From my garden today.
Today, with a little welcome sunshine, I took my mirror-less, full frame camera into the garden to try out the macro lens (FE2.8/90). The poor flowers were a little worse for wear from the recent rain, icy weather and winds and some parts of our garden/jungle are so overgrown I did not venture to capture all my gorgeous camellias.
I did not use a tripod…. not really a good idea with macro shots, but being impatient, I wanted first to see what sort of photos lazy play would give. With the use of a tripod and more manual adjustments the results should only get better.
Even with this quick episode I am pretty happy….. those potato vine flowers are 3 cm across the widest part of the biggest one and the tiny forget me nots are 9mm (less than 1 cm) or less across the widest part of the bigger one!!!! (in summer I find they grow larger)
I am across the water from my home state of Tasmania, in Melbourne, Victoria. I treated myself to a new camera….. Sony mirrorless full frame. These are the first pics….. unedited except for a couple of crops. We were lucky to get a bit of rain to try the way it handled colours, lights and reflections. Pretty happy. All hand held with auto settings as I was really keen to snap a few and view on the computer.
It was an overcast day yesterday, with patches of rain and then bits of sunshine peering through. We had been to Stanley, home of The Nut, an iconic volcanic plug. On the way home we drove along the beautiful drive atop Table Cape…. another area of past volcanic activity. The sun lit up the sea and I decided to quickly take some photos with the camera phone (Samsung Galaxy S5, on auto). Very lazy, I know, but still fun and still gets one looking more closely at the beauty that surrounds.
Tonight I decided to play with some of these. I have been noticing that many people’s photos seem to be increasingly edited. The results are crisp and sharp with incredible detail and often saturated colours. As a watercolourist, who loves soft edges, I am in 2 minds about most processing. But I appreciate that most people love a more powerful image and that we all “see differently”. Anyway it is all fun and with editing programs there are an endless array of possibilities. My editing here is fairly subtle. Levels mainly. A warm filter on one, lessening some of the lens flare, and on one I played with Photoshop HDR effect (pseudo HDR I suppose).
I am not a morning person so it is really unusual for me to emerge to take photos of sunrise. But this morning I did just that. The first day of winter and we were treated to a very heavy frost but that was followed by a perfect sunrise with the lovely clear light we get here in Tasmania. (Devonport about 15 mins from our home at Forth on Tasmania’s NW coast……..the city where the Bass Strait ferry docks). It was certainly worth the effort.
In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Serenity.” I have so many photos to choose from which would fit into this category, Serenity, as I often take my photos for that inner peace of capturing special moment of beauty. Water seems to be ever present in such images… it’s a Zen thing.
On Friday I took a small workshop on introduction to abstract art in acrylics. We discussed abstract art and googled images to see the diversity and degrees of abstraction. This is a painting I did on canvas board. “Winter”… the mountains just appeared… abstracted? This is not based on any real place or even an intention to paint mountains and snow. it just evolved ….. whenever I play with paint I am likely to end up with something suggesting a landscape. It is hardly realism but does it meet “abstraction”. I prefer the term” landscapes from the imagination” and as this started to emerge from the canvas I was reminded of a painting done about this time last year of Everest Base Camp. What I most wanted participants to do was to explore a multitude of ways to apply paint to a surface. This was primarily done with the palette knife. It is such FUN and even as adults we should give ourselves permission to “play” and “waste” materials as it is through doing this that we learn.
There are so many things to learn in watercolour and often choosing colours is something new painters focus on. This is understandable as we are in a very colour conscious, indeed often colour saturated, world. But to show how simple colour harmony and correct tone can result in a pleasing painting without the confusion of a barrage of different colours, I am currently working with just 2 colours with my new watercolour students on a Tuesday (which 2 colours depends on the image the painting is based on, and we discuss this choice first). This little work (card size), was done as a demonstration this week. The 2 colours used were cyan (Maimeri) and Light Red (Winsor and Newton). Working small means it is possible to watch the whole work and observe subtle intentional and incidental changes as they occur. Doing hundreds of these (they do not take long) is a great way to learn how watercolour behaves and I find them very relaxing. The location for this painting is Burnie, Tasmania. I often snap a few pictures when I work up there as a silk painter. this was a cold, wet, winter’s day. On such days we often get lovely soft changing light.
The temperature only reached 11 degrees C today but the sunshine was lovely. Late this afternoon a flock of birds decided to “sunbake” on our nectarine tree. With their feathers fluffed they looked much larger than our little summer sparrows. With no leaves on the tree it was easier to focus on one of them but I may edit with Photoshop to remove the branch next to the beak. It was good that the sun was shining from behind me so the eye shows clearly. Often when I photograph birds here they are in a position where they are silhouetted and the eye is not visible