I’m not really a fan of lenses like the Lensbaby. If you’re not familiar with the Lensbaby, it’s a special optics add-on lens that gives either a tilt-shift, blurred or fisheye look to your image. It allows you to alter the plane of your subject which can dramatically blur the background of your image. This is an image from the Lensbaby gallery on their site:
These are the type of lenses you either love or you hate. I’m in the latter camp. I totally see them for their creative capabilities (and who knows, I might love them for that someday), but for things like portraits, it’s just not my thing. To me it’s like taking a nice blurred background in a portrait and making it a drunken, dizzy, creepy blurred background.
I love blurred backgrounds, especially when the subject of my focus is tack-sharp. But the exception for me is when I shoot macro. For whatever reason, shooting at a 1:1 ratio, especially of things that are close up, just seems to lend it self to more fuzziness for me. I shoot a lot at f2.8 with my Canon 100mm 2.8L macro lens (which by the way has become my favorite little friend).
And did you know that you can use your macro lens to shoot things other than close-up shots? Even portraits? More on that to come later…
Here are some shots that I took this past weekend at my daughter’s 8th birthday party. It was an ice cream social theme, and needless to say I had a blast setting it up. All of the shots are with my macro lens.
(For those interested in the party details… the yogurt cups, straws, and adorable “happy birthday” spoons are from Sweet Lulu, the white bowls are mini-plastic mixing bowls from Target, the signs I made myself).
Here’s a shot I took of an old fire hydrant. By using a macro lens, I was able to get in close enough to focus on the “s” ring. I shot it at a 5.0 aperture because I really wanted to capture the texture in the paint. If I shot at 2.8, a lot of it would have been blurred.
Canon 5d, MkII, 100mm 2.8L Macro/f 5.0, ISO 200, 250
We use our Canon G12 for most of our family shots… it’s small enough to carry with us everywhere, takes great video, and my husband can use it without getting too frustrated. Overall, it’s a great camera.
When I was at WPPI this year, he took our kids on a little side trip to the Hoover Dam (how cool is that?). He had our trusty camera and took lots of great shots of them and the landscape…. (don’t tell him I said this, but he has an awesome eye for photography, so usually what I pull out of the camera are really great pictures).
That said, the G12 doesn’t give you as much control as a DSLR (unless you’re using it on manual, which most will never do). And like most point-and-shoots, it can vary in it’s ability to get things like white balance and color spot on.
Below is one of the shots he took, straight out of camera.
Not a bad shot, right? But a little on the cold side since the white balance is a little off and the colors don’t feel quite right. Also, it has a lot of haze to it, not enough contrast.
Here’s the one I edited….
Not perfect, but better, don’t you think? I brought up the warm tones, gave it a little sharpening, and dodged and burned some areas (especially the rocks in the background) that needed more contrast. Overall, it makes it look a little bit more vibrant, and it doesn’t have such a “gloomy” feel like it did before.
Have a picture you’d like me to edit? Send it to me via email, and I may feature it in one of my Fix It Friday segments!
With summer coming, I’m dreaming of days filled with leisure and lounging (I know, I’m totally kidding myself). And of course with all of this newfound time on my hands, I thought… how cool would it be to do a daily post? Even better, a cool, themed post? Even WAY better, a themed post that uses clever alliterations in the titles? (I can’t think of anything cooler than that, so I’ll stop there).
Me <——— Geek
Now, as fun as it would be for me to post daily, I would LOVE participation from you all. These posts will mostly be on my Facebook fan page, so if you’re not already a fan, head over there right now and click that little “LIKE” button and become one! (you don’t want to miss all the fun, do you?). Here’s the link….
Did you do it? Good.
So my daily posts will look something like this:
Monday = Macro Monday…… This will be all about macro photography (which I LOVE). It will either have tips, shots I admire, a favorite shot I love, OR.. a shot from YOU! (exciting, right?).
Tuesday = Tips Tuesday.… This will be general tips on taking better pictures, things I’ve learned along the way, etc. If you have a question, submit it and I will answer it.
Wednesday = Wordless Wednesday... A shot that needs no explanation. This can be something I took, an image I admire from someone else, OR… again, a shot from you!
Thursday = Thought for Thursday.… A lovely post which just may involve me rambling about something… but it will be good I promise.
Friday = Fix it Friday…. Do you have a shot that you LOVE but you know it could be better? Or do you have an image that needs work? Submit it to me and I can feature it in my post!
I hope you’re as excited as I am.
Now my disclaimer: There is no way in H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS that I will be able to post every day. I mean, that’s just crazy talk, right? Who does that, anyways? But I promise to try to post more than I don’t post. How’s that?
So here’s your homework:
1) Think of your questions for the Tips Tuesdays
2) Get your images in need of fixing for Fix it Fridays
3) Get over to my Facebook page like you promised!