Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Macro Mania?

They say that a change is as good as a rest and as an artist (swamped by commissions) I'm inclined to agree. Much as I love painting there comes a time when the I simply want to....

Tear the canvas to shreds!!

OK (that felt better) So, as to the change in question? I again turn to photography and the joys of the macro lens...

The two images above (the Pink Camellia and the Honey Bee) were both captured last summer and have since residered as RAW files on my hard drive. Well, we artists do get waylaid! So, time to get creative and do something with them?

Both were taken using a Minolta 90mm Macro Lens in natural light. With the Pink Camellia I used shutter priority (1/160seconds) as there was a slight breeze and I wanted to eliminate any movement. The result gave a crisp image with excellent depth of field which I later reemphasised in Photoshop after a few adjustments in Abobe Raw. To make the flower stand out even more I partially desaturated the background and used the burn tool to darken the background tones.

With bee I got really lucky in terms of it sitting still. Now, Bees aren't usually so obliging when it comes to portraits but this one made his way into my conservatory during a cold spell last July and was left groggy or whatever bees get when cold? I found the hapless fellow sitting on the white sill (perfect background) perfectly inert. Perfect for me too! The light was excellent. cloudy, bright and beautifully defused by the frosted glass of the conservatory roof. A natural light tent indeed. Due to the Bees statuesque mood I was able to take long exposures resulting in a perfect capture. Except for a little post editing and a few light filters in Photoshop I did little else to it.

Now, I'm not a purest. I don't believe that as a photographer you somehow 'fail' if you need lots of post editing Depends on what you wish to achieve? I love the whole creative process whereby via camera and image editor I can create something that leaves me satisfied with the end result. Thus using Abobe Bridge, RAW and Photoshop are means to an end. They give a greater range to the artist. Not simply a quick fix for bad camera skills but an endless set of possibilities taking the boundaries of photography ever forward and yes...upward too!