Backyeard Photo Muse

Last of the seed pod - Specie unknown
Last of the seed pod – Specie unknown

When it seems like there is nothing to photograph, turn despair into photo fare. Such was the case the other day about dusk, as I wallowed in the distress of a head cold that refused to give peace.

First I attached an old but trusty 300mm lens onto a Nikon body. Actually with digital photography almost any camera will do, as in post production we can crop and eliminate distractions. I like to minimize PP, so I try to get the image as I like it going into the camera. For that reason I use a 300mm lens as it helps to reduce the distractions around the edges. In my particular case I also added an extension tube as the regular distance I could get to the subject in focus was about 4 feet. With a 36mm extension tube I can get about 6″ from the subject which means I can use the outfit as a macro set up, which I do. Of course, a sturdy tripod is necessary.

Backyard Muse #1 orig_
Backyard Muse #1 orig_

On this particular evening a slight breeze also created a bit of a challenge. This is what the above image first looked like, even on a tripod, as the ambient light was so low. That’s when I decided to use a flash to freeze the movement caused by the breeze.

The flash can do another thing. If your camera is set on Aperture Priority, the aperture will stay open long enough for  the light from the flash to illuminate the subject than shut down. The result is that the background goes black or drastically underexposed, as demonstrated by the opening image.

From that point on I used the flash. Incidentally it was the on camera flash; however, any off camera flash works set on TTL. Here are some other results…

Backyard Muse #2 Leaf
Backyard Muse #2 Leaf




Backyard Muse #3 Red Leaf_
Backyard Muse #3 Red Leaf_

On this red leaf arrangement I was making a vertical image, so the light source was actually coming from the left, and actually snuck around the leaf and bounced onto the back of the front leaf. An unusual and unexpected effect. I thought it was pretty neat, so it is included here.

Once I began to see what was happening, I kept finding other possibilities. They are endless. Enjoy the way nature can be showcased. Each of us is where we are and can move forward from there. Never be afraid to push the shutter release button. Have fun.

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