Friday, October 17, 2014

Flying Over Switzerland - A new video I created using the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I shot a fair amount of aerial video (using the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+) while on vacation in Switzerland a couple of weeks ago. I finally had a chance to edit the footage and put it together for all of you.

There are scenes flying over Rheinfall, which is Europe's largest waterfall, some of the vineyards and farmland, and over some amazing castles.

You can view it here on the blog (below) or see it larger and sharper HERE!:



I hope you like it.

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If you are interested in purchasing any camera equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. I would really appreciate that.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Canon 7D Mark II - First reaction and test of the high ISO abilities

A couple of days ago, the UPS guy delivered me a sample of the new Canon 7D Mark II. I posted a photo of the box on Facebook and immediately got hundreds of messages asking me to test this new camera and give you all my feedback.

The number one question asked by you all, and the height of my curiosity as well, pertains to the high ISO abilities of this new camera. So, I charged up the battery, waited for the sun to set and went out to the nearest Friday night high school football game.

Before I get into the photos and levels of noise at high ISO, let me tell you about my first thoughts when shooting with the new 7D Mark II.

When I removed the camera from the box, I was excited to see that it uses the same battery as the Canon 5D Mark II and 5D Mark III. This is great since I already have many of those batteries and chargers. This also means that it is easy for people to purchase extra batteries from almost any camera store. I slipped the battery into one of my existing chargers, topped it off, and popped it into the camera.

Now it was time to put in some memory cards. I put in a 128GB Lexar Professional 1066x CF card into the CF slot, figuring that this new camera would take full advantage of the UDMA7 speed. Many of you know that I was disappointed that Canon did not make the SD slot in the 5D Mark III in the newer UHS-I standard. This means that the 5D Mark III could not write to an SD card any faster than 133x. And that is just not fast enough! So, the burning question in my mind was "Does the 7D Mark II support the most current SD spec (which is now UHS-II)?" And I was bummed to see that the SD slot is only UHS-I, once again showing that Canon is behind in their adoption of the newer standards. What this means is that the SD slot is much faster than the 5D Mark III, but not nearly as fast as it could be. I guess I will stick with CF cards to get the fastest buffer clear in this camera.

When I turned on the camera and set the current time and date, I entered the menu system to change some of the settings.

Note: I always change the following settings in any new Canon camera that I get:

* Auto rotate - I like the image rotated on the computer but not on the camera. I always select the middle option, which shows you more of your portrait photos on the LCD of the camera.
* Release shutter without card -I have no idea why Canon ships the camera with this turned on, or why anyone would want this on (other than for camera stores to demo). Turn this off!
* Highlight alert - I like this turned on
* I usually choose to shot RAW instead of JPEG (Since there is no RAW converter for the 7D Mark II in Adobe Camera Raw at this time, I have chosen JPEG, but that will change soon.)
* Change single shot to continuous mode. I like having the option of shooting numerous photos at a time.
* I change the focus to be center point by default
* I customize the "My Menu" to add my favorite menu options. And I just noticed that the 7D Mark II has multiple tabs on this menu so I can add more than 6 favorites. Very happy about that!

I was surprised to see the advanced focus modes, which I have on the Canon 1DX, on this much lower cost sports camera. Yeah, I call this a sports camera, because of the high speed shutter, but there is not reason why this can't be used for portraits or other types of photography. Speaking of focus, I love that the 7D Mark II has 65 focus points. This is very handy when shooting sports, or anything for that matter, since you have so many more options of where you want your focus to be in the frame. When shooting the football game, I did move the focus points around and tried different focus modes. All worked as expected and the focusing was fast and responsive.

I connected a BlackRapid camera strap to the camera, attached a 100-400mm lens, and I was ready to go out and shoot the night football game.

The first thing that I noticed was how small and light the camera was in my hands. Very different from the big old 1DX that I am used to. And when shooting in burst mode the first time, I was surprised at how quiet the shutter was. Compared to the 1DX, the 7D Mark II shutter is much quieter! After shooting for a couple of minutes, I decided to see how quiet the silent mode was, so I switched the shutter mode to silent mode. The shooting speed went from 10 frames a second to just 4 frames a second. This may not seem like much, but after shooting at 10 frames a second for a while, it seemed REALLY slow. I quickly switched it back to regular mode.

Another thing that really freaked me out, was the cropped sensor. I have not taken photos with anything but a full-frame camera in years, and it was a little strange. When standing on the sidelines, using the 100-400mm lens, I could not capture a photo of an athlete on the sideline with me, from head to toe. With my full-frame cameras, I can do this. But, with that said, it was fun to have the extra reach, effectively making the 400mm reach to more than 550mm.

I normally shoot in RAW mode, even when shooting sports. The reason is that I always want the best quality photo, and RAW files have more data than compressed JPEGs. For this test, I set the camera to JPEG mode. I did this because there is no RAW converter for the 7D Mark II yet, and I would not be able to process the images. And since I want to show you photos directly out of the camera with no adjustments, a JPEG works better anyways.

Earlier I told you about the memory card slots, and that I was using the fastest CF card on the market. Well...with the 7D Mark II in JPEG mode, I never had a buffer fill. At one point, I must have shot 60 photos in one burst and could have kept going. I know that this will not be the case with RAW files, but it shows that the camera to card speed is very good and will be ample performance for almost any shooting.

OK, now let's get to the burning question of high ISO shooting.

My goal was to create a test that was "real world". In other words, I wanted to use a variable aperture lens that many of you (and I) could afford and might use on a daily basis. I chose the 100-400mm lens which shoots between f/4.5 and f/5.6.

I showed up at the high school field and was totally surprised at how dark it was. I was looking for a tough shooting environment, but this turned out to be even tougher than I planned. I guess I am spoiled shooting the Olympics and professional sports, as the lighting is usually very good. Not in this situation!

I figured I would start shooting photos at ISO 3200 to get a fast enough shutter speed to capture the athletes. Not a chance! I set the camera to ISO 3200 and was only getting a shutter speed of 1/80th. Uh oh! Time to push the ISO into the crazy numbers which I usually avoid.

Here are a couple of photos captured from that game.

This first photo was taken at ISO 16000 at f/5.6 which gave me a shutter speed of 1/500 sec.

You can click on this to see a larger image
Another photographer, William Gerth, was at the game and was nice enough to let me mount his 400mm f/2.8 lens to the 7D Mark II so that I could test the camera at a faster aperture and lower ISO. This next photo was taken at ISO 6400 at f/2.8 which gave me a shutter speed of 1/800 sec. Both have digital noise, but are useable photos for sure. Heck, if it wasn't for these high-ISO options, there is NO WAY to get a decent photo from this night game, regardless of what lens I was using.

You can click on this to see a larger image

As I was walking away from the football game, I turned around and noticed the moon in the sky. I decided to shoot a photo of the moon, handheld at ISO 1250. The aperture was 5.6 with a shutter speed of 1/1000 sec. I did crop in a bit on this photo, but left enough of the black sky for you to see the low level of noise in the dark area of the photo.

You can click on this to see a larger image

Since I really could not shoot the game at "reasonable" ISO levels, I decided to do a test at my house. I set up a football helmet and shot the exact same scene at various ISO levels. This is similar to test I did when Canon came out with the 5D Mark III. I think that these photos tell the story much better!

Note: All the photos below are full resolution JPEGs straight from the camera with no noise reduction. You can right-click on any of them to save and view them at full size.

ISO 100 - Shutter speed 1.3 sec -   (Canon 7D Mark IICanon 70-200mm, f/5.6, Gitzo tripodAcratech ballhead)

ISO 160 - Shutter speed 1.1 sec   -   (Canon 7D Mark IICanon 70-200mm, f/5.6, Gitzo tripodAcratech ballhead)
Just in case you are wondering why I tested ISO 100 and ISO 160, I just wanted to prove to myself and others that indeed, Canon's ISO 160 is cleaner than ISO 100.

ISO 400 - Shutter speed 1/3 sec   -   (Canon 7D Mark IICanon 70-200mm, f/5.6, Gitzo tripodAcratech ballhead)

ISO 800 - Shutter speed 1/6 sec   -   (Canon 7D Mark IICanon 70-200mm, f/5.6, Gitzo tripodAcratech ballhead)

ISO 1600 - Shutter speed 1/13 sec   -   (Canon 7D Mark IICanon 70-200mm, f/5.6, Gitzo tripodAcratech ballhead)

ISO 3200 - Shutter speed 1/25 sec   -   (Canon 7D Mark IICanon 70-200mm, f/5.6, Gitzo tripodAcratech ballhead)

ISO 6400 - Shutter speed 1/50 sec   -   (Canon 7D Mark IICanon 70-200mm, f/5.6, Gitzo tripodAcratech ballhead)

ISO 10000 - Shutter speed 1/80 sec   -   (Canon 7D Mark IICanon 70-200mm, f/5.6, Gitzo tripodAcratech ballhead)

ISO 16000 - Shutter speed 1/125 sec   -   (Canon 7D Mark IICanon 70-200mm, f/5.6, Gitzo tripodAcratech ballhead)

ISO 25600 - Shutter speed 1/200 sec   -   (Canon 7D Mark IICanon 70-200mm, f/5.6, Gitzo tripodAcratech ballhead)

ISO 51200 - Shutter speed 1/400 sec   -   (Canon 7D Mark IICanon 70-200mm, f/5.6, Gitzo tripodAcratech ballhead)


One thing thast I found very interesting is that the file sizes are so different for each of these images. The higher the ISO, the larger the file size. At ISO 160, the file size is 5MB, whereas at ISO 6400 the file size is 8MB. At ISO 51200, the file more than doubles to 12MB. Crazy, but true.



So, what is my conclusion about the Canon 7D Mark II? I don't want to give this one back to them! This camera offers a whole lot of features and image quality for the relatively low price of $1799. And even though I have a Canon 1Dx, I love having a smaller and lighter camera that can shoot 10 photos per second, and do so with really great quality. And there are times when having a crop sensor would be beneficial to get me a little closer to my subject. Basically, I see this as the little brother to Canon 1DX for a whole lot less money.

If you have been waiting to purchase a new camera for almost any type of photography (especially for sports and wildlife) this is a great choice!

_________________________________________________________________________________

If you are interested in purchasing any camera equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. I would really appreciate that.
_________________________________________________________________________________


And stay up-to-date with all my photos and videos on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Aerial photos over Switzerland - using the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

I just returned from my two weeks in Europe, and have a ton of photos to review and edit. The first week was a vacation in Switzerland with my wife, and the second week was back at work in France, for the World Rally Championship.

As I sorted through all the photos, I decided to separate the photos that were taken with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Quadcopter from the photos taken with the Canon DSLR. In doing so, I realized that the aerial photos alone would be a perfect blog entry. (And for those of you wondering, I did shoot a lot of video footage with the quadcopter, and will be making another video compilation called "Flying over Switzerland")



This first photo was taken at Rheinfall (what we call Rhine Falls) which is the largest waterfall in Europe. My wife and I arrived in Zurich early in the day, but the weather wasn't great. Instead of walking around a city in the rain, we decided to make the day trip to Rheinfall. As it turned out, the rain subsided and we had a fun time touring around this fun area. I took a bunch of photos with the Canon 5D Mark III, but just like Niagara Falls (which I visited recently), I found it difficult to capture unique photos from the limited viewing locations. It was time for the aerial camera! And the perspectives were so much better from the air!



I flew the Phantom over the river to the German side of the falls and faced it back towards me on the Swiss side. I just realized that this is now the second time I have flown the drone from one country to another (US to Canada at Niagara and here)!



What makes the Rheinfall so interesting is the large rock formations in the middle of the water. They have a boat ride that takes people out to one of the rocks, which is the more distant rock with the staircase and Swiss flag.



Here is another shot of the rock with the staircase.



On our drive away from the falls, we decided to stop along the way whenever we saw something interesting. This was a ton of fun, as we found some cool scenes off the beaten path. We were driving on a small unpaved road amongst corn fields when we came across these vineyards. Once again, I grabbed the drone and sent it up to get a view of the vineyards and the town below.



After capturing a bunch of stills and video, my wife noticed a Swiss flag flying off in the distance. I flew the Phantom far off into the distance and hovered near the flag to get this shot. As we stood above the vineyards (trying to communicate with some locals who were interested in the Phantom), Annette noticed a large patch of yellow flowers, and wanted to drive in that direction. We were off to explore our next location.



It turned out that the large patch of yellow flowers was a field of sunflower plants. We both took time shooting photos in the field, and nearby nursery. After that, I sent the aerial camera up for some photos. I also have a funny story about this. After 30 minutes of photographing from the ground and the air, I could not find my wife. I figured that I would test the Phantom at search and rescue. I put it up about 100 feet and flew around the field until I located her.


Here is a frame from the video showing Annette photographing the sunflowers.



We did not spend too much time in Zurich, making day trips to other nearby locations. On our second, and last day in Zurich, we drove out of the city to a suburb where some of my wife's relatives live. Her great uncle is 92 and her great aunt is 89, and suffice it to say that they do not use the Internet. We had their address but we did not have their phone number, so we had no way of getting ahold of them in advance. We just drove to their house, knocked on the door and introduced ourselves. At first it was really awkward, but after we explained who Annette was, we were warmly welcomed into their home and I watched as the three of them talked about their family. As we were leaving, they told us about a back way to get to the freeway. We took the back roads and came across a local cow celebration. It was really funny, because we came across a closed road with a man directing traffic. He said "you probably don't want to go through here, since there is a cow celebration" and we both said "heck yeah, we want to check that out!" The Swiss celebrate the descent of the cows from the hills late in September, and we were there with all the locals to join in. After walking around for a little while and shooting photos of the cows with their huge cowbells, I flew the drone for a quick shot of the gathering from the air.


A couple of days later, we visited the city of Bern. We both loved the charm of this city. I also have to give a shoutout to Killian Brennan, who follows me on Facebook and through the blog. This talented young photographer / videographer was nice enough to show us around his city. As we were sitting around having a beer with Killian, he mentioned that there was a good view of the city from the Rose Garden. I knew that this would be a perfect location to fly the Phantom 2 Vision+ and get some aerial shots of this charming city.


Just like when I am shooting with a DSLR, I like to take photos from different angles and heights. You can see how different the perspective is between these two shots.



Our next stop was a visit to the town of Gruyere. I love all types of cheese and was determined to have a big ole pot of fondue in the birthplace of Gruyere cheese. We had an awesome lunch up on the hill by the castle, and I was feeling mighty full and satisfied. We walked around for a little while and then drove down to a vantage point at the base of the hillside. I pulled the car over and launch the Phantom for an aerial view.


Watching the direction of light, I flew the drone over to the other side of the castle and grabbed this photo. Another example of how good light helps make a great photo. I really love this shot of the castle.


This last photo was taken at the castle in Montreux. It turned out to be the last photo taken with the Phantom before I lost control of the quadcopter and sent it crashing hard into the ground. Honestly, I thought for sure that the Phantom had hit the castle and fallen into the lake. But after losing connection to my remote control, it attempted to fly back to me. I am not sure what happened after that except that it landed far from me and busted itself up pretty good. It still flies fine (with 4 new props) but the camera is shattered. Time for a trip back to DJI for some much needed repairs. 

And so, my aerial photography was done for the rest of the trip, but I was happy to capture all the content that I did. I hope to edit the video some time in the next week. Stay tuned.

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If you are interested in purchasing any camera equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. I would really appreciate that.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Friday, October 3, 2014

Different views of the Swiss Alps - from Mount Pilatus

Earlier this week, my wife and I were lucky enough to visit the top of Mount Pilatus, which looks out over Lucerne, Switzerland. To get to the top of the mountain, we took the world's steepest cogwheel railway, which at times will climb at a 48% grade up the mountainside. The ride takes approximately 30 minutes and you end up at a "station" 7,000 feet above the world. Amazingly enough, there are a couple of small hotels, connected to the station at the top of the mountain.

We spent a couple of hours hiking around the top of Mount Pilatus, and of course, I took some photos along the way. I wanted to share with you, the sights, the different looks, and my photographic thoughts when shooting up there.

One of the great things about the railway is that, even though it travels dangerously close to the rock tunnels, the windows can open.

(Canon 5D Mark IIICanon 28-300mm lens at 220mm, ISO 160, f/8, 1/800 sec, -0.3 exposure comp)
Having open windows gave me the opportunity to photograph interesting scenes along the way up and down.

(Canon 5D Mark IIICanon 28-300mm lens at 35mm, ISO 500, f/5, 1/2000 sec)

This was taken 3/4 of the way up the mountain. I liked the composition, with the building, the valley, and the snow-capped mountain tops in the background.

(Canon 5D Mark IIICanon 28-300mm lens at 220mm, ISO 160, f/8, 1/800 sec, -0.3 exposure comp)

This photo was taken from the top of Mount Pilatus, showing the railcar descending. I really like how the red car stands out from the vast surroundings.

(Canon 5D Mark IIICanon 28-300mm lens at 220mm, ISO 160, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec, -0.3 exposure comp)

I was glad to have the Canon 28-300mm lens on my 5D Mark III, because I was able to zoom all the way out to 300mm and capture photos of the Alps in the distance. I really liked this photo with the spiked mountain tops and the clouds blanketing the back of the scene.

(Canon 5D Mark IIICanon 28-300mm lens at 300mm, ISO 160, f/5.6, 1/800 sec, -0.3 exposure comp)

I shot some of the photos isolating just the snow capped mountains, and other photos showing the bare mountain tops closer to Lucerne.

(Canon 5D Mark IIICanon 28-300mm lens at 300mm, ISO 160, f/8, 1/320 sec, -0.3 exposure comp)

This photo is a great example of classic composition, usually incorporating a strong foreground, middle ground and background. You will notice the closest mountain has some greenery and detail that is very different from the others. And, the lines from this closer mountain are sloping to the right. The middle mountain range is more barren and sloping to the left. And the mountains in the background are snow covered and more rugged. The combination of different angles and textures is what makes this photo really work.

(Canon 5D Mark IIICanon 28-300mm lens at 28mm, ISO 160, f/4.5, 1/1250 sec, -0.3 exposure comp, Shadows opened in Adobe Photoshop CC2014)

When looking out the other direction, we could see the city of Lucerne. But I did not want to photograph just the city in the distance, since it really did not look all that great on it's own. I found this hole in the rocks and shot the city through the hole.

(Canon 5D Mark IIICanon 28-300mm lens at 35mm, ISO 320, f/4.5, 1/1600 sec)

As luck would have it, there were a couple of guys paragliding from the top of the mountain. I saw this as a perfect way to add even more drama to my photos. Great colors, high action and the mountain range as my background. A photographers dream. For this shot, I knew that the late afternoon sun would backlight this parachute when he first took off, so I prefocused and waited for this exact moment.

(Canon 5D Mark IIICanon 28-300mm lens at 210mm, ISO 160, f/5.6, 1/800 sec)

I put the Canon 5D Mark III into burst mode and servo focus, and shot numerous photos of this guy as he made his way around the nearest mountainside. This was the photo I wanted, with him flying out into the distance, but with the rock in the foreground.

(Canon 5D Mark IIICanon 28-300mm lens at 105mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec)
This composition is similar to the previous photo, except that I shot it wider to include more of the surroundings. I really like the previous photo getting us up close to the parachuter, but prefer this last photo even more, since it shows the height and the vastness that he is soaring into.

(Canon 5D Mark IIICanon 28-300mm lens at 65mm, ISO 500, f/7.1, 1/1600 sec)

Before heading down the mountain, I looked out into the distance and saw this scene. It was around 5pm in the evening and the sun was low. The thin layer of clouds were creating a veil over the distance peaks. I took this first photo at 65mm to include all of the scene, but figured that this would be even stronger isolating just the mountains in the distance.

(Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 28-300mm lens at 300mm, ISO 160, f/8, 1/2000 sec, -0.3 exposure comp)

I shot this last photo at 300mm, isolating just the distance mountain ranges. I just love the patterns and absence of colors. Even though this is monochromatic, there is just a hint of the pending colors of sunset in the background.

If you are ever lucky enough to find yourself in the Lucerne area, treat yourself to a trip up Pilatus. It is well worth the money, and you can find some great photos of your own.

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If you are interested in purchasing any camera equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. I would really appreciate that.
_________________________________________________________________________________


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My inspiration for writing this blog

I will be honest, there are times when writing a weekly blog can seem daunting. And once in a while (luckily not very often) I contemplate taking a break from the blog. What takes a couple of minutes to read can sometimes take me hours to write.
But then I get all the feedback from you, the readers, and I know that all this photography and writing is making a difference for others. These are usually people I have never met, and will likely never be lucky enough to ever have a face-to-face interaction.
With all of my travels, I never even made it over to our swim club this summer. But I stopped by on Friday and saw some friends who told me how much they liked the last blog post.
And then yesterday, I received this email from an 18 year old kid who is starting his own photography business:
******************************************
Hi Mr. Cable,

I just wanted to say that I am such a huge fan of all your work, your blog, and everything that you so willingly share. I am a photographer in Greeley, CO, just graduated high school, and you are a really huge inspiration to me. I hope that you will continue sharing all of your knowledge and great blog posts with the rest of your fans! Photography is such a difficult thing to do; yet, it is something we find ourselves "needing." :)

I just wanted to say thank you once again. You've even inspired me to start my own blog at my website (I'm also using Zenfolio, also in part thanks to you!); while I certainly have little following, I hope that someday it will change.

Again, thank you so much for simply being you.

Sincerely,
Andrew Moline
www.a2mphotography.com
******************************************
As I do for everyone who writes to me, I checked out his web site to give him feedback. This kid is doing some really nice work.

Here is the first shot from his web site:

Photo by Andrew Moline

And to know that some of that education and inspiration comes from this blog is a real motivator for me. I know that most people charge subscriptions or make people pay to learn a trade. But money is not the motivating factor behind the blog. It is the amazing stories that I hear every week, from people like Andrew. I understand what he says about the "need" to shoot, and the elation we feel when we capture a great photo. I just wish I had felt this passion at his young age.

How many times in our lives do we get a chance to inspire people all over the world? With the advent of the Internet and social media, information can easily be spread around the globe. I feel lucky to have this forum to share with you all. What started as a blog for my friends and family (to keep up with my travels) has turned into something so much bigger.

And I thank all of you for being a part of this and for sharing your interest in photography.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Photographing flowers at your local nursery

A while back, I made a couple of trips to our neighborhood nursery to photograph some of their flowers. I grabbed my Canon 1Dx and Canon 100mm macro lens and had some fun. My goal was to capture some of the colors and patterns of the plants, and try to isolate some of the cool details that we might not normally see.


I started shooting wide shots of the flowers, looking for the most interesting colors.


I also came across these leaves and enjoyed the simple green colors. I shot this at f4 while focusing on the one leaf, therefore letting the leaves in the foreground and background fall out of focus.


Keeping with the "leaf thing" I shot this photo. I really liked the patterns here. This was cool, but I quickly decided that I wanted to get even closer.


When photographing flowers like this, you really need to move around a lot to find the right composition. For this shot, I kept getting lower to the ground and moving left and right to get the composition you see here. I made sure to focus on the anthers (which generate the pollen) of the middle flower, drawing the viewer's eyes to the center of the photo.


Using the same grouping of flowers, I moved directly overhead and shot this. A totally different perspective, but equally interesting. At least, I think so...



Then I got down low to the ground and shot this photo of the flower at eye level. This is a perfect example of how one plant can yield totally different visual results.


While examining these same flowers, I noticed that the underneath of the flower was just as interesting as the top view. And since my goal was to show details usually not seen, I saw this as a cool opportunity to bring attention to something that is usually ignored.


I have always been attracted to repeating patterns, and really liked this composition. There is something very simple and tranquil about this photo, as compared to the shot below which is more vibrant and visually stimulating.


These flowers reminded me of fireworks.


Using the Canon 100mm macro lens to it's fullest, I got right into the middle of these flowers to show more detail.




My second trip to the nursery was just after a light rainfall, and I was hoping to capture some macro shots showing water drops on the flowers. And this is exactly what I found when arrived.


For this shot, I decided to make the water drops the subject, and not the flower. For this, I isolated just one side of the flower, and focused on a couple of water drops.


I used a narrow depth of field to isolate a small slice of the flower. I wanted to isolate a few of the smaller water drops, and keep the center of the flower in reasonable focus. (Photographer's tip: When you are shooting macro photos, where the depth of field is more narrow than usual, I encourage you to try different apertures. Try shooting at f/4, then switch to f/8, f/11, f/16 and so on. This will give you some different perspectives and give you a choice of which you like the best.)


This final shot was one of my favorites from the two photo shoots. I decided to photograph only half of the flower from above, and maintain focus on all the water droplets. I think that this is a good example of how an image can be pleasing without having to show the whole subject. This same method is widely used when photographing portraits, when the subject is cropped tight.

For those of you who live in cities, where you don't have a lot of wild foliage to photograph, I encourage you to head down to your local park or nursery.  Remember to ask permission and be respectful of the workers and patrons. And most importantly, experiment with your camera and have fun!

_________________________________________________________________________________

If you are interested in purchasing any camera equipment, please click here to go to B&H Photo, as I get a referral from them if you enter this way. I would really appreciate that.

_________________________________________________________________________________