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"Swaddled" (Weigela florida Blossom Tucked into Hosta Leaf) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/7.1, 1/125s, -1.0EV, ISO 400

Walking the garden beds this morning, investigating if any damage had occurred in yesterday’s rainstorm, I came upon an unusual photo opportunity.  

The branches of my neighbor’s enormous old-fashioned Weigela hang over our fence and put on quite a showy display of small, trumpet-shaped flowers in spring.  

Yesterday’s storm knocked a slew of those blossoms off, divinely dropping one inside the ideally shaped crevice of a hosta leaf that sits below.  

Now, how could I pass that up? 🙂

Something a little more fun from me today! 🙂  

While photographing rain-soaked hosta leaves, I was already drawn to their wave-like form. So, when a small black gnat decided to do some surfing, well, it’s times like this you simply cannot believe what you are seeing through the lens!

"Shooting the Tube" (Black Gnat Surfing on Wet Hosta Leaves) Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/8, 1/50s, ISO 640, Black & White with Blue Tint

Since the foliage colors of this particular hosta are a variegation of green, white and yellow – not the hues that evoke a strong feeling of the sea – I decided a color change was necessary to successfully convey the ‘surfing gnat’ idea. So, the image was first converted to black & white and then tinted using blue. I also bumped up tonal contrast a bit using Color Efex Pro.  

Gnarly, dude! 🙂

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04/21/10 Update

Sean Kane requested a close up of the ‘surfing gnat’ so, here he is! 🙂

"Hang Six" (Surfing Gnat Close-up)

 (If you listen really closely, you can hear ‘wheeeeeeeeee!’ 😉 )

Another gorgeous day! Not much time to snap photos as I am preparing for a family portrait shoot later this afternoon. So, it was up and out early to see what I could find.

I attempted to photograph these Plantation Lily (aka Hosta) flowers yesterday but just couldn’t seem achieve the results I wanted. Trying again this morning, I went to the other side of the plant where the flowers were being backlit by the morning sun. Much better composition, but no matter what angle, the busy background in orangey-rust tones (due to the bed of cedar mulch) was just not working. I’m talking serious yuck.

Not one to give up, I propped up a small black panel behind the blooms to elimate the problem. Perfect! No more distracting background and the flowers now really seemed to ‘pop’.

"Morning Bells" (Plantation Lily Blossoms) Nikon D300, 400mm, F/16, 1/30s, -1.0EV, ISO640

"Morning Bells" (Plantation Lily, aka Hosta) Nikon D300, 400mm, F/16, 1/30s, -1.0EV, ISO640

Click, click, click and it was off to the computer. In post, I decided to add a slight glow to warm the image as well as a vignette blur filter to further isolate the main blossom. I call that done. 🙂

Can’t even pretend anymore…I am so tired of rain! Today was one of the worst weather days, and since we’ve only had 3 days of appreciable sun in the last 3 weeks, that is saying a lot. The temperature didn’t get above 60 degrees, it felt like nightfall all day long and, at times, I couldn’t see across the street due to the torrential downpour.

When the rain relented, I made my way outside. To be honest, finding anything worthy in the landscape to photograph was more than a challenge! So, it was back to the hostas for a textural shot. I knew their leaves could hold up to the torture Mother Nature was putting forth and were probably my only hope.

"Drop Tension" (Hosta, 'Sum & Substance') Nikon D300, 70mm, F/5.6, 1/320s, -0.3EV, SB800 w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -1.0EV

"Drop Tension" (Hosta, 'Sum & Substance') Nikon D300, 70mm, F/5.6, 1/320s, -0.3EV, ISO 400, SB800 w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -1.0EV

Ambient light was terrible so fill-flash was a must to bring out the details of both the water droplets and the deep grooves. Small depth of field focusses attention right along the sharp diagonal where that brightest drop is sure to end up.

Keeping my fingers crossed that we get some needed summer sunshine tomorrow!

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