A couple of weeks ago I mentioned an ill-fated attempt at wide-angle close-up photography. I had a chance to try again this past Saturday while photographing a field of Virginia Bluebells at Bowman’s Hill. I read about this technique in Bryan Peterson’s new book - Understanding Close-up Photography. I put my Sigma 10-20mm lens on my Canon 30D and then added the Canon 500D close-up filter to the 10-20. I set up on a tripod and had the lens approximately 3″ from the flower. With the aperture set at f/18 (1/6 sec @ f/18; ISO 400; -1/3 EV), I had sufficient depth for the flower and the field. I only wish I had gotten there a couple of days earlier as almost all the stems had one or two flowers with browning at the edges. This first image is a sample of the results I got using this technique for the first time.
I also wanted to try to create some abstracts using an in-camera blur technique that Tony Sweet uses to perfection. The key is to slow the shutter speed down to a point where you can purposefully move the camera while pressing the shutter release causing an artistic blur in the image. Of course there are tons of variables that can contribute to slowing shutter speeds. I considered adding my Singh-Ray Vari-ND filter but then decide to just go with what I could do in camera. So I set the ISO to 100 and the aperture to f/22. This brought the shutter speed down to 1/3 sec. With the 30D and the Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L lens at 70mm and handheld, I made a series of images while moving the camera in concert with pressing the shutter release. This second image is a sample of the “abstract” images that I came up with. This image is pretty much straight out of the camera. I boosted exposure, clarity and vibrance in Lightroom but that was it.
Please let me know what you think of these “experiments“.