Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Portrait of Milkweed

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving,
with lots to be thankful for!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Lensbaby Love Blog Circle: November

I went into the florist's shop intending to purchase some blue or purple flowers
 for my Rainbow Macro Floral Project/Newton's Spectrum.
I came out of the shop with flora in autumn hues.
I guess I couldn't let go of the beautiful colors of the season.

So, for this month's bit of Lensbaby Love first up you'll find some
 Australian Protea.

Next, the rich color of dyed, seeded Eucalyptus.

And finally, leaves from our woods - 
the real autumn deal straight from Mother Nature!

Next, please follow the link in our Lensbaby Love Blog Circle
 to the inspiring work of Caroline Jensen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Indian Summer

They call it Indian Summer, I call it perfection.
Whatever you call it, in the Midwest it amounts to warm days, 
vibrant color on every tree and bush,
and often - the end of autumn.

As the old saying goes, "if I could bottle this, I'd be rich".
Yep, everyone loves Indian Summer and wishes it would go on for months!

These images were all made recently...
my version of trying to "bottle" a bit of our Indian Summer
to hold and savor.

Happy creating to you.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lensbaby Love Blog Circle: October

Autumn has been spectacular with warm temps and brilliant colors,
but it also means that flowers in my garden are winding to a halt.

So, I decided that today would be a good time to show you some of the Lensbaby images
 that I've made this summer for my Rainbow Macro Floral Project.

In my blog post, Black River Pow Wow,
 I mentioned winning a web membership :)
I hope that you can visit my new website which is devoted exclusively to my photography -

Please check out my collection titled, Newton's Spectrum.
This is where I'm gathering the best of the Rainbow Macro Floral images,
many of which were taken with a Lensbaby.
It's an ongoing project that I'll be expanding upon over time.

Next, please follow the link in our Lensbaby Love Blog Circle 
to the inspiring work of Ana Rosenberg.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bees and Autumn Blooms

Cold autumn mornings leave insects moving pretty slowly or not at all.
The other morning, a couple bees fit into the later category.
They were excellent models, sitting still for over an hour!

I guess there are some perks to cold weather after all :)

Happy creating to you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bejeweled Morning

When we go camping, rain and drizzle are not high on my wish list.

But, I have to tell you I may have to change my perspective on this, 
as my husband and I crawled out of our tent to a spectacular sight.


Every possible surface was covered with drops -
resting, hanging, sparkling drops.

It was a bejeweled sight,
quite fantastic in a glittery, wonderland-type of way!

Hope your world is looking just as amazing :)
Happy creating to you.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Intentional Camera Movement

I recently wrote an article for the CM Notebook.
Today, I'm going to reprint it with a collection of ICM images ~

Intentional Camera Movement

You've probably spent months perfecting the ability to get tack sharp focus in your photos.
  While this is an admirable and important skill to have in your photography tool box,
 today we're going to throw sharp focus out the window, so to speak.

In the spirit of having fun, let us now play with "ICM", Intentional Camera Movement.
 ICM is freeing - no photography police looking over your shoulder
or need for perfectionism here.
 ICM is about embracing blur, experimentation, impressionism, and maybe even abstraction.
  With this blur and impressionistic representation of our world
also comes the added possibility for engaging subjective emotion and viewer interpretation.  

Just like play, ICM doesn't come with a whole bunch of rules or technical directives,
 but there are a few elements for us to consider.
 Basically, ICM depends upon two main ingredients,
 slow shutter speeds and camera movement.

Slow Shutter Speeds

A slow shutter speed allows us to record camera movement,
 something we typically try to avoid, thus softening, duplicating, and blurring form.
 The easiest way to get slower shutter speeds is to choose a small aperture -
 high f/stop number, such as f/20 or f/22.
 You'll also want to start with your lowest ISO setting.

Alternately, you may decide to add a polarizing or neutral density filter.
  Besides slowing your shutter speed, with the polarizer or ND filters you should have
 the opportunity to use a bit wider aperture which will affect the recorded depth of field.
  You'll also find low light situations (dawn, dusk, dim interiors) can provide
 some ready-made slower shutter speeds, too.
 As a final shutter speed note, in looking at ICM artists around the web,
their slow shutter speeds generally ranged from about 1/4 second to 4 - 5 seconds.

Camera Movement

Next, let's look at camera movement.  How many directions can you move your camera?
  Let's see....sideways/horizontally, up and down/vertically, angled/diagonally,
 all around/curves-circular, and away from or towards your body.
 Plus, with an extended shutter speed like when using Bulb Mode,
you'll be able to walk around with your camera while the shutter stays open until you close it.
 That's a lot of possibilities with many different resulting looks.
  This is where experimentation becomes a necessity.
  Thank goodness for digital cameras!

Regarding camera movement, I've found it's often successful to mirror
 the dominant directional form of the subject with your camera movements.
 Thus, with trees use vertical camera movement, on a lakeside view
 use horizontal movement, angled foliage calls for diagonal movement, etc.
 Also, remember that if you're on the faster end of the slow shutter speed spectrum,
your camera movements may need to be quicker/faster.

ICM Tips

In my ICM journey thus far, I don't have any no-brainer prescriptive formulas for you to use,
 but I have learned a few things along this path.

*Design framework/composition is just as important in an ICM image
 as it is in a sharply focused photo.
 Look carefully for leading lines plus interesting tonal and color arrangements,
 along with variety in subject shape and size.

*Some ICM artists shoot in Aperture Priority Mode,
 but I often use Manual Mode and Live View, hand-held.

*Bulb Mode can be helpful in ICM work,
 as well as Continuos Shooting Mode (Canon).

* You'll need to take LOTS of images to get a few "keepers".
The Erase Button is your friend!

* Subject movement can add another dimension of movement to your image
 and can be a perk - think wind or moving humans, animals, etc.

* Smooth camera movements often work best,
with a gentle movement towards or away from the subject
creating the subtlest ICM-look.

* Be bold and experiment!
  Take a few shoots, review, analyze their success (or lack thereof)
 adjust your movements or camera settings, repeat-repeat-repeat.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy the process!!!