Saturday, September 20, 2014
Monday, September 15, 2014
Awhile back I finally tried something I've seen a lot online, but thought it wouldn't work for me. I figured I needed better lighting, but after some success with catching drops in mid air (see this post), I felt more confident about catching the splashes.
It ended up being really fun and slightly addictive. I want to do it again sometime once I track down some new backdrops.
Here's basically what I did: I filled up a clear glass bowl of water and stacked it on top of a smaller bowl placed upside down in the sink. This was just to give me the height I needed for a good camera angle--you can find other methods, of course.
Then I used my macro lens, tripod and external flash. I pointed the flash up at the ceiling for reflective light. Then I turned the faucet on a slow drip. Here's what my setup looked like:
I wanted to add some color to help the drops and splashes show. That's where I had fun experimenting with different scrapbook papers I had on hand.
I started with something fairly pale but the more vivid colors seemed to work better in showing detail (I had to pump up the color in the above photo).
The most effective paper was one with a very glittery/shiny texture. It helped bring out more dimension in the drops with my flash reflecting off the foily surface. I have it pictured here, though it's hard to make out the sparkles:
But this first method of having that same paper under and behind the bowl was a little too much craziness in the resulting images. The glittery appearance detracted from the droplets. I found having this glittery paper under the bowl gave a nice color from below, and then putting something else non-glittery as a backdrop meant the drops could have two colors intertwining.
It's okay if you see something different in these (if anything besides just water). Those were my first impressions and they have stuck with me each time I re-look at the pictures, but let me know if you disagree. :)
Monday, September 8, 2014
Anyway, enough talk. Here are a bundle of my favs.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
This isn't the typical "What I'm Into" post with a variety of topics. There was one thing that stood out for me in August: photography. It took over my thoughts, evenings, weekends and often my nights when I'd obsessively plan things in my mind, resulting in not enough sleep.
Early in the month I was taking drives through new neighborhoods, pulling over to take pictures. Then I was stopping by gardens after work and on weekends. One weekend I went to the wildlife refuge on both Saturday and Sunday. At home I was making messes with my photo experimentation of droplets, scrapbook paper and store-bought flowers. And I think my neighbors probably think of me as, "that weird girl who's always standing in that corner of the lake with her camera," after all the time I spent trying to get good dragonfly photos. I "pinterested" ideas (always a very humbling experience) and read editing tutorials to work on taking my photos to the next level. I experienced a range of emotions and thoughts related to photography and my pictures. In more dramatic moments, I wished I could start over again and delete everything I've ever showed anyone, because it was "all wrong." And of course I sometimes got caught up in whiny thoughts about needing to upgrade my photography equipment, as if I can blame it entirely for holding me back.
It seemed like the more I photographed, the more I wanted to try and retry in order to get the pictures I was after. In some cases, I got close to what I wanted, but in others I was still disappointed. And then I felt ungrateful for always wanting something better.
Being consumed by photography is both thrilling and tiresome. I was glad to make the most of the last part of summer, but sometimes I felt conflicted by "What's the point of all this?" thoughts. I have hundreds of photos to show for my time, but most will never actually be posted/seen. A friend of mine reminded me that every photo I take is practice and helps me be better, which is a great point. ("But then what?" my argumentative mind thinks.) They do serve that purpose, even if now they are just taking up space on my computer. I try to be liberal in deleting, but there's always the, "What if" aspect of pictures that makes me keep several--maybe I will wish I had documentation of certain flowers, for instance. You know, if I ever decide to create my own little photo directory. :)
Or maybe I'll be asked to post my photos in a gallery, and I will want to have several options to choose from. And that's exactly what has happened--my boss asked me to be the October "artist" (I never think of myself as an artist) for our little gallery at work. This will be my third time. At first, despite being very flattered, I was uncomfortable and hesitant to accept. I worry that maybe I'm taking the opportunity away from someone much more deserving. I worry that people will look at my photos and go, "Eh...I don't get why her stuff is here again. There's way better stuff out there." Because I think that all the time! And that's probably not cool of me to say here in the public, because it's likely smarter (in a business sense) to sound all confident and together about my photography. Well, I can be very insecure about it when it comes to more official ways of presenting it. And I'm not fishing for compliments and reassurance--not at all. I'm just expressing how I feel and how I'm sure a lot of people feel about whatever it is they spend their time on, whether it's cooking, writing, parenting, sewing or coding new programs. And the internet can be such a double-edged sword in this respect, because we have this HUGE pile of resources to help us learn, but then we are also exposed to so many people doing the same thing and seemingly doing it better (and often at a younger age and with less practice). It's hard not to compare.
Anyway, this is WAY more texty than I intended, but I'm leaving it. The photos contained here were all taken this past month, though I'm intentionally leaving out some of my finalists for the gallery. Might as well keep some things a surprise, if any of you happen to see it.
How about you--did you have any overarching themes in your August?
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Here's a behind-the-scenes look...