It’s been awhile since I have set up some macro photography and also quite some time since this beautiful Clematis has flowered. Two years have passed and it hasn’t flowered once, not once at all. In fact all 4 of our Clematis plants have been struggling, so to see one of them flowering and the others showing far better signs of growth has been highly encouraging. Have we done anything different? No not at all, gardening can be such a weird thing at times!
A very hot week ended and all I could think of was the coast. I left a stifling London behind, returned to sunny Hampshire and we loaded up the car and headed for a very warm Wittering in Sussex for the evening. The temperature there was much the same but the air was a lot nicer, we could breath. Since I took a bundle of lenses including my macro, I crawled around on the pebbles looking for nice graphical images.
I have done a little bit of a triptych here by producing an image from the original RAW file 3 times using different processing methods. The first image is the original as the beautiful warm light cast it’s rays across the subject. The second was produced using the cross processing presets in Lightrom 3 and the last was created with an orange filtered black and white preset. I also cropped to produce a square format that suits the triptych concept nicely. In fact I love square format images and may carry on doing this in the future.
You may as ever buy any of these images as prints. Why not buy all 3 to make up a fantastic triptych?
The Dicentra Spectabilis or “Bleeding Heart” is a truly stunning flower and since planting it in our garden as a tiny sapling about three years ago, it has presented us with a resplendent display of delicate pink flowers, year in, year out. Read more
All of the plants you see in the photos above with the exception of the primroses, that are “native” were planted by myself in the back garden. They are doing well and the garden is springing to life. Shame some weeds are too, as last year we thought a never ending battle with them. So hoping we can nip them in the bud early this year, if you can pardon the pun! Read more
Ranunculus belong to the Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) and is the cultured cousin of the Marsh Marigold.
[image title=”Tulip” size=”medium” id=”2164″ align=”center” ]
Just before Christmas we bought a great big tub indoors and didn’t realise that they had bulbs in. They have bloomed in the warmth of our living room and the artificial lighting has made them open up a little bit. Two shots here, including one taken with torchlight….
You have already seen the previous macro image of the same plant. This image believe it or not is of exactly the same plant but lower down it’s stem. Opted for a very wide aperture here to limit the depth of field as much as possible whilst retaining detail in the near foreground. I used a Plamp, reflector, tripod and my Tamron 90mm macro lens attached to the Nikon.
Ok wrong time of year for these flowers but that’s because I am writing a series of blog posts about the images that are now available for purchase under the Buy Prints page. I want to tell you a little bit about the images and the processes behind them. I start off with a macro shot, simply because I am a big macro lover, it has I’ve been told by various people become a speciality of mine and I guess they are right. I love to take my time over these shots and some images can take as much as an hour to get right. The United Kingdom is a great place for macro work because overcast weather is ideal for it and well, lets face it, we get that in plentiful abundance don’t we?
The Hyacinth you see in this photo had just popped up in our garden, a wildflower and I noted that this year they were very prolific around our area, growing around the edges of our local parks.
I used a combination of tools for this shot that included a tripod, a plamp and a reflector. Plamp? A great product from tripod makers Wimberley. Have a hunt around online for them, I found mine at Warehouse Express and it has been an indispensible tool. They can be used to hold reflectors in place or to hold stems of plants steady when there is a slight breeze. They cost just under £30 and are worth getting.
I love shooting fairly wide open, so that only an element of the subject is in focus and the rest is artfully blurred out to produce a wash of colours. Certain colours go well together such as blues, purples and greens. A shallow depth of field can also be used to conceal stuff you don’t want the viewer to see which can be very effective indeed.
I always manually focus as this gives you maximum control. Take your time, tweak the focus, step away from the viewfinder, take a breath, go back – Happy? Yes, go for it or if you are not happy, take your time and take a shot you will be proud of.
Later on in this “macroworld” series (see the tags over on the right), I shall reveal a few more things about why I love this branch of photography so much…