Landing in the Microverse

This science-fiction landscape is actually an extreme closeup of a decomposing Oak branch. 

Cool, aint it? There’s a tiny mite near the left side and at least three small fungi spore bodies (or possibly slime molds). If you like seeing new worlds, and I do, this is exciting.

I’ll be experimenting with ultraclose photography in the new year. It practically begs for focus stacking – where you overlap a stack of images based on the focus. The lens I’m using is basically a microscope lens adapted onto a mount for my cameras. It’s only a 20mm lens, but you must be within a couple of centimeters to focus. And by the way, you focus by moving the camera, not the lens. So a focusing rail and sturdy tripod are de rigueur  so to say.  I’m also curious to see what happens when I use extension tubes to move the lens away from the camera body and increase the magnification. 

Still there’s a lot to see even with single shots.

This jungle is a common species of moss:

And English Ivy sparkles with color or perhaps it should be colour, even though it’s dark from the cold.

I didn’t know that and wouldn’t have noticed it with just my eyes.

These images probably won’t make it onto our website, though I’m not sure about the first as it is intrinsically interesting, but drop me a line if you’d like a copy (I’ll probably aske you to sign up for the mailing list though).

Artwork of the week 1/6/23

One of the big differences between “just snapshots” and art photography is that the artist thinks about what they’re doing, what they’re trying to show, and how to achieve the desired result. 

I’ve been reading and studying techniques of composition because … well … that’s one way to learn. The other is way is to go out and shoot, I’ve been doing that as well, and I’m hoping to have meaningful interactions with some of the local photography groups. (We’ll see about that last part, I tried before with one group and had a less than stellar experience. Cliques and in-groups are a thing.)

One book I’ve found useful is Richard Garvey-Williams “mastering composition”   It’s inspired me to look again at how I edit images. You can’t always plan out photographs in the wild. You can try, but nature has a way of doing what she wants and the process of observation often perturbs the environment. Shades of quantum mechanics, say what? 

Today’s images show what I mean.  (and they are or soon will be available on this site.)

The original is pretty, enough, but it’s out of balance and a bit washed out.

Cropping, playing with the image chromatic values (adjusting the image values to remove saturation and then adjusting the midpoint level), and using various trickery to restore the size results in:

This is a vastly better image. The subject dominates the picture and the lines defined by the flowers leads the eyes to it.

Much the same happens with this image of a Swallowtail. Before:

and after:

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