Still life, close up / macro photography has been something of a summer project for me. Rarely have I had the chance to use my newly acquired second-hand close up filter on the front of my Nikor 50mm f/1.8 lens but last week I was lucky enough to spend the whole day playing with Lego. Apart from the great sense of nostalgia I felt getting out my old toys and fooling around, it was a very interesting technical exercise and I learn a lot.
This photograph was also taken with flash (a Nikon SB-800) off camera. I found that the tripod wasn’t as useful as I had imagined because the shutter speeds were so short. Also I prefer the look of the depth of field at f/2.8 rather than f/1.8 – this goes back to portraits though and this photo is a portrait of a Lego man.
I remembered that the butterfly house at London Zoo was one of the best areas for photography last year so when I returned earlier this month I made sure I got there. I took a lot more pictures this time and remembered to record the names of the various species of butterfly I captured on camera. The photograph above shows a Glasswing Butterfly on Ciaran’s hand. He was taking a photo of another creature and noticed it on his hand. It stayed there for a good 5 minutes whilst I was able to get a sharp photograph. It’s a shame about the distracting camera in the background…or is it?
This was one of the more experimental photographs that came out of Tuesday’s fashion photography workshop and was taken as more of a test for future shoots than anything. The idea of using bubbles in a portrait was going to be difficult for a number of reasons. Firstly the bubbles move, so focusing on them would require a lot of trial and error. For the camera to focus and the shutter to be pressed before the moving bubble hit anything or exploded would be more difficult in my opinion that the exploding paint balloons we had just finished shooting.
However, despite my doubts we tried it. There were two people blowing balloons towards the single studio flash we had being using throughout the last two days photography. Out of about 30 – 50 attempts the camera only managed to find a focus and take a picture six times and this was the only picture that came up on screen with the bubbles sharp rather than the balloons. With the bubbles being so see through, the camera’s sensor didn’t pick them out most of the time. Perhaps next time I could try manual focus, but this might be even more complex with the bubbles moving constantly.
The natural light was falling on this birthday cake at the perfect angle when I took this photograph and although at first it was almost deleted, on closer inspection it appeared very sharp so I thought it might be worth processing. Taken last year outside in the garden as a simple snap shot, hand held no tripod or other kind of camera support here. I think what probably put me off sharing it with you back in Easter is because I didn’t get all the flowers in, being some what of a perfectionist I like to include all the detail that is there, but more often I am finding with photography that if you focus in on the details you can produce very different images like the one above. I’m sure if I had taken a picture of the whole cake on the table and posted it on the blog, your eyes would have been drawn in to this detail of the flowers, so why not cut out that process, zoom in on the flowers and in my opinion this resulted in a much better still life photograph of the flowers made from icing on the birthday cake.