Mostly sharing my photos but may include reading lists or whatever else comes to mind

Macros and Close-ups

Week 11

My results are better this week than last.  I spent some time in Palo Pinto County out in the brush and hill country. There were many potential subjects that caught my eye. Here are a few.  All shot with my Nikon D700 and Nikkor 28-70 f/2.8 lens hand-held.

Barrel Cactus in Palo Pinto County Texas

Barrel Cactus

Cactus Landscape

Palo Pinto County, Nature Stone Outcroppings

Natural Stone Monuments

Lichen Covered Stones in the Palo Pinto Hills

The Sky Comes Alive With Color at Dusk

Display of Colors at Dusk


Some Macro Shots

I saw a few yellow flowers on a vine that I have growing over our electric meter. When the oaks finally leaf out in a few more weeks there won’t be enough sunlight for flowers to grow here so I took this chance to practice a little macro photography.

Of course processing is a big part of how an image comes out. Here are some before and after images using Nikon’s Capture NX2 for post processing. Anyone who is just starting out with digital photography as a creative outlet should not be too hard on themselves if the results right out of the camera are not exactly what they hoped for.  After all sometimes the conditions aren’t perfect but you see something of interesting worth shooting.

Most enthusiasts shoot using aperture priority.  You just need to learn a little about how aperture impacts depth of field, bokeh, and the relationship it has to shutter speeds and ISO settings for any given subject or genre.  Then if you can get pretty close with the focus, exposure and shutter speed or camera shake, you can clean up a lot of annoying short-comings when processing the images in software like Nikon’s Capture NX2, Photoshop or one of the other post processing applications.  This allows us to take an otherwise bland image and get something a little nicer out of it and it isn’t much different from what photographers were able to do using film.  This isn’t cheating.  After all the software is using the data captured in the image you shot.  It can’t correct bad focus or blurred action, and it can’t pick the subject or the composition of the image you take.  That is all you.

By the way, these flowers are about the size of a quarter.

Nikon D700; Nikkor 105 f/2.8 Micro

Image 1 Raw

Image 1 Processed

Image 2 Raw

Image 2 Processed

Image 3 Raw

Image 3 Processed

Image 3 Processed - tight crop

Image 4 Raw

Image 4 processed

Image 5 Raw

Image 5 Processed

Last Leaf of Winter

Last leaf on our redbud tree stubbornly hangs on.

This was also taken during the winter of 2010.  We don’t get snow often so it was a treat for us to see a gentle snow stacked a few inches on even the smallest branches.

 You can see a full size image at the URL below