Although most of my work is related to nature, it’s not all I do. Sometimes I just like to spend some time in my studio. Especially when the weather doesn’t cooperate. This studio provides a way to maintain a steady output. Otherwise I’d just be posting old material during winter.
This is a shot of a decommissioned hard disk drive, model Western Digital WD Green WD10EARS. I replaced this 1TB model with a 4TB version, and now the old drive will spend the rest of its days as a decorative piece in my studio. It combines my interests in photography and computer history. :-)
Hi there! Another week, another image, another shot from the past. We are having an extremely mild winter so far. So no opportunity for wintry images, but the upside is that spring might kick in sooner than usual… Anyway, this is my very first venture into portrait photography. Not much else to say. It was shot in a zoo, so no interesting wildlife story to go with it. Must have been a professional model pengiun though, he clearly had some experience posing for cameras.
This week we take another dive into the archives. A shot from 2010. I use this image a lot to show people that sometimes zooming out is better than zooming in. While I had a 500mm lens available at that time, this one was shot at ‘just’ 137mm. The collection of trees in the background is a distinct landmark very close to the “Bosje van Staf”, and hasn’t changed much in 8 years. I still remember seeing the deer walking through the woods to the right of this image and just waiting until they finally came out in the open. It took some patience, but after that the shot itself was pretty easy.
A simple composition this time. The light really makes this image work. The rising tide creates a nice flow of water, there’s a village in the distance which lights the clouds with this typical warm yellow gas discharge light, while the foreground reflects relatively cool moonlight.
For this shot I brought my little Olympus E-PL5 with the standard 14-42mm. Like most modern cameras (I think?) it has a live bulb mode, so you can see the image getting brighter while you’re shooting it. My old Canon EOS 40D doesn’t have such a feature, so it always takes a couple of tries to get the right exposure. With a shot that relies on rising tide to make the water flow, you don’t have time to shoot multiple times.
Being from the same location as the mushroom shots, this dike shed is a nice segway from recent shots to the archives. Another fun fact: it’s a square. I usually stick to 3:2, but this one screamed “square!” at me from the moment I spotted this composition.
Dike sheds were used to store tools and sandbags to make repairs to a dike in case of emergency. With modern (fast) transportation, they lost their purpose in the 20 century. Most of them are gone now, but some got repurposed and survived.
This is probably my last mushroom shot of this season. It’s been a pretty succesful season, considering that macro photography is one of my weak points and I never experimented with artificial light in nature photography before.
Now we move on to winter. Snow is quite rare here, so it’s more like having four extra months of autumn before spring kicks in again. But without the beautiful autumn colors. I’ll be posting more archived shots in the coming months.
About the shot itself: I believe the mushroom species is Armillaria Mellea, although the band around the stem isn’t visible here. In this case I didn’t use any artificial light, but I did (again) use a 36mm extension tube to get as close as possible.
The same kind of mushroom as in “Mushroom hunt continues…“, shot on the same day in the same area. But much closer thanks to a 36mm extension tube. Again I used a speedlight to light up the mushroom, but without a color filter. In this case it’s just as easy to create the warm foreground/cold background effect in post processing.
We are now entering a bit of a boring time for nature photography, where the beautiful fall colors are gone and winter has not yet begun. So I’ll take this moment to show some older shots. This one is the oldest shot that I still think is worth showing. Shot with my first DSLR and my very first lens: a Canon EOS 10D and a Tamron 24-135mm f/3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical IF Macro SP AF 40th Anniversary Edition. And yes, it is also the lens with the longest name I ever had. ;-)
Amazing what you can find when hunting for mushrooms… I bet this woodlouse has a very interesting story to tell about the way he died.
Shot with a 36mm extension tube to get as close as possible. Converted to greyscale with a blue filter. Removing all red and green from the image made the tree trunk a lot darker. As usual, everthing else is in the EXIF data.
As posted two weeks ago, I wanted to shoot some mushrooms this autumn. I don’t do a lot of macro stuff, but after reading some articles about using artificial light in nature photography (and macro in particular) I got excited. So here it is: the first time I ever used a flash in a natural environment. And the results make me want to do more!
Most technical information is stored in the EXIF data (of the full size version), except for the flash. I used an off-camera speedlight (Canon 430EX II) at 1/16th strength, manually fired, with Full CTO filter. There’s a blank sheet of (A4) paper between flash and mushroom acting as a softbox. After partial white balance correction, the mushroom retains some extra warmth while the background turns cold blue.