Thursday, February 4, 2016

See In a New Way

We are experiencing a very warm Winter here in Maine, so my usual favorite Winter subjects like frost and ice and snowy landscapes have only appeared sporadically. I've done a little flower photography inside, but really haven't been shooting much and have been feeling less than inspired. When that happens, I try to see in a new way, and the easiest way to do that is to put a Lensbaby on my camera. This morning it was 50 degrees outside, with light fog, and I love shooting with that sort of light, so I grabbed my new Lensbaby Composer Pro ll and Edge 50 optic for the first time and headed out.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Edge 50, it is a selective focus optic, but instead of the typical Lensbaby sweet spot of focus, this optic, like the Edge 80, provides a slice of focus through the image.  The aperture range is f/3.2 to f/22, and it can focus as close as 8 inches away from your subject.

I kept the aperture at f/3.2 for max blur, I really wanted to be able to simplify my backgrounds while walking around the yard, seeing what I could find to shoot. Here are a few samples:











It was a good morning, I am feeling more inspired and so happy to be outside shooting!

Happy shooting,
Kathleen

Friday, December 11, 2015

My Texture Collections

I love adding texture backgrounds to many of my images, and have been collecting textures for years.  You can find textures everywhere, my collection includes images of frost, rust, paint, water, wheat, plants and more and also painterly images I create from scratch. I love adding them to images that just need a little something more in the background.

This morning I finally made my textures available for purchase on my site and I am excited to share them. I have more collections coming, but the first 3 are now available for $9.99 each:







Though these textures are black and white (color collections coming soon!), I use them on both color and black and white photos:








You can find my Texture Collections on my website here. I am also working on some tutorials for working with Textures, watch for those after the Holidays.

Happy Shooting!
Kathleen

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Camera Movement Fun

I love making images while moving my camera vertically using a slow shutter speed. Some people call this Vertical Panning, some call it Intentional Camera Movement, call it whatever you'd like, I call it fun! 


                                                                           f/9  1/5 sec.


 Deliberately moving your camera during an exposure can result in some stunning abstract photographs. I love this technique, it's a wonderful way to see your subject differently! It does take some practice and is often hit or miss, each photograph will yield such different results. It’s well worth the effort to shoot lots and lots of these. You may need to use your polarizing filter or neutral density filter to get the necessary slow shutter speeds for these images if you are shooting on a bright day.


                                                                        f/25 .5 sec
                                                                        
f/14 .4 sec

f/4.5 .3 sec

 f/32 .4 sec

Find a subject with lots of interest, containing pattern, line, color, shape, or contrast. Set an exposure that allows you to use a long shutter speed, I usually start with 1/30 second or slower. At the moment you press the shutter, move the camera in a straight line, up or down. Too little movement will just resemble a blurry photo and too much movement will result in loss of all detail. Experiment with movement speed and shutter speed until you find a combination that works for you.

Photographers often use this technique to photograph trees, their long lines do make them excellent subject matter for the technique. But think beyond trees... you can pan buildings and other landscapes, and also smaller scenes, just look for a frame filled with line and color. This can be a great thing to try on a very windy day when you are just not going to get subject sharpness, or with a subject that isn't in prime condition, blur is very forgiving! It's also a great way to create photos when you just aren't feeling very creative. Panning will get you out of that slump!

Irises f/9 1/6 sec

Lupine F/32 1/8 sec

 Try adding a little curve to that vertical motion for a different effect:

Tulips f/18 1/30 sec

iPhone shooters can pan too, my favorite App for this is called Slow Shutter, here are some images I  made in Charleston while panning with my phone:




Happy Shooting!
Kathleen

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lensbaby's New Velvet 56

On January 27th, I posted this tweet to my Twitter followers:

"Photographers- Ever open one of your new photos and feel a huge surge of emotion? I had that today, what a powerful, wonderful feeling!"

     What sparked that surge of emotion? It was when I was just beginning to beta test the newly announced Velvet 56 lens for my friends at Lensbaby. I was really excited to start shooting with this lens because of it's Macro capability, but was unprepared for the amazing look of the images I created or the emotional reaction those photographs would spark. Here is one of the first images I made, right out of the camera:


The lens is fabulous, and allows me to capture the way I see flowers!  The Velvet 56 has true 1:2 Macro capability,  I can get about 5 inches away from my subjects, yet also focus to infinity. It adds an amazing  ethereal glow to the images, which is unlike any other lens I have used. Shooting wide open adds more of that diffused glow, and stopping down captures details with a very unique look and feel. The lens has a solid feel to it, and the manual focus is super smooth.

I did lots of test shots with the same subject at different apertures to get a feel 
for the effect using different F stops:

I tested this lens shooting inside at home and also on several trips:

Home:


 In Florida:


Charleston:


 and Santa Fe:


This lens will also be fabulous for Portraiture, I look forward to exploring more
with it in that area. So far I've only persuaded my cat to pose:



Many more images to come, all of this traveling hasn't left me 
with much image processing time!

Adding this lens to my collection makes me feel that my best work is yet to come, and for a Photographer, there is no greater gift. Thank you Lensbaby!

Happy Shooting!
Kathleen


Monday, January 19, 2015

Shooting Out of Your Comfort Zone

I always love trying different types of Photography. I think it's important to stretch yourself as a Photographer, to seek new subjects and different ways of seeing the world. When Photographer Kim Stone asked me if I knew someone who could shoot some new portraits of her for an upcoming show of her photographs, I offered to do it myself.  Kim shoots beautiful landscapes and equine photographs, and wanted the portraits to include 2 of her horses. Since I have very little experience photographing horses, I thought it would be a really good challenge for me and I was not disappointed.

We did the shoot at Kim's farm, where she has acres of pastures. With snow on the ground and soft, overcast light and moderate temperatures in the 30s, it was a great day to make her portraits. It was a fun challenge to not only pose my subject but catch the horses in the positions where I wanted them, definitely a shoot fast and often situation! I was able to send Kim 14 portraits, and she was pleased with my work. I think my portraits captured the love Kim has for her horses, which was my goal. Here are a few samples of the images I made:






Happy Shooting!
Kathleen

Friday, January 2, 2015

365 Project on Instagram


On January 1st, I started a new project on Instagram. I'll be posting (or at least trying to post) a daily photo taken with my iPhone. If you aren't familiar with Instagram, it's photo sharing app for mobile phones, and lots of fun. I love the fact that the emphasis is on photos as opposed to the content shared on other social sites, you can post images and even short videos, and you can add filters to your images right in the app. Double tapping on a photo adds it to your favorites and lets the maker know you like their photo. You can follow friends and family, and its really fun to see what other people post. Here's a video tutorial to help get you started:
Instagram

I will be posting photos taken with my iPhone, but you can choose to post photos taken with anything you are using to make images. My goal in doing this project is to get myself to take more photos with my phone. Since that is the camera I have with me all the time, it just makes sense.



There are no rules here (isn't that a wonderful thing?).  The photos you post don't need to be taken that day, if you skip a day there is no penalty, I am not going to stick to any particular theme, this is really just for fun. Add hashtags to help people find your photos if you want, but again, no rules! If you tag them with 365kc I'll be sure not to miss them and you can see photos from other people playing along. Hope you'll join me and give this a try. You can find me on Instagram as @kathleenclemons.



Anything that gets you shooting more, paying more attention to the world around you and looking at more photos can only be good for your growth as a photographer! Hope to see your photos on Instagram too!

Happy Shooting,
Kathleen

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Favorite Photographs

At the end of each year I like to go back through all of the images I created that year and try to choose my favorite photos. The photos are not necessarily my most popular with other people, but they are the ones that make my heart sing. Some are favorites because I tried a new technique or a new way of processing. Some make the list because the subject is dear to my heart, sometimes the location where I made the photo has special meaning to me. At times I see a concept or story in the photo that speaks to me. There are always some I choose for no other reason other than that I love the photo. I compile the top 40-50 images into a slideshow which becomes a wonderful memory of the images I made that year.  Here are some photos that made the cut so far:














Start looking through the photos you made last year and put a collection together, think about creating a slideshow of the images. I did a post about making slideshows last year, check it out here if you need some help with the process.

Wishing you all a fabulous 2015!

Happy shooting,
Kathleen