Pink Blossoms

Click photo to view Hi-Res and purchase a print from SmugMug.

I currently can’t afford my Lightroom subscription, but I did find what may turn out to be a suitable alternative open-source program called LightZone.

It will take a few photos, I think, until I can start really judging how I feel about its capabilities and output.

For instance: this flower photo I edited in LightZone. I’m not sure if it was my ISO or if LightZone was really rough on the image, but there’s a fair amount of grain in this photo. I still think it’s a great photo, but I’m not sure if that’s the program or how much of it might be the program.


Bee Mine

Click photo to view Hi-Res and purchase a print from SmugMug.

About all-in-focus insect photography

There’s a multi-photograph technique that you can use to edit stunning macro photographs.

Essentially the method is using multiple photographs, each at different focus points and layering them to achieve one photo where the subject is completely in focus.

It can be tough to get so close to a Grasshopper, Bee or tiny row of flowers and get much in focus. The closer I get the shorter the focal range I have. I can sometimes get a head in stunning detail, but the back or wings if even slightly farther away from the lens will be blurry.

I haven’t learned the exact process yet, but if you take a series of photos to capture the head in focus in one, the abdomen in another and the wings in yet another(just as an example), you can then combine them on your computer and mix them so only the in-focus parts come through – thus achieving an entire picture that is all in focus.

Until then, I very much love trying to capture tiny life like Mr. Bee here.

Among Soft Grass

Click photo to view Hi-Res and purchase a print from SmugMug.

Pushing yourself without pushing out the fun

Granted I have developed some kind of abnormal, super-human love of photography that can make almost anything seem trivial by comparison, but I love seeing someone else’s photo and trying to create a similar outcome(even if the subject is different) or coming up with my own wild ideas and pushing myself to see what I can get from it.

Sometimes the outcome is nothing like what I had in my head, the outcome is something like what I imagined but just didn’t look good at all when I actually took the shot or I get a totally new result altogether that’s stunning and makes me smile.

Among Soft Grass

There was a more vibrant green and slightly taller patch of grass with thinner blades among the regular, mowed grass at Wingfoot Lake park in Ohio. Totally ordinary. It was just a slightly different kind of grass that was growing faster in a more moist spot of ground near a small pond. Other than that, it was just grass. I mean it was grass – the stuff was everywhere.

But I had seen some soft closeups on Flickr and wanted to try my hand at it. I found a small flower – maybe a really bright, prettier flower would have made the photo better, but I still love it. I had to get down on my stomach to get this shot. I also kept switching between auto-focus and manual focus.

I finally opted to take a few shots in manual and ever so slightly adjust the focus, hoping that the flower in the center was crisp in at least one shot.

I think I will try to recreate this shot one day with a more colorful subject in the center, but I still really love it.

Delicate Summer

Click photo to view Hi-Res and purchase a print from SmugMug.

Never ending experimentation

I believe there is forever an infinite amount of room in experimenting and trying new things in photography. There is something to be said about learning basics, structure and grounded foundations in photography, but there is also so much room to experiment that I think one could shirk the tenants of structured and educated art and photography for an entire lifetime, and produce marvelous views of the world around us.

Shining in the sun

I remember when I took this photo. I was still learning and teaching myself a lot about photography at breakneck speeds. I wanted to try anything and everything and couldn’t click the shutter fast enough.

I snapped this photo in front of my mother’s house with the sun in front(and to my right) of me, lighting up the stems and petals on the flowers.

Magic Carpet

Click photo to view Hi-Res and purchase a print from SmugMug.

I thought this was kind of cute. My mother pointed out to me that it looked like it was floating in the photograph, and the kind of plant is known as Magic Carpet Spirea, or Spirea Japonica. It’s floating like a magic carpet! 🙂 Okay, that’s a bit cheesy, but still cute.

I really missed this – playing with focus and blur on flowers. I really have no singular, preferred subject matter. I love taking pictures of anything and everything, but I do get to see more noticeable blur, Bokeh and focus in compositions like this one.

Looking up the root(hah!) of this plant online made me smile, too. It is native to Japan, China and Korea. I have a special fondness for Japan and the Far East. I one day hope I get myself to Japan – if that day ever comes, I’ll need dozens of 32G SD cards, and about a dozen fresh camera batteries, because I will literally be taking thousands and thousands of photographs.

Perfectly Imperfect (Wabi-sabi)

Click photo to view Hi-Res and purchase a print from SmugMug.

There is a wonderful world-view from Japan called Wabi-sabi. Japanese culture has many wonderful things, doesn’t it?

Wabi-sabi is a bit about understanding and appreciating imperfection in life. The most striking characteristic of something that sets it apart; the “flaws” that show us serenity in nature and life; the acknowledgement of something different or out of place; how seemingly imperfect characteristics can teach a deeper understanding of beauty authenticity through uniqueness and being “off” perfect – are all somewhat the feeling and some of the ideals behind what Wabi-sabi represents.

If this flower were perfect, this photo would not be perfect.

Flowering Step

Click photo to view Hi-Res and purchase a print from SmugMug.

I owe my Cousin for spotting this little scene on some wooden steps in Wingfoot Lake Park, in Ohio.

I was so happy to break out my 18-55mm lens after having it sit in my camera bag forever more. It’s been a long time since I used it, but I’m still really happy to have it. I can pull out subtle and focus blur that I just love playing with.