In The Yard – ITY31
In The Yard – ITY17
In The Yard – ITY09
I am still waiting for the Spring to arrive and change all the brown to fresh green. I wanted to go looking for a beautiful sunset but with still barren trees I did not want to have yet another image of naked trees silhouetted against the setting sun. I had not been out much this week and was itchin’ to use the camera. I thought back to my resolution last week and decided there were plenty of opportunities in my own yard. I just needed to get out and see them!
I know I have mentioned my penchant for photographing grass. It was with me during my initial learning stage and I have always been fascinated with the various elements available for subjects of an image. I have been a bit negligent in exploring this abundant subject matter. Tonight’s sunset gave me the opportunity I needed.
This first image is a single blade of grass at the edge of my lawn. Laying down in the driveway and shooting into the sun with my 60mm macro lens allowed me to capture the light of the sunset on this solitary blade. I also used a very large aperture (f/2.8) to isolate this blade of grass from the rest of my lawn.
Before I got up from the driveway I remembered a few rules I have read about composition and image subjects…
‘If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough’ – Robert Capa
I wish I could remember where I read this next one but I have seen/read it numerous times…
Fill the frame
Although I liked the image I captured above I moved in closer and captured the image below. It might only be a subtle change but for me it does increase the impact of the image. I see more of the detail in the blade of grass. There are no distracting elements at the bottom of the frame. There is just the blade…
Long time readers will know that this next image comes as no surprise from me… the dandelions are starting to appear! Following the same advice I got the macro lens as close as I could. This is slightly out of character for me as I would typically fill the frame with the dandelion without cropping some of it out. I sometimes feel I need to show the whole subject not realizing that there are times when less is more.
I also tried something a little different with the processing for this image. I added a little texture to enhance the mood. Although the original exposure was nice I felt a slight over-exposed look would work with this dandelion. By over-exposing the highlights the darker details in the dandelion show through. I played with the color tone as well for a little muted look and then topped it off with an overall texture and a little light leak.
This group of images reinforces in me to look beyond the grand landscape vistas and explore everything that captures your eye. Even the simple subjects in your yard can produce visually interesting images. Now get out there and show me what you find…
Photo Fix Friday
I have been posting quite a lot of my Disney images lately as a stop gap to my current trend of not capturing anything new with the camera. That trend I plan on remedying this weekend! So as not to get everyone to hate Disney I thought I would try something different – Photo Fix Friday.
I was looking over my older images (from 2012/2013) to see where I started and try to understand if I have improved any over the years. The improvement can come in many forms – image composition, style, post-processing, etc. I think it is good to review your older work. It definitely lets me appreciate my current work even more.
So on to the “fix”…
This image was captured at the beginning of my journey. I had just spent 9 months learning about photography and using my Sony point -n- shoot for all it could give me. I had just purchased my first DSLR, a Nikon D5100 and a pair of lenses to get me on the next leg of my photography trip. This is also during the phase of constant Google+ theme participation. This image being part of my Grass series of images.
As you can see from the original I was experimenting heavily with post-processing. This particular image getting the old sepia treatment. I hadn’t learned of the word subtle yet… 🙂
I liked the composition for Three Sister. I was also fascinated with shallow depth of focus as you can see. If I was to capture this image again I would definitely increase the DoF to get more of the foreground grass in focus. This second image is practically what came out of the camera. A few minor tweaks in Lightroom but my starting image none the less.
For this Photo Fix I chose to go with a less cramped crop on the grass. I know now that I cropped the image to remove the lump of blurry, green grass on the left of the image which I felt was a little distraction. Today, I used Photoshop to blend it away. The larger crop allows for more of the background to be visible and provide some breathing room for the subject.
I also stayed away from the sepia tone and went with my more preferred silver tone for the black & white processing. You will also notice a little less contrast in the new image which gives a more natural look to the details in focus and not so much a processed look. I can now look at this image without cringing… LOL.
Weekly Photo Theme – Dandelions
It was my turn to select the weekly theme and I returned to a subject that was at the beginning of my photographic journey… dandelions! Long time readers will remember a few posts about dandelions. I hope this one will show some growth in my photography skills. Dandelions are a convenient subject as my yard is usually quite full of them this time of year. Although I have been exploring and capturing a few dandelion portraits the past few days I was able to get the three ‘keepers’ for this week one beautiful night after work. I did have to crawl on my stomach in the yard to get the good angle. lol