This past week was beautiful for the most part. We had a few thunderstorms and some much needed rain, but Saturday was typical South Carolina summer—hot and humid. I went out with the camera for a few minutes to walk around the back yard and to check out the secret garden that is so secret, it doesn’t know it’s a garden. I am not the one with the green thumb here. Most of my “garden” is in planters—one red-orange hibiscus, some white and purple verbena, dianthus, and lavender (which is not blooming yet). Over in the other garden, I have sown a variety of wildflowers, but they have not matured enough to bloom yet.
The last few times I’ve gone out to ramble with the camera, I’ve taken very little gear with me. I choose a lens before I go out. This time, I chose the Lensbaby double optic with the Composer Pro. I took the macro filters with me to use—if the spirit moved me. And it did for a few images, but not many. One of the things I like about the Lensbaby double optic is that it is like shooting with an 85mm lens. It is a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera, but my Canon 7D is a crop sensor. I almost get the effect of a macro lens without the filters. The two filters are 4mm and 10mm each. I think I mainly used the 10mm.
Here are a few of the images:
I have been playing around with the Topaz Labs plugins for Photoshop. I especially like Simplify because I an achieve some painterly effects, as I did on these first two images. The old barn is on my father’s-in-law property. I have been photographing this old barn for a while now, and each time I get a different effect. for this image, I chose to use a watercolor effect. It needs a bit a tweaking yet, but I like of like it. (I even cloned out a building on the right side of the image so that barn would be the star.
I love the texture of hibiscus. You can see the veins in each petal.
I tried to create a vintage look for this rose, but as I wrote last week, red is a difficult color for me to photograph well and to process well. I think I may tweak this image more and use the Topaz Labs BW Effects. I love the Opalotype effects. I think that would give the image a vintage look. What do you think?
Even though I walk around the back yard and the ponds frequently, I always see something different, something new. That’s what I love so much about contemplative photographic practices: it’s all about seeing the world through eyes that are wide-open, receptive to possibility.