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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