70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy Place

There is no doubt about it, I love to be outside. I don’t always take my camera with me because I find that having my camera changes everything. I tend to be more analytical with my camera in hand. Sometimes, I find myself looking for photos instead of just enjoying the moment. Then there are the days when I plan to take my camera. A few weeks ago it was sunny and warm after a few days of cooler weather.  I went looking for bees, they didn’t disappoint:

ISO 125 200mm 0ev f/8 1/400

ISO 125 200mm 0ev f/8 1/400

Now there are some who would point out that the light is too harsh in this photo, that I went at the wrong time of day and the light is all wrong. Technically, they are right. My argument against that line of thinking goes something like this, to me this harsh light creates huge contrast between the light and dark parts of the image and that says Fall to me. Fall is what I was trying to capture here.  Also, being outside just makes me happy, the time of day doesn’t matter so much to me.

When I got this photo home, I was pleased with its clarity.  So, in Photoshop I cropped it, messed with the levels a bit to bring down the harshest of the highlights, and then sharpened it a bit.  Here is the original:

ISO 125 200mm 0ev f/8 1/400

ISO 125 200mm 0ev f/8 1/400

I think the crop helps this photo a lot.  I’ll also say that I used my 200mm lens to be able to get in close to the bee, but not be so close that I would bother it.

How about you, do you have a favorite place to shoot? would you consider yourself more of an indoor or outdoor person? Anything you’d like to say about the edits I have done?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half

I was up early this morning taking photos of my wildflowers when it occurred to me that perhaps I did have an entry for this week’s photo challenge, half and half.  As much I love taking photos of just the flowers, the photos tend to be more interesting with their other half, bees:

ISO 800 150mm 0ev f/7.1 1/160

ISO 800 150mm 0ev f/7.1 1/160

In this case, just a single bee.  He was the only one out this morning.  When I edited this photo, I did something I don’t usually do, I did a fair amount of the editing in Camera Raw before opening it up in Photoshop.  I used the sliders in Camera Raw to adjust the exposure, clarity, and highlights.  Then I opened it in Photoshop to crop and sharpen the image.  Here is the original shot:

ISO 800 150mm 0ev f/7.1 1/160

ISO 800 150mm 0ev f/7.1 1/160

I think the image is a bit stronger with the edits.  With the bee almost dead center, it does break the “rule of thirds” photography rule.  In this case that doesn’t bother me. To be honest I think part of what I like about this photo, is the fact that I was up early enough before work to have the time to go and be outside in one of my favorite places.  Do you have a photo like that, one that is more about how you were feeling at the time and not so much about the photo itself?  What do you think of the edits?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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70-200mm IS lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

I’ll admit right up front that when I saw that “Cover Art” was the theme for this week’s photo challenge, I had no idea what I was going to do.  Then I thought about what I have been shooting lately. A quick look through my files, and you would see that nature images is what I have been focusing on. Then I was looking at this image that I processed a week or so ago:

ISO 160 200mm 0ev f/3.5 1/800

ISO 160 200mm 0ev f/3.5 1/800

And there is my cover art for an article on the plight of bees. I was thinking in terms of a series of images.  The one above looks nice and cheery and the truth is that beehives aren’t thriving lately. I wanted to make the image that conveys that peril.  The above image was shot in a local cemetery and I had used an f-stop of 3.5 to blur out the background.  I also tweaked the exposure a bit and sharpened it in Photoshop.

My first thought was to convert it to a infrared image, I thought that would create a surreal, something is a bit off kind of feel.  I did that by creating a black and white layer in Photoshop and then using the infrared setting.  I didn’t like the outcome, but I did like the black and white version, which was the first step in creating this image:

ISO 160 200mm 0ev f/3.5 1/800

ISO 160 200mm 0ev f/3.5 1/800

While I liked the tone of the image, I felt that it was too sharp and that blurring would help create a sense of the bees disappearing.  So this image has a field blur filter applied to it.

I liked it, but was curious to see what a similar filter setting would look like in color.  So, I created another version:

ISO 160 200mm 0ev f/3.5 1/800

ISO 160 200mm 0ev f/3.5 1/800

Now I’m not sure which version I like best.  Which version most suggests to you that something has gone wrong for the bee population?  Feel free to let me know in the comments section!

Cheers!

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Animals, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Flowers, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Another Walk in the Garden

It is a busy time for bees that live near a pond that I walk by fairly frequently.  Last week I took photos with my iPhone, this time I had my point and shoot camera with me.  It was so bright out that I have done some post-editing with this photo:

ISO 100 f/8 1/320 4.3mm

I will tell you at this point that I had set the ISO to 100 and I underexposed the original image by a whole stop.  It is still a really bright picture.  So, I have applied a Sepia filter, but then toned that down to bring back just a hint of the original color.  Different than what I normally do.  What do you think of the outcome?

Cheers!

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