4 responses on “April Challenge

  1. Dawn

    I love these. I love the striations in the first two images. I love that tree too, I have series of images on that bench. But that bonus rose is my favorite, would you be willing to explain how you set it up? Thanks for sharing

  2. Edward Kunzelman Post author

    Hi Dawn. Here’s the process…. The rose is from City Market’s bargain bin. As I recall I bought this one and the arrangement for all of $1.99.

    I set up the picture next to the sliding glass door in our dining room. I set it up at night with the rose as close to the glass as could be without touching, indoors of course. I placed a piece of black foam core behind it and an LED light source high and to the back left of the rose. Those of you who are familiar with my lighting remember that I often use a simple household flashlight. In the last year or two I purchased a couple of small LED lights for about a hundred bucks which can adjust color temperature and intensity. Being “always-on” allows me to see their effect while composing the picture, which flash does not allow, and LED lights don’t get hot. Mounted on stands, I don’t have to hold them either. I recommend them for still-life photography.

    Anyway, I placed my camera on the outside of the glass door and set up by focusing on the window, with enough depth-of-field to carry focus into the back of the flower. It’s difficult focusing on something like glass which is transparent, even manually, until I thought of the idea of simply taping a piece of paper temporarily to the glass with some marks on it that could be used for focusing. The settings were F/22, ISO 100, and a 4 second exposure. I put a small amount of vegetable glycerin from Hobby Lobby (helps bead up the water) into a small bucket of water, and then just started splashing water against the outside of the glass door and letting it drip through the picture. I used my 24-120 lens at 95mm with the lens about two feet from the glass so it wouldn’t get wet. You could use a macro too, although depth-of-field is an issue with macro lenses.

    I probably made 20 or 30 exposures… the pattern of water drops is gonna look different every time. Some need to remain in drops while others need to streak for the best image, so a longer exposure is needed for that. I think that was about all.

  3. John Truzinski

    Great pictures Ed, I knew you would still be out taking pictures. One nice thing about our photography hobby/obsession is that we can get out and away from the maddening crowds. I am particularily fascinated by the lovely aspens in the snow picture. I love how the shadows of the aspen highlight the undulating nature of the landscape. I was wondering if that was “your” focus for for the composition as well, or was it the beauitful red color of the cabin in the background?

  4. Edward Kunzelman Post author

    Hi John. Thanks for your interest in my pictures. For sure 2020 never stopped me from making a lot of photographs. At first I wasn’t sure if we were even supposed to be outdoors at all away from home. But by mid-summer, I was comfortable (wildfires not withstanding) shooting several times a week anywhere from my back yard to places within a days drive.

    Regarding the red cabin picture, it was most definitely the shadows from the aspen trees that caused me to take the picture. In fact, my first exposures allocated more of the picture to the shadows and the cabin was cut off at the top. I did that too because I thought the small patches of sky would be distracting, so the first pictures essentially lowered the perspective compared to this image. This picture was more of an afterthought. It was only after my wife, Lu, expressed her preference for this image over the first version that I changed my opinion. Yes… that does occasionally happen. Not often, but once in awhile. 🙂

    Additionally, there were all kinds of photo possibilities at that location on that afternoon. But the feature of this one that I thought was special was how the base of the foreground aspens were on a diagonal line, and the shadows formed another diagonal line… putting them together created a triangle. It’s those sort of shapes and patterns which create a dynamic image (one with motion and depth) as opposed to a static image which is more flat and lacking depth.

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