Getting close!

Frank's orchids
Frank’s orchids

It must be a couple of years now since Frank passed away. Frank was a neighbour for many years and an enthusiastic gardener. He grew all manner of plants, but these orchids were some of his favourites. Quite tiny blooms, but when you see then in a group they’re rather lovely … as they are when you get up close. Frank gave us some of these orchids when he was still active and well, and they serve as a lovely reminder of an old friend.

The image you see above was taken with a 50mm lens and extension tubes to let me get just that little bit closer. Three flash guns (left rear, right rear and front right) were used to illuminate the scene. Shame Frank isn’t here to see his blooms still doing well.

Monochrome and close.

Monochrome ... and close.
Monochrome … and close.

A bit wet … thank goodness for weather sealing on the camera and lenses!! I thought I’d try to get close to this little flower … and then the weather changed! No longer dry and windless, but rain and the flower was moving all over the place. Just for fun I thought I’d try to freeze the action with some flash. A single speedlight placed camera left, really to keep it dry more than anything else! Not too bad. Not a lot of movement in the bloom.

Oh, the flower is white, and it’s foliage is grey/green. Not much contrast in the scene. A bit of a twiddle in Nik’s Silver Efex Pro helped change the contrasts and “sensitivity” to different colours.

A bit of HDR

Friendship House Manukau
Friendship House Manukau

The weather wasn’t the best, and there was quite a bit of contrast in the scene. HDR to the rescue again. I’ve been using Nik’s HDR Efex Pro for some time now and have been very impressed with the product. There is, however, one serious weakness when compared to Photomatix Pro and that’s its ability to handle ghosting. In the shot you see here above (nine frames used to make up the HDR image) there were several ghosts of the cars and pedestrians as they moved through the scene. Photomatix to the rescue!

Back … well almost!

Not been on here for some time. It all started going pear shaped about four weeks ago when I started to feel ill. A brief spell in hospital, and then quite some time recovering from surgery and feeling somewhat worse for wear has kept me away from the blog. Mind you, one week after being on the operating theatre I did manage to shoot the 2013 Schools Trash to Fashion finals. This was a real mission for me, and I must admit to being totally wasted after the show. I’d promised to shoot the event, so I really wanted to be there. The contestants put so much time and effort into their garments and I wanted to make sure we got some worthwhile images.

Supreme garment "Tori No Su (Birds Nest)" by Kayla Rousselle of Lynfield College
Supreme garment “Tori No Su (Birds Nest)” by Kayla Rousselle of Lynfield College

The contestants are all school children and their ages range from school years 1 through to 13. Their imagination and creativity is quite amazing and you get the feeling that you’re looking at some of the country’s future fashion designers.

Some of the "Shorn!" Category Contestants
Some of the “Shorn!” Category Contestants

Want to see more? Well, click here to go to the main page for the ST2F 2013 photographs. Just want to see the winners? Click here.