Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A few shots from the arboretum

I took a trip to the Belle Isle Arboretum this weekend. It was pretty nice being able to take pictures of flowers in the dead of winter (I can't have any plants/flower as home...the cats eat them). It also gave me a chance to experiment with a few items. I got to give a good tryout to my new 22" reflector, which I bought from adorama a few weeks ago. I also got to try out a friend's 180mm Tamron macro lens. Finally, I got to experiment with a few tricks from the book "Fine Art Flower Photography: Creative Techniques And The Art Of Observation".

My favorite shot from the day was one I call Pink. It's kind of an oddity...contrast without contrast. There's no contrast in color, just contrast in focus and luminance. The foreground and background are all the exact same sort of flowers. I used the Tamron 180mm macro from about 2 feet away, and got this single petal at an angle where it was both backlit and positioned in front of the darkest set of petals in the background. This made the petal quite bright pink, surrounded by a dark pink, and then transitioning out into a medium shade of pink through the rest of the shot. However, to reduce the backlight effect a bit and let you see a little more surface detail in the petal, I used the gold surface of my reflector to brighten/warm up the petal's front side.

The next shot, I really liked how the photograph leads your eye along into a W shaped path. Your eye is clearly drawn to the white spike first, then follows out along the bright red, arching leaf. When it reaches the end, you are left following up the red leaf of the out-of-focus plant, which just kind of dissipates and lets you draw back to see the entire photo once again.

The next shot...I'm not exactly what sort of tree this is, but it is very fascinating looking. This shot here looks like a big pair owl eyes.

Finally, for the last shot I took some pretty uninteresting flowers and tried to make an interesting shot via multiple exposure. Trying to replicate multiple exposures via DSLR is a bit of a pain, but I'll save that topic for another time. Inspired by the book mentioned above, I tried a set of 6 rotating exposures. Didn't come out exactly how I would have liked (it's a bit more abstract than I was looking for) but not too bad (in my opinion).

In the next week or so I'll try to post a review of the book (once I finish it), and also provide a little more information about multiple exposures photographs on a DSLR.

1 comment:

Nina Kuriloff said...

Very interesting shots!