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Archive for the ‘Flowers’ Category

Red Squirrel_3457Red Squirrel, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

What do these two photos have to do with each other? Absolutley nothing :) I just wanted to share these two recently processed images with folks before departing for a week of photography at the cottage on Horseshoe Lake in Ontario’s Parry Sound region. I will try to keep in touch with all of you via my ‘SmartPhone Snap’ feature, pending the strength of the cell signal in the area, which seems to drift in and out on a regular basis. Below is the gorgeous dahlia blossom that I used to create the fracted dahlia in my previous Fractastic post.

Do click on the images to see the larger, sharper versions of each.

Hope you all have a great week…chat soon!

Dahlia_632Dahlia Blossom

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Whenever I am out photographing Bullfrogs I can’t resist creating some frogscape images when I come across a cooperative fellow. This male bullfrog was more than cooperative for me as he chose to hang-out under this raised lily pad leaf for three days in a row, before moving on elsewhere in the wetland. I guess it was a cool place to hang out. Photographing images like this have become easier than ever with Live View technology. To create the above image I simply brought the canoe up alongside of the frog, used my wide angle lens set to approximately 35mm, composed the photo, and auto-focused on the eye. I also used a 2-stop neutral density filter to hold back the sky. This is often a necessity for frogscapes as the foreground is usually much darker than the sky. To keep the frog square with the world I always refer to the double bubble level that is in the cameras hot-shoe.
If you haven’t checked out the latest issue of the Creative Photography eMini Magazine yet be sure to click on the link in the sidebar to see the latest issue. And while there do note the first photography contest for the magazine has been announce – The MiniMag Sunflower Photo Contest. All the details you need to know to enter the contest are on the front page of the MiniMagazine and to view some of the great images entered already check out the Facebook Photo Album here. If your image is chosen as the winning image your photo will be featured in the Creative Photography eMiniMagazine and Arthur Morris’ Birds As Art Blog. You will also receive a copy of Denise Ippolito’s must-have eBook ‘Bloomin’ Ideas’ and a free ticket to a 2 day nature photography seminar with Denise and Arthur on Staten Island, New York.

Hope to see your sunflower photos soon. :)

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Handheld Petunia Blur

A couple of weeks ago while I was out running some errands I passed a beautiful flower garden at the entrance to a golf course. The garden was full of various colored Petunias and other annual garden flowers. Since I usually have my camera with me I couldn’t resist the temptation to pull the car off on the shoulder and shoot some blurs. The sunlight was very harsh. It was about 12 noon without a cloud in the sky. I quickly put my polarizing filter and 3-stop neutral density filter to bring my exposure times down to a second or so. Using a variety of camera movements I spent about half an hour creating several different blurs. Shooting blurs is kinda like opening presents on Christmas morning – you never know what you’ll get.

Handheld pan blur of Petunias and Celosia

The Gerbera Daisy image below were shot on the dining room table with my 105 mm macro lens and exposure times of roughly 15 seconds. While exposing the blossom I simply jiggled the stem of the flower.

Gerbera Daisy blur

The next image of the same Gerbera Daisy is an artistic rendering of an in focus blossom. I applied a touch of zoom blur in photoshop and then selected the psychedelic preset from Topaz Labs Adjust 4 and tweaked the settings with the sliders to get the desired effect.

Gerbera Daisy Artistic Rendering

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Tulip (Bi-color and Vignette Blur filters)

Today I had a little time to work on some tulip images that I made back in the spring, but have not had time until now to process. For these tulips I used a mix of photoshop plugins to tweak the original captures. I love the Nik Software filters and used the ‘Bi-color’ and the ‘Vignette Blur’ for the first image in this post. The second image I only used the ‘Bi-color’ filter and the last image I applied my usual Fractalius settings.

These tulip creations were inspired by Denise Ippolito’s amazing artistic renderings that you can view on her blog A Creative Adventure.


Tulip with subtle ‘Bi-color filter’ treatment

Tulip Fractalius

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Variegated Caribbean Agave – Fractalius

Today I was experimenting with the Photoshop plugin Fractalius on images in my Plant Life collection. I also tried a few more with Nik’s Vignette Blur filter found in Color Efex. I really like the results of this Vignette Blur filter on the flower images for the soft, dreamy effect it creates. As more flowers to begin to bloom in my garden I will surely be trying more images with this effect as well as photos from a nearby greenhouse.

Hibiscus – Fractalius

Hyacinth – Vignette Blur

Croton – Fractalius

Tulip – Vignette Blur

Cactus – Fractalius

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Crocus close-up

Now that some warmer weather has finally arrived the spring flowers have begun to bloom quite rapidly. It is always a joy to see the crocuses blossom even thought they are short lived. One of my favorite woodland flowers that blooms inĀ  the early spring is Sharp-lobed Hepatica. The small clusters of blossoms adorn the leaf litter on the forest floor like no other wildflower I know. When I processed the two images in the post I decided to play around a little with Nik Software’s Color Efex filters. I used the “Vignette Blur” filter on both these images keeping what I feel are the essential parts of the blossoms sharp and letting the rest of the composition blur to a soft dreamy look.

Sharp-lobed Hepatica

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