My original idea was to post about polarizing filters, but Gabby beat me to it! :-) After some thought, I decided to post about polarizing filters anyway. One unusual aspect of these filters is that their effect changes as you rotate the filter. They work based on the angle of light in relation to the filter, so when you spin it or pan the camera, the effect changes. (See Gabby’s post for more on polarizer effects.)
I have two example photos taken from the deck behind my house. The view is of my family’s organic dairy farm (our milk is sold by Organic Valley). I used a polarizer for both, just rotated it for opposite effects (warm vs. cool). Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture without the polarizer. Both pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 10D and Canon EF 16-35/2.8L USM. The metadata for both is f5, 1/100sec., ISO 200, and 35mm.
The only problems with polarizers are that they take a few extra moments to put on your lens, and they decrease the amount of light reaching the sensor by about two stops. They are otherwise invaluable–everyone should have one in their bag.
Flowerpod: A unique little device that functions like a free-standing plamp. It is a compass rule mounted on three legs that you can use to hold flowers steady. For more info, go here http://www.appalachianjourney.com/flowerpod/page42/page42.html
Glycerin: Glycerin is a common ingredient in soap, and is a very thick substance. It appears a lot like water, but due to it’s thickness, it moves slower. It’s slow movement allows you to use it in place of water in some shots were you may want to catch motion. You should only use glycerin for 1-5 drops in a photo. Don’t cover the subject with it. If you want a lot of drops, get a small pocket mister with water. Also, after you are done, take a cloth and clean the glycerin off the subject. Small insects can get caught in it and die. The best method for placing the drops is an eye-dropper or medicine dropper.
The drop in the image shown is glycerin. As you can see, it looks exactly like water.
Wire Retriever: A wire retriever basically looks like a j with a dot at the hooked end. However, many versions can extend up to 4 ft. or more. This is helpful for moving elements in the photo just the way you want them while still looking through the viewfinder. Find one at your local home supply store.
All of these are amazingly useful tools, and can be really helpful, especially in garden photography.
Metadata: Canon EOS 50D with 100mm macro lens. ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/125th of a second. tripod, no flash. Drop is glycerin.
Wednesday: We had an all day macro workshop. We spent all day making images, playing around, and having fun! We had a blast, and it was one of the best days there. Our instructors that day were Nancy Rotenburg, Les Saucier, and Kris Morgan. It was amazing!
Thursday: We attended the Summit, and went to presentations from top nature photographers on so many different topics. It was amazingly educational, and I can’t begin to relate all of the stuff I learned.
Friday: Same as Thursday, but we also got a pizza party (Thanks to Hunt’s Photo) a talk about the Nature’s Best Student magazine, and a chat with Art Wolfe.
Saturday: More learning, and a chat with Norbert Rosing. We also gave our speech and presentation to the general membership.
Sunday: We left.
Image Metadata: ISO 800, f/6.3, 1/5th of a second. Canon EOS 50D with 100mm macro lens. Tripod, flowerpod.
I’ll have more images when I return!
I’m in the process of going through all of my photos from the gigantic road-trip I took this past fall/winter. I came across this image from November, which I took in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument of Utah.
I had processed one from the road but I was just never happy with how it looked. The initial version, in my opinion was too warm. Also, the sky is too dark, and I think that I did a bad job handling the foreground.
This is the initial version.
This is the newly processed version.
I don’t have much of a point here, other than saying that it’s always worth it to try processing an image twice. Maybe you might even prefer the first one. Regardless, giving an image you’re unsatisfied with a second glance is a good idea. The most you have to lose is a few minutes of your time.