Let's leave the moonrise for a bit and take a look at an image I sent out a couple weeks back but at that time it was in an altered form. Here is the basis for the creative "memorial day poppy" that you may recall was vivid red with a yellow center. If you still have it you may want to compare. If not it has no impact on what I'm sharing today. Depending on your perspective, this is either a close up or a macro shot, and I would consider it a close up, but the terminology is not important. One frequently employed technique for displaying flower photography is to place the image behind something creative such as frosted glass or rippled glass or anything else that gives it some form of a textured look. One could also place the flower in front of translucent textured material in order to keep the flower sharp while blurring out the background. Of course one could always do the same by applying a Gaussian blur to the entire image and then masking out the portion that you wanted to keep sharp. Here is yet another approach which I've employed in this image. To get the background to drop out, I've added noise (think grain) to the image and then masked out the portion of the flower I want to keep sharp. Not necessarily a better way than the others, just another tool in the chest for when you might like to try something a bit different. Like moving to a high ASA film in the good old days, but with far greater control. ISO 200; 1/1600 @ / 8.
After having been in discussion for almost 8 months, it has been determined that I will be teaching a class in Beginning Digital Photography at the local school where I am still doing a long term SPED sub job. The class begins tomorrow afternoon and I just now got the class roster: 19 students, and, oh by the way, some are low income and likely won't have a camera. And I thought the sub job was a challenge . . . . . Of course there is already a syllabus ready to go based on the concept that those taking the class would be looking for something serious. For the past hour I've been pondering about the best way to proceed and decided I'll just plunge them into the deep end of the pool and see who surfaces. Taking a Daily Image approach, image and discussion, it may just work out O.K. Last week I shared a couple of images from the Mt Baker area in which I discussed some HDR approaches. Just to prove that such an approach isn't always necessary, here is another image from that same series only this time the only alteration I've made was to take out a very offensive traffic sign that doesn't need to be there anyway. And I even left in a couple humans to be very different. On this trip I never could find a wind free moment and was unable to get the lake surface totally still so I went with a slight ripple approach hoping that what the image lacked in mirror like quality could be replaced by a bit of texture. The one advantage of this approach, if there is one, is that one tends to not feel the need to show the entire mountain and an equal amount of its reflection which generally results in a mirror image split equally in half which in truth is somewhat boring but done all too frequently. With the ripple effect folks tend to not feel the need to show equality and such is the case with what you have today. ISO 200; 1/250 sec @ f / 10.
Well, I had a roster of 19 students, 17 showed up for the first of what is now 8 vice 10 sessions, and 2 elected to leave their class materials behind. Of the 17, 13 have cameras, and one wonderful colleague offered up 4 small point 'n shoots to fill in the void. So it looks like we are off to a reasonably good start. Of course I had to explain to a couple intrepid students that cells phones, texting, and iPods were NOT part of the class. Unlike my normal group, they immediately complied. Musta scared 'em. We went over the expectations, the basics of a camera, and looked at a "few" examples of what I thought constituted a relatively acceptable image, and why. By then there were a handful that were eager to start shooting immediately, and who were a bit disappointed that there wasn't an initial assignment. There was of course, but it was study. After class I headed out but wound up chatting with a couple other staff members. By the time I left the building the sky was turning a beautiful pink, so I grabbed a few parking lot photos of the sky, then headed to Sunset Hill Park. By the time I arrived the sunset was just about peaking and truly something to behold. I spent about 10 minutes shooting it and then it was all but over. The light was low when I arrived, and continued to decrease as I was shooting, so not having a tripod with me, switched to a high ISO and shot away hand held. The high ISO provided for a lot of noise which was to prove useful for effect in the images. One of them is what you see today, taken at the climax of the show. Now since the tools of noise reduction are really nothing more than careful blurring, I used a LOT of noise reduction to smooth out the sky portion of this image (made a selection of just the sky and applied the noise reduction to just that) and then inverted that selection to isolate the water portion and applied just a bit of noise reduction to that as I wanted to keep a fair amount of noise for texture. Then I applied a very tiny amount of a curves adjustment to slightly increase the contrast, with the result being what you see. ISO 800; 1/60 sec @ f / 5.6. To make up for the missed image last week, I'll send out another tomorrow taken just 55 seconds later than the one you see now.