At the end of September I started a Masters course in Biological Photography and Imaging. This has meant a huge shift in terms of comfort levels when using my camera. My obsession with AV mode on the Canon EOS 5D Mk III has been fixed!
We have a number of assignment deadlines coming up already, but I have managed to get out and about both on the incorporated field trips and in my spare (haha) time. Here are a few images from our various trips and my own trips out.
I can’t decide if I prefer the previously posted image of the lilies where I’ve focused on the petals, or the image here where the focus was on a tiny point on a stamen, and the rest of the image has a blurred quality. I love the colours and shapes. Suspect I prefer the blurred version here, with shallow depth of field, as it feels more artistic and subjective.
Just lately I’ve been frustrated at my attempts at photography. My complaints have revolved around not having access to amazing landscapes, not having access to much more knowledgeable photographers and their skills, not having the best camera and lenses… and then I realise that with macro and plant photography I can just step outside into my garden and shoot some flowers with a cheap 50mm lens and produce personally satisfying and fulfilling images.
The purple lilies were my birthday flowers. The others are Echinacea and Anemone. The camera was hand-held (I pondered using a tripod and may try again using it), and there was a slight breeze. Despite it being annoying as it moves the subject about thus making sharp images much more difficult, a breeze also creates some nice blurry bokeh and movement in the background. In fact, I’m falling in love with blurred, arty backgrounds achieved with extremely shallow depth of field. Would it be too much to make a collection of images of just smooth and silky backgrounds produced by using the crazy depth of field possible with a 50mm lens? I may find out.
Been messing about with aperture again. I have to say that aperture experiments are addictive, as is focus stacking. Yes, I’ve discovered focus stacking. I can’t put up some of my images yet as they are part of my coursework for my BSc. Zoology (Adv. Zoology module) – these will be uploaded at a later date – but I was messing about with some of these Physalis from my garden. Here’s a couple of unusual focus shots and my first ever focus stacked image. My technique needs a lot of work.
So I started editing a bit to give my macro plant images a bit more character and unique quality. I liked the idea of toning everything down into moody blues and greys. I’ve done that with a few images and I’m really pleased with the results. In fact, some of these are almost the first images I’ve produced that I can say I’m actually happy with. Are these suitable for canvas? Maybe a couple. Would anyone buy them? Probably not! It would be nice to sell some.
I’m in it for the art…