Light, lenses, and backgrounds
These are photos taken over the Labor Day weekend, yes, I’m running behind again. But, for good reason, I’m getting too many good photos lately.
It helps that with three days off from work, I was up before dawn on Labor Day, and caught the excellent early morning light, when it was able to find an opening in the clouds. Also, between the raindrops that fell a little after I got started.
My day started well, I spotted these mushrooms by the hundreds.
I wanted to get a better shot of them, but a flock of turkeys were out feeding in the same field that I saw the mushrooms in. I thought that I could shoot the mushrooms on my way home, but they were all shriveled up by then. I did get the turkeys though.
A hole opened up in the clouds, and the sun was just like a spotlight on one of the Toms.
I moved so that I could isolate just the one Tom, but by then, the hole in the clouds was closing.
All that preening to look good for nothing, as the light had already changed, still, it wasn’t bad.
I’ve walked past this hundreds of times….
…but it looked worth shooting in the early morning light.
I’m getting unbelievably picky about my images these days, when I have the time to be. Here’s an example.
That was my test shot. I stepped a few feet forward to get a better view of her, then shot a series of photos going up and down between -2/3 and one full stop. I wish that I could adjust the exposure in 1/4 stop increments as there are times that 1/3 seems too much.
Next up were two goldfinches, a female feeding on common mullein seeds…
…and a juvenile fluffing its feathers.
As low as the light was, the motion of the feathers moving out blurred that a little due to the slow shutter speed, but I lucked out, and the goldfinch held this position long enough to get a good photo.
Then, he turned around for me.
I’m going to keep shooting pokeweed berries until I get a good one.
You can see the water drop, as it had begun to rain lightly. When I reached an overpass, I took a break as the rain shower moved through the area. While taking the break, I shot this.
And after the rain ended, this is what I got.
A few more from Labor Day.
That fungus almost looks edible, but something only took one bite of it. I didn’t see any dead critter nearby, but you never know with fungi.
I had to pay my rent, so I dropped everything off in my apartment except for one camera body and the 300 mm prime lens and walked over to the office. To my surprise, there was a great blue heron in the pond across from the office.
I couldn’t resist shooting a few ducks while was there.
The next few photos were shot over several days after Labor Day. In a recent post I had a photo of a turkey vulture and I said that it would have been a much better photo if there had been a blue sky that day. Well, I got what I wanted.
I also said that I like to find a dark background when I shoot flowers, well, there are some flowers so tall that you have to make do with what you can.
That was shot with the Beast (Sigma 150-500 mm lens), hardly my first choice of lenses for flowers. But, because of the extremely narrow angle of view of that lens, I was able to line the flower up in front of plain dark blue sky.
When I switched to the 10-18 mm lens, which is a better lens for flowers that large, the wide angle of view of that lens got this photo.
The flower is actually better in the second photo, but the white clouds in the background ruin the over all photo, at least in my opinion.
So, the next day I did some testing. I chose one flower, shooting it first with the Beast.
And then with the 10-18 mm lens, but this time I used a polarizing filter on that lens.
To me, darkening up the sky, and causing the clouds to “pop” a little from the filter makes these two pretty good ones, at least to me.
I also shot a couple with the Tokina macro lens, which I don’t have a polarizing filter for.
So, the point of all this is that when considering which lens to use on a subject, it isn’t only how close or far away from the subject you are, or can get. A longer lens makes it easier to control the background behind the subject because of the narrow angle of view of a long lens.
The second point is that if you must have distractions in the background, make them a part of the overall photo any way that you can, in this case, by using a polarizing filter.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!