Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What Boredom Leads To

Well, I know it should lead to an update of my site so I can link to a fresh page. But not today. Today it led to photographing a fly in the snow. Turned out awesome. I don't normally bother with flies unless they're markedly different than a housefly. Most of them aren't and I couldn't tell them apart and they're kind of boring. (Horseflies aside. Swat those bad boys.) However, they always look cool in the snow. I thought this guy was dead, but he moved. Insects can survive cold temperatures it just slows them down.

Then I decided to mess around with a technology I recently stumbled across called High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. It's been around a few years. Seems like it's on the way out right now. It makes photos look like paintings. Makes the colors very vivid. Well, I wondered if it would work with macro photography. It's been mainly used with beach scenes sunrises or sunsets and night shots of villages or cities. In other words, large scenic shots. Basically you take two-three shots of exactly the same subject and switch out the light space in between each. Then there's a macro in photoshop that will line that all up and merge it. It's kind of cool. I have yet to get it to work just right. I shake a lot. Even so it's recommended that you use a tripod, so it doesn't take much to get off balance in between shots. I'll have to do that. In any case, I used HDR with a shot I took of my pen and binder on my desk. I then added the ink outline filter in photoshop. Not too shabby.

The last shot I couldn't even begin to explain. It started as an HDR and just went through all kinds of crazy filters. I often just mess around - sometimes for hours - just to see what I get. By the time I'm done, I don't know what I did. The main steps involved glowing edges filter, tilting the image, polar coordinates filter then I took a piece of that and cut and paste and did a stamp filter to copy bits of the image over and over again. While no longer anything close to being recognizable as a photo, it would still fall under the heading of abstract photography. Although, there is a branch of that which just involves photographing a piece of something to get the pattern of it as well.

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