Working on getting closer!

Recall that I started an exploration into macro and close up photography a couple months ago, and posted Up Close and Personal on June 6.  I’ve continued this exploration, introducing a couple new techniques into my process.  The challenges I described in my previous post are still there, but I’m getting a little more comfortable with the solutions.  In the last couple weeks, I’ve started using my flash off-camera to better control how I highlight the subjects, and I’m experimenting with diffusers and reflectors to help control the light as well.  As always, the first time I tried the flash I got excellent results.  Subsequent efforts have been a little more challenging – the result of thinking about what I was doing and not just doing it.  Since I described the technical stuff a few weeks ago, let’s get right to the pictures!

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This is a Day Lily in our front yard, and was one of my first images using flash. The flash really brought out the colors and helped with sharpness.

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I took a drive up CA 4 to Ebbett’s Pass last week. This Sunflower was along the road…

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…and this Sunflower was in the same little patch, but had some wildlife wandering around.

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My lovely bride is very happy that this Hydrangea is finally blooming. Another of my initial flash images.

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This Anderson Thistle was near those Sunflowers. Many regard this as a noxious weed, and rightfully so, but it can sure make a pretty picture.

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I love how this Prickly Poppy turned out. For some, I took the processing a little too far. I did it on purpose to bring out the details in the stigma, styles, pistils, anthers, and filaments, and the lines in the petals. (Oh yeah, I love my wildflower book.)

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This is a bloom on a Butterfly plant that appeared beside my Shop Building a couple years ago. As you’ll see in the next couple images, I had a little fun with this plant.

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Another bloom from the Butterfly plant. The flash was under the bloom and I rotated the image to make it appear a little more natural.

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And I got real wild with this one. I desaturated (removed all the color) everything but the yellows and oranges in the center of the flowers. It’s a technique I’ve always wanted to try. Did it work well in this image? Probably not, but the experience of doing it made it worth the effort.

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I think this is a Black-Eyed Susan. Could it be the inspiration for archery targets?

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Another view of the Hydrangea.

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This is a pod cluster on the Heavenly Bamboo in front of my Shop Building. We were a little unsure when we planted this, but it is a beautiful plant and tough as nails! I used the flash on this, too.

I have another new technique for macro and close up – watch for it in my next blog!  Meanwhile, just Enjoy!  PHOTOROGR

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Water Water Everywhere…

My lovely bride and I made our annual trip to our grandson’s birthday a couple weeks ago.  This year, we decided to celebrate the centennial of our national park system by visiting Crater Lake National Park on the way.  Everyone should go to Crater Lake – but beware, you can’t take a bad picture there.

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This pano was taken from the west side of the Lake.

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Also from the west loop, this pano includes the caldera (volcano within a volcano) inside the main crater.

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From the south side of the lake. Love the clear blue water and great reflection of the clouds!

After a wonderful day at Crater Lake, we drove to Portland and had dinner with our niece.  The next morning, we spent some time in the Columbia River Gorge checking the views and the waterfalls.

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World famous Multnomah Falls. This was our first time there, and we understand why this is one of the most photographed falls in the world!

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Wahkeenah Falls, just west of Multnomah Falls. Also very spectacular!

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Another view of Wahkeenah Falls.

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Shepherd’s Dell. A smaller fall than the others, but worth the short hike to get there!

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We found this small waterfall on one of the trails. The branch at the top left caught my eye, and I used it to frame the falls.

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Latourell Falls. The rocks are the best feature of this site.

The Columbia River is spectacular, as well.

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A view looking east from historic US 30. This road was built about 100 years ago, and is a marvel of engineering. I think all transportation professionals should have to study how this road was built. This road was built with emphasis on the journey, not the destination.

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The Columbia River from the aptly named Vista House!

We drove along the Deschutes River – one of the images I shot there.

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And my favorite waterfall – White River Falls, in central Oregon near the Deschutes River.

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I wish we had been there earlier in the day for better light, but I think it worked out.

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The state park has several excellent views of this beautiful waterfall!

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I am going back to this waterfall – I promise! When one lives in the desert, one forgets how fun it is to see water flowing in July!

I’ll close this post with a few flower macros!  I’m really having fun with macro photography!

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Found in a park in Richland WA.

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I had help from my grandson taking this picture. Look close and you can see the bee in the center of the flower!

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I shot this on the side of SR 22 on the way to Portland!

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Macro and some creative editing.

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On one of our non-photo stops, a nice person working in a store told me about these Poppies and mailboxes at the edge of town. I found it, and had to make the picture. Not macro – but a great image!

Water water everywhere!  We had a great trip and really enjoyed the scenery.  I didn’t try any new techniques, instead reaching into the toolkit for those that I’ve been developing.  Thanks for following my blog – until next time!  Enjoy!!  PHOTOROGR