Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Practice makes ... well, a bit better.

I have a lot to learn about my camera and its possibilities. On lazy days, sometimes I spend a few hours just practicing, and then tossing hundreds of photos.

Laurie found these mushrooms in a dry spot near the rhododendrons. I haven't tried to ID them, instead spent time playing around with the lighting, trying to get true colours indoors without extensive Photoshopping afterwards. I photographed them on the kitchen counter against a blue background, to tone down the yellow of the overhead light, which is supposedly "soft white". These turned out almost right; the rest were deleted at first glance.

(I did a bit of post processing, mostly to clean up scattered dust and lighten one where the flash failed to work.)

A bit too much yellow from room light.

Better, but I had to lighten it up, so the blue background almost disappeared.

These look about right.

And I took a spore print, half on black, half on plain white paper. The spores turned out charcoal grey.

The half on white paper. Not very informative, but there's no lighting problem here; I scanned the print.


  1. Great still life portraits, making use of the blue to provide contast, and provide the illusion of floating in space. Try putting up a white cloth behind or in front of the subjects just out of the field of view to bounce the flash off that to reduce the harshness of the shadows. At least these guys will stay still for you, unlike your usual subjects.

  2. Thanks, Tim. I used a white reflecting surface in today's experimental shots. It does help.

  3. The pros will use multiple flashes and diffusers...but most of us have more limited equipment. At least your subjects here are stationary....imagine chasing a bug around with that getup.

  4. We need some cheap robots that will follow us around carrying all the assorted stuff we might possibly need.


If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!