Sunday, 27 November 2011

Day 317

Please excuse the weird formatting in places in this post. Blogger has decided that 'what you see is not what you get' -- everything looks fine when I'm editing it, and then it changes when I publish it.

Living, as I do, in the middle of an empty field, with nothing but grass, weeds and cow pats around me, it's easy to think, 'Oh, there's nothing to photograph here'. But if I make an effort to look really carefully, I'm always amazed by the variety of subjects all around.

For example, there's a big clump of what I think might be sedge growing next to the water tanks. The sedge (or whatever it is) has recently sprouted flower heads, and although the flowers don't look much from a distance, close up they're really pretty.

The sedge (?)
I found a flower head with an interesting shape which I could photograph from an angle that would give me a relatively plain and unfussy background. As the sun was strong, I used my diffuser to soften the light. I knew I'd be blowing the image up a lot, so I used as low an ISO as possible, to reduce the amount of graininess. It was pretty windy, and the sedge was moving about all over the place, so I needed a fast shutter speed. In order to get that with a low ISO, I had to use a large (low) aperture. This wasn't a problem, as it would give a nice blurry background and if not all of the flower was in focus it would add to the 'macro look' of the final image.

Here's the image that I took, as it looked straight out of the camera. This is as close as my lens would let me focus.


After cropping the image and adjusting the white balance in Lightroom, I erased the upper part of the stem in Photoshop using the clone tool, and then bumped up the brightness and contrast. I also increased up the saturation selectively (reds only) to make the centre of each flower stand out. I then blurred the out of focus areas and sharpened the in-focus areas in order make the distinction between the two more dramatic. Finally, I imported the image back into Lightroom and added some noise reduction.

The finished image

I'm really drawn to macro photography, and as soon as the house has sold I'm going to treat myself to a macro lens!


  1. I think this is totally amazing. You don't need a faffy macro lens!! :)
    But if you do decide to get one - I got a second hand cosina one ( yep its pretty plasticy!) but it's really really good.

  2. Thank you, Laura! :-) I'm going to treat myself to a macro lens once I've sold the house. I think a second hand one might be a good option.