Joanne Mason Photography
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David duChemin, Vision is Better 3. From Craft & Vision
Photograph. Quarterly Magazine from Craft & Vision. Vol 3 Spring 2013
Photographing Flowers: Exploring Macro Worlds with Harold Davis
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Tag Archives: 105 f/2.8 micro nikkor
Here is another image of the garden gazebo that I found over the weekend and have been shooting. This spray of flowers falling off the roof and over the side is lush and extravagant. It’s a challenge to balance exposure on those flowers and on the structure itself. I see the main focus of the image not the flowers but the lamp. This has been processed quite a lot in post.
This is a good image to say something about the Zone System.
More after the jump…
Today’s red Ranunculus image.
I think I shot 200 images of this structure when I discovered it yesterday at the park. This is on my list to head back and do some more serious work with it. Meanwhile, hope you like this. (A different image in color was posted yesterday.)
Second Ranunculus of the new series today. This is another “high key” image, and I want to say something about high key because I think it’s an interesting technique and something really worth trying. Working with a high key approach not only produces interesting and dramatic images, but also can help improve technique and skills.
High key = High key light. The term originates in cinematography. Technically, it describes a high ratio of key (main) light to fill light, but generally refers to an approach to lighting with very high main lighting. The scene or image could seem washed out. Images can end up being ethereal or dreamy, light and airy, usually with low contrast.
In my high key images, I shoot against a pure white background and use strong direct strobes. As much as possible, I also try to eliminate or minimize shadows. There are a variety of techniques used. Some shoot against a frosted glass or plexiglass background and provide lighting from behind (in addition to key light in front). I always shoot Raw, and this provides an opportunity to further push the exposure to high levels without blowing out the highlights.
I edit these images in Lightroom and Nik tools in order to further emphasize the high key lighting ratio. However, in almost all the high key images I’ve posted here, I then filter the main subject (usually, the flowers) in order to bring out detail and contrast very selectively. In Nik this is done easily by first applying a high key filter or other brightening effect and then subtracting the same effect from the subject I want to emphasize. In terms of traditional photoprocessing, this is the same as overexposing the print and selectively dodging the areas of the subject to be emphasized.
High key techniques work best in the studio where you have more control over exposure, and where you can isolate subject from background. Technically, though, there is no reason you couldn’t apply high key methods on location. (I need to go back through my blogged images and add high key tags where appropriate.)
The opposite of high key shooting is low key shooting, also interesting for very different reasons. In a future post I’ll say something about low key images.
First in a new series of Ranunculus, one of the most photogenic of flowers. According to wikipedia, Ranunculus is a very large family of flowering plants. and a very diverse one. For some reason, the cultivated hybrids in the flower shops all look the same. I’ll have to try and track down some other varieties of Ranunculus.