May 162014
 

Crabapple Tree ©2014 April Siegfried

Spring has finally arrived in Chicago, after a long and unusually harsh winter.

Yes, these are “flowers”—so difficult to see and photograph in a way that is fresh, that’s not similar to the thousands of images already housed in the data banks of our mind’s eye. Their abundant beauty is so welcome, however, that I can’t help but try to express that experience.

Click on any image above to view large as slide show (with 5 second pause between each.)

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Crabapple Tree
Panasonic DMC-FZ40; 1/25 sec @ f7.1, ISO 100 (handheld);
Focal length: 8.5mm (47mm EFL)

Crabapple Flowers
Nikon D300 ; 1/125 sec (handheld);
AF-S Nikkor 18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 G ED plus
Canon 500D Close-Up Lens

Oct 192012
 

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Admiring late summer dahlias at our local farmer’s market, I was suddenly struck by the eye looking back at me.

The image reminds me of an exercise we were given during the Miksang Institute Summer Program, titled “paste-ups”. In graphic design, the definition is: “To paste copy to mounting boards and, if necessary, to overlays so it is assembled into a camera-ready mechanical. The mechanical produced is often called a paste-up.”

It’s fun to look for such scenes; no digital compositing required!

Nikon D300; 1/125 sec @ f8, ISO 200 (handheld);
18-200 mm f/3.5–5.6 @ 55mm (82mm EFL); focus distance .89m

May 252012
 

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I’m still having fun with my new lens. Just after surise the other day, there was zero wind, dew on the flowers, and a nice backlight on this subject. Classic, but who can resist such opportunities?!

Nikon D300; 1/125 sec @ f11, ISO 500 (handheld);
70-300 mm f/4.5–5.6 @ 180mm (270mm EFL); focus distance 1.68m

May 152012
 

Gardenfall №4
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Panasonic DMC-FZ40; f5 @ 1/160 sec, ISO 80 (handheld);
Focal length: 26.8mm (155mm EFL)

Gardenfall №3
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Panasonic DMC-FZ40; f5 @ 1/160sec, ISO 80 (handheld);
Focal length: 26.8mm (155mm EFL)

As in the previous post, these were photographed through a glass “waterfall wall” at our local garden center.

May 132012
 

Gardenfall №1
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Panasonic DMC-FZ40; f4.5 @ 1/125 sec, ISO 100 (handheld);
Focal length: 26.3mm (159mm EFL)

Gardenfall №1
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Panasonic DMC-FZ40; f4 @ 1/125sec, ISO 100 (handheld);
Focal length: 23.8mm (144mm EFL)

Just the other day…I had great fun at our local garden center. These images were photographed through a “wall of water” fountain, capturing flowers in the background. There’s no manipulation involved, other than typical enhancement of the RAW file during post-processing.

At a price of $1,900 we won’t be buying one of those fountains! But maybe I can rig a hose on a storm window in our own garden… 🙂

Oct 132011
 

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To sample colors for this image using Photoshop, I first converted to 8-bit Mode and then applied Filter > Pixelate > Mosaic with a Cell Size of 200 square. The resulting palette is pretty cool!

Nikon D300; f8 @ 1/125 sec, ISO 3200 (handheld);
18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 200mm (300mm EFL); focus distance .67m