More Spring In The Park – 14

Following on from my last post, more evidence that Spring is with us!

01-PIHIOBURY PARK by John Allen02-PIHIOBURY PARK by John Allen

… and a lovely piece of carving in an old, fallen tree!

03-PIHIOBURY PARK by John Allen

All taken at Pishiobury Park, just north of where I live.

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SHOOTING GLASS (2) – 12

As a follow on from last week’s post, I’ve re-tried the image of the wine glass against the dark background.

Most of the shoot was taken up with trying to eliminate the reflections in the bowl of the glass – the difficulty I highlighted last time! And I think that I got there, apart from those two ‘vertical’ ( ish ) lines near the centre of the frame. I think they are reflections of the light source – maybe even reflections of reflections – the glass being curved, there must be light being bounced all over the place.

All of the other reflections – of what was either side and behind the camera ( the contents of me garage – were eliminated by draping a black cloth over the whole set and down behind the camera. It made it a bit difficult to fire the camera – perhaps I should have used a remote or tethered it to the computer ( but I didn’t ). Anyway, here’s the result!

Wine Glass by John Allen

Still one to come back to, I think!

SHOOTING GLASS – 11

This week I set myself the task of getting to grips with photographing glass. From a photography viewpoint ( pun intended ) glass is, by its very nature, invisible. Somehow we need to capture the shapes and the textures but all to often reflections spoil the outcome!

There seems to be two basic solutions: one is to shoot against a very dark background – and the second is to shoot against a very bright background. In both cases the glass is back lit with a largish light source diffused through some some type of ‘diffusion’ material – a lighting soft-box, a plastic shower curtain ( often quoted in the literature ) or a piece of translucent white perspex. That’s what I used for these shots.

The light source is a matter of choice – continuous light or flash both work well! The first image, of the wine glass, was taken using diffused flash – the others were taken with medium sized LED light panel through the white perspex.

This is the wine glass was taken against a piece of black foam board and standing on a piece of reflective black perspex. Nice enough, and quite satisfying, but those reflections don’t help. More on the lighting set-up for this one later.

01-GLASS by John Allen

This is a glass jar taken against a bright background – that same diffusion material and light source, but no black foam board. This time the the jar is standing on a piece of white reflective perspex.

06-GLASS by John Allen

And this is the set up – taken from further back to show the light source which has been masked off with black card around the jar . You can see the unmasked corners of the diffusion material in the top left and top right of the image.

05-GLASS by John Allen

This time we have the jar against a black background, exactly the same set-up as I used for the wine glass shown above – but now using continuous lighting.

04-GLASS by John Allen

An arty touch……..

03-GLASS by John Allen

And here’s the set-up. Now the black foam board masks off the light from directly behind the jar which is only illuminated by the light coming round the board to pick out the edges of the object.

02-GLASS by John Allen

So am I pleased with the results? I think I am. I just need to work on how to eliminate those unwanted reflections in the wine glass. Why didn’t they show up in the dark background version of the glass jar?  Mmmm …..

Still life – Fruit – 10

It’s been a bit of a still life week, driven mainly by upcoming competitions at our club Harlow Seniors Photographic Group  Here are a couple of images I have been working on.

01-Fruit by John Allen02-Fruit by John Allen

My most recent, and best, investment has been a 24″ soft box that I can now hang, with a small strobe flash head, from a boom  over these setups. This is all clamped to a lighting stand and was quite unstable until I used an exercise weight on the other end of the boom to balance the set up. ( No, I didn’t have the weight – I purchased it from a local sports shop!! )

The soft box has made the lighting much more satisfactory and easier to control.

Both taken on the Olympus OMD EM-1 Mk II with a 12-100mm f4 Pro Lens tethered to an iMac desktop running Olympus’s Capture software.

Saturday Morning Walk – 09

Another quite photographic week, but yesterday morning we walked along the River Stort going north out of Sawbridgeworth towards Bishops Stortford.

I didn’t even take my Olympus along with me this time – but, as they say, the best camera is the one you have with you – and I had my iPhone. These were all taken using the Lightroom app on the iPhone enabling you to capture RAW images on the phone, and wirelessly transfer them to your computer!

01-River Stort by John Allen

This is one big animal – enjoying a box of old apples with a younger family member.02-River Stort by John Allen03-River Stort by John Allen

For those into vintage cars, this appears to be an old Ford. ( Shame about the No Parking sign – ironic, I suppose! )05-River Stort by John Allen
04-River Stort by John Allen

Enjoy!!

Spring In The Park – 07

Images of spring flowers taken this very morning on an early(ish) walk through our town park.

I won’t attempt to name them – I can just about recognise a Snowdrop – but all were taken on my Olympus EM-1 Mk II with a 60mm macro lens; all natural light with some ‘tweaking’ in Lightroom.

And followed by breakfast in the Park Café. A perfect morning.

Stroboscopic Flash – 06

A new experience this week – I’ve had a go at Stroboscopic Flash. Impressive name, difficult technique. With a bit of a learning curve to climb!

Stroboscopic Flash – a single, longish exposure ( perhaps 2 or 3 seconds ), where the subject is moving in the frame and the strobe/flash light goes off a number of times whilst the shutter remains open. Best executed in as dark a room as you can manage with a plain black background set up as far back from the subject as possible. ( You may want to keep a low-level light on to stop you tripping over tripods and light stands, etc – but if the light is too bright and the exposure very long, that light will show in the final image ).

You’ll need a strobe that will fire a set number of times at a set frequency ( numbers such as 4Hz are oft quoted, meaning 4 flashes in 1 second ).

So 8 flashes at 4 Hz will require an shutter speed of 2 seconds ( to accommodate all 8 flashes ).

I set the Olympus to Manual mode, 1/250 sec and an f stop determined by trial and error. I told you I was learning! And I used a wireless remote to trigger the strobe.

These images are not perfect, I know that, but they demonstrate the principle and give me a base from which to improve.

If you try it, have fun. And be prepared to take LOADS of images to catch the ones that work!

A single swinging nut!01-Strobe Flash by John Allen

A toy bird that shudders itself down its shiny pole!   02-Strobe Flash by John Allen

Just TWO coloured pig-pong balls dropped onto a table. Shame about the background at the top of the frame. 03-Strobe Flash by John Allen

Ice Patterns – 05

These fantastic patterns appeared on our conservatory windows one morning earlier this week. To good to miss, I took the opportunity to take a few shots using a 60mm macro lens on the Olympus EM1 Mark II – and a tripod.

All backlit with natural light from the garden – and tweaked ( a touch ) in Lightroom Classic CC.

01-ICE PATTERNS by John Allen

02-ICE PATTERNS by John Allen

03-ICE PATTERNS by John Allen

04-ICE PATTERNS by John Allen