Month: January 2011

Get in Close…

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It’s easy to overlook some of the things we see everyday. When we take the time to get a closer look at those things weather it be a flower,insect or sea shell and isolate the small details from the larger picture we capture the attention of the viewer by giving them a unique perspective.

Macro photography is close-up photography of usually very small subjects.  Special lenses called macro lenses are used. These lenses tend to require a higher f stop usually around f16 or higher to capture a good DOF (depth of field). Not a problem if you have ideal  lighting and conditions. Since the advent of the digital darkroom, we can also use software to build an image from slices taken from different focusing distance’s from the subject. This allows the photographer to use a lower f stop to compensate for the less than ideal lighting conditions. A set of 3 or more images can layered or stacked to achieve a reasonable DOF. One of the tools I like to use when lighting is a factor is called Helicon Focus by Helicon Soft. Although there are alternatives, this software seems to work the best. I’ll take a series of images usually 3-10 depending on the DOF  I’m looking to achieve and use this software to combine them for the final image. A 30 trial version is available from their site.

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Tell a story..

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Consider telling a story in your photograph. Technical aspects,once mastered, can add interest to a photo. However, being able to tell a story in 1/250 of a second can be the biggest challenge. Often these images are candid but can be planned out too. I found some of the best images I have taken of my kids are the ones that I took of them when they didn’t see me holding the camera.

Often this just means being patient and just watching for that one moment that tells the  story.

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High Dynamic Range Image (HDRi)

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This technique has been around since the 1950’s with film and uses a minimum of three (up to 5) exposures separated by 2 stops each. A tripod is necessary, as well as a still subject or scene. The three images are then stacked using software. The benefit is a greater tonal range and detail in the subject that cant be obtained with a single exposure. I used this technique for this image of an old farm truck in a field to bring out the detail and texture in the rusted body of the truck.

Recommended Reading:
HDR Photography Photo Workshop (Wiley's Photo Workshop Series)

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