I have discovered that raindrops make photography fascinating. Due to their size, it is really hard to know exactly what you will get and even harder to be certain of what might be reflected in the drop.
Back in April, I took a picture of a raindrop and then realized that the surrounding forsythia bushes were reflected in the drops. I was immediately hooked. Due to the above mentioned challenges regarding knowing what is reflected in the drops, this type of subject demands that I simply trust that something good will come of the shot. I look for drops that have colour reflected in them, and then shoot away.
Often times, a raindrop is not caught on the end of a branch, leaf or flower but rather sits right on it. The added texture can make a leaf “pop” in a photo. It is hard to describe, so just enjoy….
Having such a big, wonderful backyard has afforded me a multitude of photographic opportunities. Using the swing at the back of the garden as a focal point has allowed me to work on lighting and composition as well as show the different seasons contrasted on a similar background.
Beyond the swing, I have been able to spend hours working on macro photography using the various flowers and plant materials in the backyard. The ability to pop into the house and check out the results on the computer is really advantageous as I can make the necessary changes and get back out to try again.
Initially, I planned on only using photos as they came out of my camera; I was opposed to the idea of photo editing. I thought that it somehow took away from the idea of photography. I got over it.
It happened simply enough when I had taken a shot that I wanted to lighten up. The shot captured a lot of elements that I was looking for and had not yet achieved in previous photos. Laura had loaded Picasa on my computer for a project several years ago and suggested I try using it. The results are below.
The photo on the left is the “original” – untouched by Picasa’s magic. In Picasa’s editing feature, I pressed the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. That little button changed the way I perceived photo enhancements. Quite simply, I liked the photo more. And really, that’s what photography is about for me; creating pictures I like to look at. It’s wonderful when other people like them, but my primary goal was be able to look at something pleasing and know that I created it. Even if that meant that the process included a computer program.
I still prefer the idea of taking the perfect picture all on my own (and when I do, I’ll let you know). In the meantime, I enjoy having tools to allow me to edit it, shape it into something more pleasing.
It has been a week with many moments of sadness. The death of Jack Layton has profoundly affected so many people.
The sadness people feel comes from many places, not the least of which is that the possibilities that Jack Layton represented have stalled. The values that he embodied were ones that people admired and wanted to emulate and his presence encouraged that in others. People felt connected to the hope that Jack Layton represented for our country and the kinder, gentler place that he encouraged us to return to.
And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity…consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together.. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.
In early April, as I drove along the Lakeshore near the Boulevard Club, I noticed the eerie effect of the fog on the lake. Looking through the lens or checking the shots on the LED did not indicate how the photos were coming out. The frustrating part of this is that I could come away without a single good shot and not know that until I was home, looking at the photos on my computer. The LED is simply not big enough to discern details and whether the focus of the photo is clear or blurry. This is another reason I often take a hundred or more shots “just in case”.
The upside was that I did have several shots that worked out this particular day.
Originally, this Daddy Longlegs was hanging out on a hummingbird feeder. I kept thinking about how much work that took as the feeder hangs from the eavestrough at the cottage. I took a stool out and tried to capture a few shots.
By moving the feeder to a railing, I was able to get better shots. Interestingly, at this point, the insect used its legs to “feel” the camera. That was cool. Sadly, the legs did not register when I took a shot, but that’s okay.
That’s something else I am learning about photography: experiencing the moments is often better than capturing them.
Sometimes looking through the lens in closeup, you don’t know what’s about to come into view. That is one of the best aspects of photography and macro photography in particular. The unexpected moments, the things you were not actually focussing on.
The way to miss those moments, I find, is to try too hard. Think too much.
These photos represent some of my favourites to date. Tomorrow, I might pick different favourites; but for today, these are what I chose.