Skip to main content

Rainy Day

It's raining today. Horrible. What happened to the beautiful weather from last week? Oh well, rain provides its own photo opportunities. Today I focused on what I could do with the raindrops that remained on the kitchen window once the shower had passed. This is the most processed photo so far; everything has has been pretty much "out of the camera" with only levels adjustment and minor cropping.

It's a composite of two shots. The first is a photograph of the flowers outside my kitchen window with the raindrops in focus. It's a fairly long telephoto with macro mode turned on, so about 100mm or so. I introduced a key into the scene to get the focus because I was having trouble focussing on the raindrops. Once a solid object was there, the autofocus had no issues getting it just right. The second is the same shot, but with the flowers in focus.

To put the two together, I overlayed them in The Gimp with the raindrops on the bottom. I set the top layer to "overlay" to produce the desired effect, then boosted saturation just a gnat's on the raindrops picture to make the blur of the flowers glow. I think it worked particularly well. It's worth clicking the image to see a larger version to see the detail in the raindrops. The individual drops cause the flower behind to come into sharp focus and remove the blurring and glow, making tiny, focussed images of each flower they obscure.

One thing I'm conscious of is the number of portrait oriented photographs in this project. I'm obviously a very vertically oriented person (being tall and thin might do that?) and find it easier to get the feel I want by holding the camera sideways. I seem to find it difficult to fill a landscape frame with detail, and end up with superfluous bits off the sides. Square cropping helps, but defeats the object of this project, which is to practice fixing my weaknesses. I think this one fills the frame nicely.


Popular posts from this blog

Fairy Lights

Street lights at night can be very pretty. For someone who lives close to the centre of a large city, skirting round the edge of the town centre can provide a host of beautiful views at night. One advantage to using a wide open lens when taking these pictures is the capture of bokeh, or creative blur. An extreme example is shown to your right; a mass of coloured circles that roughly represent the city they are part of. A more subtle example, of course, is in the picture of the day at the top of this post. The lights cluster around the top of the leaves like fireflies, obviously part of a cityscape but at the same time abstract. The extreme out of focus image is a blurred version of the picture on the left. A view over Sheffield from Pitsmoor, looking up Netherthorpe Road and up to the university. Even when the buildings are focussed (roughly; I'm still practicing) the lights take on the shape of the lens's aperture. I try to incorporate some foreground focus wh

Shooting the Enterprise

I was recently asked if I could help out providing an image for a magazine article about stress management. For reasons as yet undiscovered the requested image would be of the USS Enterprise flying through a storm in space. Unfortunately I didn't have a lot of time (just a couple of hours), but I did have a very nice model of the Enterprise D I could use to build the image around. Thinking fast, I rigged up a rather slapdash rig consisting of a black reflector backdrop, an umbrella and stand from which dangled the model by a thread, and a couple of strobes. One light above, diffused, to provide the key light, and another, reflected and lower power, to fill some of the very dark shadows. It ended up all looking something like this: Using a fast shutter, f/16 and cunning flash positioning I managed to keep the background black and give the model suitably textured lighting so it didn't have that flat, uniform, shadowless appearance of, well, a model. The narrow aperture obv

Another canal walk

The sun has started being a little more present lately, so some mornings are actually quite pleasant. On one such morning I decided to have a wander up the canal. The clouds made everything look a bit Toy Story, and the low sun gave a lovely light and contrast to everything else. Of course, it wasn't sunny everywhere. But even in the darker places, such as right underneath Leeds railway station, the sun had a go at peeking in.