Photograph of the Week

I’m rather proud of this image. It’s of the sun through the misty early morning woods in Alabama. Getting it “just right” took more than a little trickery.

The original isn’t bad,

but no matter how I adjusted it as a single layer, it just wasn’t the way I liked. Not that there is a great difference between almost right and just right. I think it’s a little too busy and a getting a good balance between foreground and background is hard.

So I cut the lit areas of the background out.

Then I used  Gaussian blur on the original image to produce a smooth bright background:

These were then layered together resulting in a composite that I think hits the spot

I’ve used the same sort of techniques in portraiture – both to brighten hair and remove distracting background without causing the picture to cross the “uncanny valley” into caricature, but that’s for another post.

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).

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