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Tag : macro

28 Jan 2017

Shoot fun macro photos when stuck indoors

I like macro photography, getting up close and taking a different look at things. Today was my second macro photography workshop this month and it was a lot of fun, as usual.

I start off with a presentation and then set up five studio situations that anyone can do it at home. It is a great way to keep the skills sharp and have fun when you don’t feel like going out and fighting the weather.

I like putting a lemon in a glass and adding seltzer or mixing oil and water and seeing how it looks up close.

One of my favorite shots is putting glycerin on plexiglass and putting objects underneath and shooting the refraction. Peanut M&Ms are my favorite candy to eat and photograph, the colors are very cool.

31 Oct 2015

The latest sunrise of the year and unexpected frost

1411Today is my favorite day of the year to shoot sunrise, the sun rises at its latest time of the year since tomorrow we switch back off Daylight Savings Time. So today’s 7:30 sunrise becomes 6:30 tomorrow. I can handle getting out before 7:30, but 6:30 is always more of a challenge.

1473Even though I spent a lot of time in Vermont chasing fall foliage, I thought I would catch the end of the New Jersey version since the forecast was for clear skies this morning.

I was geared up to shoot the remaining leaves on the trees but when I got to the park there was a beautiful layer of frost on the ground.

Change of plans.

1358I walked around looking for unique patterns and great color before the sun hit, since I knew the frost would last only minutes once sunlight covered it. I found an area that had leaves from many different trees and the colors were really nice. I set up my tripod waiting for the sunlight to come over. I was looking for nice colors and found plenty of them and shot until the frost melted off.

I saw some nice leaves on a bush in the shade so I went over to check them out. The light falling on them was soft and warm and really brought out the color that was bordered by frost on the edge of the leaves. I worked my tripod around to get the composition I wanted and found myself standing there with a smile on my face. The soft light changed quickly and suddenly the best photo was gone but I got the shot I wanted and still had a smile thinking about how lucky I was to be the only person to have witnessed that fleeting moment of natural wonder.

31 Oct 2015

Shooting macros of leaves in my backyard

Maple Cells     As I was out early this morning getting some shots from the last blast of fall foliage, I was trying to shoot the sunlight coming through a leaf hanging on a tree. There was a very slight breeze but it was just enough to make getting a sharp photo near impossible. When I got home I noticed lots of colorful leaves in my yard, so I decided to backlight them.

red leavesI picked up some nice leaves and placed them on a glass table on my deck. I pulled out a small, portable flash, put it on a little light stand and stuck it under the table. I had my 100mm macro lens on my camera so I added an extension tube so I could get even more magnified shots. With the camera on a tripod, I shot straight down on the leaves, set the flash on full power and let it blast through the leaves. I had to guess at exposure but after a few shots I figured it out.

I love the way the cell structure of the leaves comes through with the strong backlight. I was shooting at f/28, so on some shots I needed a five or 10 second exposure to get enough light on the top leaf.

09 Oct 2015

Photo Tip: Light painting during the day

VisitorI was out in my favorite location in Pomfret, VT, looking for foliage photos and looking at a small set of birch trees. A single fallen yellow maple leaf had landed on the trees and provided a nice splash of color against the white bark.

Without the flashlight

Without the flashlight

But the light was pretty bad. I was deep in the woods and there wasn’t any light getting down to the leaf.

So I pulled out my flashlight and since I use my tripod for most of my photos I was able to do a long exposure which let me light the scene with my flashlight. Rather than illuminate it from the front with a flat light, I moved the flashlight to the side to give it nice modeling and texture on the tree. I like sidelight and backlight and use it whenever I can, so when I can control the light, that is what I aim for.

Usually most people think of doing light painting at night, but there are many times when kicking in some extra light can make a big difference in an image. It is good to have a strong flashlight handy.

03 Jan 2015

Looking for the details on a frosty morning

Frosty Church Windows

When it is cold like it was this morning in Vermont, I look for details that tell the story. At a couple of places there was great looking frost on windows. Barn windows had a very neat design and I liked the way the frost covered three window panes.

Then there was the old Universalist Church in Cavendish. It was built in 1844 and is a very cool old stone building with unique architecture. The windows have more panes than any old building I have seen. The frost was looking great.

Barn Frost

03 Jan 2015

Cold day in Vermont

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I love the cold, at least the way it looks. It was 6 degrees in Vermont when I went out before  sunrise today. I have several tricks I use to keep from freezing, Number One being putting those little chemical hand warmers in mittens that have fingers. But today the best way to fight the cold was to not stay out too long. I didn’t get far from the car, when I got cold I got back in and got the seat heater going.

There isn’t much snow on the ground, so I had to look for tighter scenes. I was driving over a little creek and saw there was some cool freezing happening to the flowing water. I got a couple of shots I like using a telephoto to get close.

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15 Sep 2012

It isn’t not a snap dragon, but don’t tell the orchid

I was photographing this morning along the D&R Canal in Griggstown, NJ, with my Meetup group. It is fun going out with other people and taking photos.

During my days as a news photographer, I always noticed that the photographer who got away from the pack and wasn’t standing around chatting with the other photographers was usually the one with the best photos at the end of the day. I’m noticing that with our meetups too. Now some people are there to meet other photographers and get photo tips, which is great. But some are there to make the best photos they can and that person is rarely bunched up with the others.

Today I spent most of the time talking to others, showing them what I was shooting and thinking and answering their questions. I then wandered over to a nice little flower garden and got out my macro lens.

I saw this orchid growing tall above the others, so I moved in and started shooting. I liked my initial shots of one stem isolated against a dark background. I loved the way the rising sun was backlighting the stem and shining through the pedals. I thought I had my shot.

When I looked even closer, there it was: an orchid face! It looks like a dragon coming at me.

06 May 2012

Give me sunshine and a dandelion

The beauty of a dandelion.

It doesn’t take a whole lot to make me happy.

Today was a beautiful Vermont day with great sunshine. I got out my macro lens and tripod and walked through the yard to take a close look around.

I shot some fiddleheads, new ferns that many Vermonters eat, but was too happy with what I was getting. There was a steady breeze and the fiddleheads kept moving, making it hard to shoot with long shutter speeds.

A fiddlehead fern.

I saw some large dandelions close to the ground, so I got down on my belly and looked close. I was working with my 100mm macro lens but it couldn’t focus as close as I wanted to get, so I added an extension tube to allow closer focusing and larger magnification.

When I got in extremely close to the regular old dandelion, I saw the beauty that most people don’t take time to enjoy. I photographed several different dandelions, they each looked different.

It makes me wonder why most people call them weeds and dump poison to kill them off.

15 Aug 2011

When it rains, time to head for the brook

 (Loren Fisher)

Rain pours on leaves and vines along Peter's Brook in Somerville, NJ. Click on the photo to buy a print.

When I was a kid and it started to rain, I’d run outside and wait for the water to roll down the street. We lived at the bottom of a small hill and in our little town there weren’t any curbs or storm drains. So when the rain began, I’d run out in the street and start moving dirt to make a dam to capture the water as it started flowing down the hill. When you’re a kid in a town of 300 people, you have to work hard to find entertainment. But it gave me an enjoyment for rain.

Today was about as rainy a day as they come. It rained hard all night, waking me up several times. After sitting around for a while, I decided to put on some old boots, grab my raincoat and umbrella and head out in the rain.

I put my macro on, stuck the camera under my raincoat and swung my tripod over my shoulder and walked over to a local park along Peter’s Brook. The rain was coming down pretty steady, so I sat under the umbrella by the broke, which was running fast after all the rain.

I tried some shots of leaves overlapping each other. The wind and long exposures made the images blurry so I moved father down the brook. I saw some fine yellow vine wrapping around some large leaves at the edge of the brook. A couple of the leaves were bright red.

I really liked the way the rain made the green, yellow and red colors shine.

As I was walking back home, I saw a large sycamore leaf laying in the grass. It looked like a leaf in October not what I usually see in August. It was fun to see all the color this time of year, so I wrestled with my umbrella to keep the camera dry and shot a bunch of close-up shots to show the detail of the color and the leaf’s veins.

By the time I got home, I was pretty much soaked. But I kept my camera under my rain coat and an extra lens in a plastic bag, so they were dry.

 (Loren Fisher)

A sycamore leaf changed color in August this year. Click on the photo to buy a print.

 

21 Feb 2011

PhotoShelter likes rose photo

Morning rain drops cover a red rose

Grover Sanschagrin at PhotoShelter selected one of my photos for his blog post 10 Cool Photos of Water Drops. Thanks Grover!

06 Nov 2010

Parks closed: gotta cull the deer herd

Frost covers a leaf at Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary.

This morning I thought it would be good to go to Lord Stirling Park in Basking Ridge, NJ, which is adjacent to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  They are essentially the same place, they are only separated by the Passaic River and a different name. I got there while it was still fairly dark, taking advantage of the last day of daylight savings time. Now I have to get up an hour earlier to see the sun rise. I got out of the Jeep and saw a sign that said Trails Closed and then a rope across the main trail. Hanging off the rope was a little sign saying something about deer management. In other words hunters were in there culling the herd. So I thought I’d just go over to the NWR, I still had plenty of time before the sun came up. Of course, only hunters were allowed. I’m sure I could have found a trail in but a bored hunter might take a shot for fun.

Mist rises from a waterfalls at Lendells Pond in Mendham, NJ.

I understand the need to hold down the deer population. There are too many and when there is a tough winter, there won’t be enough food for them to sustain themselves. They are changing the landscape, you can see a browse line at their head height in any woods in the area. Many people complain about the deer eating their scrubs, I don’t care about that, but no new growth is happening because the deer eat tree saplings before they have a chance to grow. But I hate having the image in my head of a deer being shot by an arrow and then running in pain for however long it takes for the deer to bleed to death. I guess that is better than starving to death.

So I went over to the Audubon Society’s place, which is only a few miles away. They didn’t have any hunters but I was there before they opened the gate. So I drove around the property and came upon a water falls at the end of Ledells Pond in Mendham. It seems like I have been shooting lots of waterfalls lately but it looked good as the mist rose.

I went back over to the Audubon sanctuary and while I was driving around I saw three large bucks. I couldn’t tell if they were in the rut or scared by the hunters, but they looked nervous. Hopefully they didn’t stroll under a hunter’s tree stand.

02 Nov 2010

Getting down to the ground and looking close-up

Frost covers the edges of a leaf.

This morning was rather chilly, in the low 30’s when I hit the road before sunrise. I wandered back to Colonial Park in Franklin, NJ, and was happily greeted by a light frost on the ground. I enjoy getting down on the ground with my macro lens to shoot close-up shots of frosty things, especially colorful leaves.

Frost is melted off a leaf by the morning sun.

I had my tripod splayed out and I was on my knees hovering over the camera and concentrating rather hard on getting the angle I wanted as the rising sunlight swept across a leaf. I heard a little noise and I was rather startled to see a man standing nearby with his dog. I was in a part of the park that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic, so this was the only person I had seen. As I looked up, the man was a little startled too. “I don’t see someone on the ground very often, I came over to make sure you were OK,” he said. I laughed and thanked him for his concern, I guess I did look like a blob of humanity on the ground. It was nice that he took the time to check on me.

The rising sun shines through the blades of a plant.

After my old knees didn’t want to be on the ground any longer, I noticed the sun shining through some long leaves along a fence in the formal garden. I liked the way the light interacted with the blades and created a highlight on the edges.

30 Oct 2010

Yellow and red leaves in Bridgewater, NJ

The sun shines through yellow leaves.

I headed over to Duke Island Park in Bridgewater, NJ for another autumn sunrise. I was hoping there would be mist rising from the pond or river, but it wasn’t there. There wasn’t a whole lot going on, just some pretty yellow maple leaves hanging by the river.

A tree full of bright leaves.

I walked back to the pond where a tree full of red leaves was screaming at me. I got up close with my wide angle lens and I like the way the leaves are stretching toward me.

Orange leaves in Bridgewater.

I then tried some close-up shots of leaves on the tree.

14 Sep 2010

What’s good: Praying mantis at work

A praying mantis looks for food on a shrub (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

A praying mantis looks for food on a shrub

I looked out my office window today and saw a praying mantis crawling around on a bush. I had to go out and make some portraits.

21 Aug 2010

What’s good: A morning dew drop

The veins of a leaf. (Loren Fisher/LorenPhotos.com)

The veins of a leaf.

 

I went to Fairview Farm in Far Hills again this morning to watch the sun rise. I went there last week after not being there for a few years. It is a great natural reserve and I spent four hours there this morning and was the only person around. The sunrise backlit a big leaf and really made the veins jump out..