Monday, May 7, 2012

The Water Ballet

     For some reason, my extension tube keeps popping up on my bed. It's like it wants to be used.  Begging for its turn.  Well, I'm not really into macro.  Main reason is I was never good at it.  Of course I don't have the right lens for it but that's not an excuse.  I just don't "see" things macro.  Or am I just doing it wrong?

     By the time that question popped in my head, I automatically grabbed the extension tube, joined with Carl Zeiss 80-200mm, and very glad there's a lot of sunlight.  I never read macro articles/books.  But I thought, "Maybe the reason why I get crappy, out of focus shots, was because I was using the wrong aperture."  So I decided to stick to f/22 all the way.  It's a 4:00 pm sunlight which is just the right light for me.

     With the smell and look of Spring all around, I see nothing but flowers everywhere.  Since I'm out to do a field I'm reluctant to learn, I might as well take photos of subjects I often avoid: Flowers.  They're all around, and the light is abundant.  The problem is the wind.  Using an extension tube and shooting on macro, I'll just die trying to get a well focused shot of a swaying flower, and still fail.  I tried a couple of things, but in the end I gave up.  Then I had another idea...

     Reflections!  Strong light to the subject will give me better reflections.  I set up a plastic basin and filled it with water.  Then picked up a flower and placed it on top.  With a little wind every now and then, the flower floats and twirls, fast and slow, changes directions, just giving me lots of frames I could ever take.  The scene was amazing!

The Twins
I'm happiest when I get the image I want Strait-Out-Of-Camera in a split-second decision.  I was focusing on the leaf but this was a happy accident, as the sharpest part was that single droplet.

The Touch
I finally got the perfect focus of this little leaf Strait-Out-Of-Camera.  Apart from being the conspicuously different shape and color, I find its way of pressing the water quite interesting.  The shadow was a downer, but I'll take this over a completely lit one with distracting highlights.

The Undiscovered
Many flower shots tend to show off the front of it.  There are some pictures where they show the back of the petals.  But as this subject is made out of three flowers attached to each other, discovering what is usually unnoticeable was a thrill.  It's like the insides of a well lit cave.

Look Down to Look Up
I was actually trying to fill the frame with the reflection alone.  But it was very tough, so I was trying a different approach.  This wasn't as perfect a shot as I wanted to be, but it's the closest I could get:  Showing off the pistil by showing off the bottom.

     Thank God for the light!  And thank God for the zoom!  I read macro demands precision but the randomness of the subject was what I loved most.  Its unpredictability challenged me to react with my hands, pushing and pulling the zoom while twisting the focus ring.

Each One Has A Dark Side
With the exact composition I wanted, the long wait was worth it.  This was a bit troubling to me, though.  I got the composition and framing that I wanted.  It's shown just as I took it.  But there's some strong highlights and the background was breaking my heart.

I Wish I Could...
This is another case of "I wish I had more ___"  I intended to compose it this way, hoping I could use empty space.  Those cheesy posters with cheesy sayings printed on the side, came to mind.  But I wish I framed it better.  Focused better.  Waited a bit longer.  Then again, the idea was there.

     I did get some good shots and a lot of them need post-processing work.  All-in-all this experience taught me more than I anticipated.  On top of that, it didn't feel like work.

     The day wasn't over yet.  But that'll come on the next blog.

I had some issues regarding this experience and the photos from it.  But all thanks to the people of DPS, I decided to show my real photos.  I rechecked my RAW files and see that these were not cropped, and preserved the images I jumped up for joy from.  But the heavily worked-on versions are on my flickr.

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