Thursday, April 29, 2010

What a difference a day (or two) makes!

The weather around here can be a bit crazy in the spring.  On April 27th, we had snow, and  the few remaining tulips in my front garden had to put up with some cold weather.

Switch to today, the temperature got up to 15C (59F), with bright sun.  The tulips look a lot happier now:

. . . Rob Williams

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Orchidophilia -- the Ottawa Orchid Society's Orchid Show

This morning I went out to a local sports arena where an orchid show was being held by the Ottawa Orchid Society. For two hours in the morning, they welcome tripods -- no doubt a way to avoid hassles caused by tripod-carrying photographers during the main hours of the show. I arrived shortly after the show opened, and had a short time with a few other photographers, but the event got much more crowded by mid-morning.

I've been interested in orchids since I started photographing wild orchids in local bogs and wetlands (Pink, Yellow and Showy Ladyslipper, Rose Pagonia, and Grass Pink). This show includes many cultivated varieties, but it's surprising how much most of the orchids resemble our local varieties. The variety of colour and shapes is amazing, and lots of fun to photograph.

The main problem I had was to get a relatively clean background. Most of the displays had some wood to support the orchids, but the backgrounds were still very busy and bright. I had to work quite hard to position my camera so that I had a reasonably dark, plain background. I also moved in for detailed images of the flowers.

The lighting was also challenging if you were not using flash (like me). It's a mixture of fluorescent and incandescent, so I had to do a lot of adjustment after the fact. Despite all of that, the results were quite good.

I want to thank the show organizers for accommodating the photographic crowd -- it was lots of fun.

. . . Rob Williams

Friday, April 2, 2010

Abstract clothes

Abstract clothes, originally uploaded by robertwilliams017.
Daily Shoot #138: Make a fashion photo today: a person modeling clothing, the clothes in your closet, an accessory that defines you, etc.

I'm no fashion photographer, nor a portrait photographer, so this assignment is a bit far-fetched for me. Since the assignment suggested clothes in your closet, I decided to try that out, and see what happened.

The closet is lit by a single bare bulb, so the light was really low. The only chance of hand-holding the camera was either to use ASA 1000 or more, which really doesn't look good with a D200. So I just used shutter speeds of 1/4 to 2 seconds, and moved the camera up and down.

This kind of abstract is very hit-and-miss, so you have to take many individual images and hope that something turned out. Before digital became affordable, it really was hit-and-miss, and expensive as well. Thankfully, digital photography has solved those two problems.

. . . Rob Williams