Fooling Around on My Lunch Hour

Posted in Photography Tricks on July 23rd, 2009 by MadDog
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Today at the office was a nightmare of server maintenance. The details are too gruesome to list, so I’ll spare you the geek talk and show you how I untwisted my brain on my lunch hour.

The first three images are from the Ontario Royal Botanical Garden in Hamilton. I visited my son and his family there with Eunie earlier this year.

The first two are of red leaves. The striking colour caught my eye, but as I snapped the images, I was thinking to myself that the composition wasn’t very interesting. So, how do you doll up a shot that has one interesting feature, but otherwise has little interesting about the way it is presented? I went back to my ancient darkroom trick, vignetting:

Red leaves at the Royal Ontario Botanical Garden

It takes only  a couple of clicks and moving a couple of slider controls in Photoshop to achieve the effect, so it’s no big deal to play with it until you have the look that you want. It is also great for portraits.

Here is another red leaf shot that has been ‘improved’ by light vignetting:

Red leaves at the Royal Ontario Botanical Garden

In the shot above the leaves are lit by the sun and I was shooting from underneath, so the intense colour is caused by the sunlight travelling through the leaves.

Still in Hamilton, here is an image of two water striders on the surface of a shallow pond. You can see the insects at the upper left corner, slightly out of focus, since the lens was focused on the bottom of the pond. What catches the eye is the shadows of the bodies of the insects and the huge distortions of the surface of the water caused by their weight depressing the water where their feet touch it:

Water striders and their shadows

The circular waves caused by their movement add to the effect.

This lovely psychedelic creature remind me of things that I see in my dreams. Yes, I do dream in colour – always have. I think that it is supposed to be a young giraffe:

Giraffe and turtle at Sedona Arizona

The image above is from Sedona, Arizona. Everything else is magical in Sedona. Why not giraffes?

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