Photographing Flowers – Techniques to take the ordinary to extraordinary

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When I feel uninspired, I turn to flowers to help break me out of my rut.  Its ironic, I must have a thousand flower images which might be the definition of a rut; but its a subject that encourages exploration and variety.  There is always a new way to photograph a flower or to process one. Continue reading

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Scanography: Tips for getting started

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Ever since seeing the work of a fellow photographer, and an exhibit by a fine artist, I have been fascinated with scanography (the use of a flatbed scanner to create images).  As with most photography, it seemed simple, place a few things on the bed of the scanner and push a button.  I was really wrong.  My skills as a nature photographer were not enough; I didn’t have to worry about focus or exposure, but everything else that is required for a compelling image is even more important when creating a scanography image. Continue reading

Photography Project: One subject three ways

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Lately, I’ve been watching Frans Lanting’s CreativeLive class The Art of Seeing:  Macro Techniques for Flowers and Plants.  Seeing him work is a helpful way to expand my perspectives and ability to see everyday life in different ways.  Frans shares that photographing a subject can take different forms:  Finding, Influencing, and Creating.  This is my interpretation of his idea. Continue reading

The view from Flattop Mountain and Blueberry Hill in Anchorage, Alaska

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On the first night of our Alaska trip, we headed out to this short hike and look-out after a fantastic salmon dinner with Mark McDermott and Cat Larrea.  This look-out is only a few minutes from their home and has spectacular views.  Here are a few: Continue reading

A weekend in Cambria, CA

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Bluffs hike in Fiscalini Ranch

During July 4th week, Mary and I escaped the heat in LA by heading up the coast to Cambria, the sleepy sea-side town just south of Hearst Castle.  We were really there to relax rather than a hardcore shooting vacation, but we found many good subjects, nonetheless.  Here is what you might see. Continue reading

30 day creativity challenge – what did I learn?

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Friends and co-workers engaged on a 30-day creativity challenge.  We were inspired by Matt Cutts 3 minute Ted Talk.  The gist:  30 days are going to go by, so why don’t you try something creative?  My personal challenge was an iPhone photo a day… with a twist.  I was going to revisit some of the apps I had on my phone that I haven’t used in a long, long time.  One co-worker asked…..”do you have that many apps”?.  Unfortunately, yes.  Yes, I do.  And I realized after 30 days, I only scratched the surface. Continue reading

Flower Photography: Why I (respectfully) disagree with my husband

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Last week Peter wrote a compelling argument on why you need a macro lens for flower photography……he made several points, a couple of which I completely disagree with.  I guess it is a wife’s prerogative to disagree, respectfully of course, on rare occasions.  For those of you who know me, you can stop laughing now.  So in this episode of He Said/She Said (or our version “He Saw/She Saw”), I’ll be providing a point-by-point counterpoint to Peter’s last blog. Continue reading

Why buy a macro lens?

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I have to admit, every time Mary says “let’s go to a garden,” I hesitate.  I gravitate toward the large one-shot grand landscape and find small subjects and flowers uninspiring.  Yet, each time we do this type of photography, I end up loving it.  Here’s why: Continue reading

Photography Project: Painterly effects with Topaz Impressions

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I’m focused on rebooting my creative muscle, and I’m currently in my flower/software phase.  You’ll see a lot of flowers, and special effects.  I have started working to Topaz Impressions, and as I get a feel for the power of the software I am liking it even more. Continue reading

Photography Project: Creating a painterly photo effect with textures

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I just completed my first online video course from CreativeLive Online Course.  The subject was creating painterly effects, and the instructor is Kathleen Clemons.  Kathleen inspired me to push past my comfortable habits, get reacquainted with my Lensbaby gear (yes, I’m going to try again), and find new ways to use software that I left behind.  This week, I’m focusing on that last item.  I purchased Topaz Texture Effects a couple of years ago, did not understand how to take advantage of the software, did not like the preloaded textures, and quickly went back to my old way of importing textures into Photoshop.  I have no realized that I have made my post-processing harder than it needed to be. Continue reading