Not sure why, but seem to have become slightly obsessive about reflections recently. Haven’t touched the camera for over a week and cabin fever has not irreversibly set in. Been meaning to hve a crack at these things since the storm in a teacup shot (see my Flickr stream) to try and capture some clouds etc. reflected in the water. for the last two weeks the skies have been a monotonous grey, so as the sun attempted to shine this afternoon I felt obliged to have a go at this.
Regrettably, my cd tray only had this knackered old thing in (it’s got more scratches than a cat’s scratching post) and I didn’t get the tripod out, but went OK from a test perspective.
For those that care, this was taken hand-held, with the Canon 50mm f1.8 plus 36mm kenko extension tube.
Odd week, odd week ending. Mojo departed around Wednesday and never re-appeared the dirty stop-out, so finding myself with an hour or so to spare this afternoon was a bit of a problem. Undaunted by the total lack of inspiration I ended up attaching the Kenko tubes to the Nifty Fifty and having a wander around the house.
Macro photography is rather more difficult than you would expect ( especially if you look at some of the excellent collections on www.lightstalking.com) and I had a lot of dull, slightly out of focus shots in the trash to show for my lacklustre clicking.
This little fella that we brought back from Mallorca with us last year was quite pleasing to look at though, partly due to the vibrant colours, and partly those sad eyes. Still need a bit more practise with these but I did know before I started that the tripos would be the best approach (was just too lazy to get it out.
Very little post processing applied to this except for a bit of sharpening.
I’ve seen quite a few shots recently involving playing cards and motion blur so though I’d have a go myself having borrowed a rather nice Manfrotto Tripod from a friend. I didn’t realise how hard this is to do by yourself !! – For those interested, the Flash was bounced off of the ceiling, and the exposure was metered for the ambient light minus around 1 stop.
Multiple test shots gave me a resultant shutter speed of 1/5 @ f6.3 which captured the movement of the cards quite nicely when I was able to get the timing right. Keeping an eye on the timer, and making sure the cards are within the frame was rather tricky, and I only ended up with two usable shots from 20 or so attempts
Sadly, my living room is too small to not have included the wall in the shot. I already had to clone out a bit of sofa behind me. This for me, makes this shot pretty much just below average, but at least it’s good practice. I thought about trying to remove the wall by copying or cloning in more floor, but my PS skills fall way too short to even attempt it.
Added to the list of shots to re-try properly at some point this year.
With the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro lens that arrived this week.¬† Purchased as an emergency replacement for the trusty Tamron, which has developed a rather irritating fault beyond economical repair.¬† Still in two minds as to whether to flog it on ebay for spares or repair (along with all my now useless filters for it or take it apart to see how they’re all put together.
Unfortunately, the skies have been perpetually grey.¬† That and the usual heavy work load has meant that although I’ve had this lens all week, I’ve yet to actually take any photos with it to see how it performs.¬† I did manage a couple of shots through the office window into the gloominess and have noted that the chromatic abberation (or lack of) with this lens is quite impressive.¬† It was always a bit of an issue with the Tamron.¬† Nothing too terrible but a nuisance to correct in post processing.¬† As for sharpness, I’ll have to wait for a better day.
Today’s shot is one of those test ones.¬† There’s a green washing line running diagonally across the frame (rendered almost invisible thanks to the far focus and Depth of Field), and it was hand held with a shutter speed of 1/200 @ f5.6 and focal length of 300mm.
The main reason for posting this is to try and get some discussion going in one of the Flickr Groups I belong to. It’s the usual thing, 1000 member, all shy except for when posting photos.
So, with the Group Owners permission, I’ve started a monthly challenge with the first theme being Romance. If you have a Flickr Account, and you take photos, then please go ahead and Join the Cool Britannia Group and enter the comp. there’s no Prizes, it’s just for fun but it may help improve your skills by setting you a challenge that’s outside your usual comfort zone. As far as I can tell, despite being a group called Cool Britannia, there are no rule on membership for those of you that aren’t sure where Britain is. The themes transcend the general ethos of the group in that it doesn’t have to be a British Romance (in which case two chairs with reserved signs on would work quite well). The only things I would ask
is that if you do decide to enter, please try and have a look at the discussion for the monthly theme and contribute to that as well
You come back at the end of the month and Vote on the entries – Without Votes there’s no winner !!
The group can be found HERE – Cool Britannia on Flickr
Inspiration, or something to avoid? You decide.