Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Day 148

I enjoyed my day off work at spinning and weaving today, and had lots of fun taking photos, too. I've got one portrait shot that came out okay, but it needs a lot of work to get rid of a distracting background. I'll post that as soon as I've finished it.

Living in the middle of a bare field means I've got a very limited range of subject matter at home, so I tend to go mad with the camera when I visit someone else's home. Here are a few of my best shots from today.

Because I exposed for the leaves in this shot, the sky was almost a white-out, so I decided to go the whole hog and blow it out completely. All the leaves were attached to a tree, but because the two leaves in the background were on very thin branches and looked as though they weren't attached, I decided to sever the front leaf too. I also cleared up the edges of the shot of some distracting part-leaves.

I experimented with the best shutter speed for capturing the spin of the bobbin, and it turned out to be between 1/15 and 1/20 of a second. It's a shame about the distracting background in this shot. If I'd shot it at home I would have been able to reposition and set up a better background. You really can't do this when you're a visitor at someone else's house! Next time I'll go out better prepared and take a length of backdrop cloth with me!

This wonderful fungus is growing out of an old tree stump at the end of my neighbour's drive. I chose to use selective colour here to emphasise the contrast between the dead tree and the living fungus, and to remove a distracting block of green grass from the background near the top left edge which couldn't be cropped out without ruining the balance of the image.


  1. I carry around a small Westcott reflector/diffuser set . The white diffuser works great as a small portable background in cases like this. Though that's not really it's purpose it can get rid of a busy background for smaller subjects without blasting any light back at you.

  2. Thanks for the tip, Andrew. I'll add it to my wish list! :-)

  3. Wonderful images. I do not find the background all that busy in the spinning bobbin shot.

  4. Those leaves look like they're hanging in space - brilliant! I love the picture of the spinning bobbin and to be honest I think it's quite nice to see something in the background rather than a blank background - it gives the viewer more of a feel of something real happening. Hope you don't mind my opinion :-)

  5. Wonderful work on these Helen!
    I especially love the bobbin!
    Love the motion you captured in it.