right last year. I share her passion for making photographs, capturing little details in life. I thought of her work again as I began combining the photos that I captured over the weekend to create the page at the top of this post.

I wanted an uncluttered balance between photos and art for this page. I would like to highlight three design ideas on my latest page that I think contribute to this look.

2016-03-26_SignsofSpringFramesRather than blending or extracting the branches or flowers I framed my photos with frames from Artsy Layered Template No. 125. I generally save Anna’s layered templates after turning off all the transfers, stains and textures so that I can see just the placement of the frames, title and spaces as I decide on a template design to use.

 

2016-03-26_SignsofSpringBackgroundFor the background paper, I recreated the design of artsy paper 4 from ArtPlay Palette Bask. I placed transfer 4 vertically and recolored it using a hue and saturation adjustment layer to support the color tones in the photos. Just below, I placed ArtPlay Palette Moments solid paper 6 and blended it with a layer mask leaving the white in the file’s background revealed.

 

2016-03-26_SignsofSpringFramedTransferFor interest on the page and contrast with my photos I clipped the layers Artsy Transfer Moments 1 to one of the frame masks. In between the transfer layers, I placed a butterfly on color burn blend mode, layers from Multimedia Branches No 2 and the word spring from BigWords Spring No. 1. All layers are clipped to the mask except for the butterfly, branch and art stroke.

Even with the addition of a few more elements to move the eye down my page, I have focused on the photographs with a relatively clean and uncluttered page design. I love the white space and tension in the minimal asymmetrical page design. It’s good to be inspired by another photographer and artist, especially one who combines the two mediums so well. Now, I think I’ll spend a little time this afternoon spring cleaning before making more photographs or creating another scrapbook page.

 

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