In any creative endeavor, we can find ourselves in a proverbial rut sometimes. This has happened a number of times during all the years that I have dabbled in the photographic arts; across nearly 50 years of photography, one looks to learn and improve. When I struggle to see improvement in my work, I tend to question the why behind my photography, which might lead down a couple of rabbit holes!
Luckily, photography is not a one-dimensional means of expression, as there are lots of choices to make to get that image you might be after. Aperture, shutter speed and composition are starting points. Of course, the equipment we use for a particular shot matters, as it did in this image from 2009…
At first glance, you might ask what is so unusual about an image that is out of focus? The catch is that this image is not out of focus. It was captured with a Lensbaby Composer using a zone plate lens. You may ask what all this means, unless you too have dabbled with this kind of lens.
A zone plate lens is effectively a series of rings surrounding a center hole with each of the clear zones of these rings equalling the area of the center hole; thus each zone gets thinner as you move away from the center of the zone plate. You may still be scratching your head, and I could tell you that the zone plate uses diffraction for focusing rather than refraction, the way a standard lens works. Based on analysis by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, the lens was constructed with the spacing of zones to create constructive interference of the diffracted light, thus producing the image.
This might still sound a bit odd, so let me share that one of the effects is that the detail of the image is given a surrounding glow, as you can see in the above shot. This might be an effect that one tries to achieve in post-processing; for me, it is enjoyable to capture this intent right in camera. The post-processing that I applied consisted mostly of raising contrast and bumping up saturation to create a more vibrant image. There also was a bit of retouching of dust spots on the sensor, as the zone plate has an effective aperture of f/22.
I’m curious to hear what type of photography equipment options you use to boost your creative juices. Let me know.
For this Sunday, I thought I’d share another snap from our visit to New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill in Boylston, Massachusetts.
The artful displays for the Night Lights event were everywhere and one of the indoor areas had us walking through an ocean of beauty, including this gorgeous creation.
What caught my eye is that most of the displays were made from everyday objects, including this one. Many recyclables were used to show how our simplest items can be turned into an imaginative display.
As we started this year, 364 days ago now, we knew that it couldn’t be as bad as the year(s) we lost to COVID; we held out hope and a conviction that things were looking up!
Guess what? 2022 turned out pretty good, and I, for one, am even more optimistic about 2023, as we turn over the next leaf…
Like this leaf, life started looking a lot better over the past year, as we started traveling again (Iceland and river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel for personal travel). Inspiration started coming back with a more positive outlook, which turned to creating more images. Work, albeit insanely busy, allowed me to take an entirely new look on how to organize a modern software development organization (looking forward to the rollout of this in 2023).
I feel that the momentum is there once again, and I plan to keep moving things forward!
Oh yes, the image… I photographed this leaf during the Night Lights event at the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill; the lighting on this leaf was red, which led me to take the black&white direction.
Happy New Year to one and all and I look forward to sharing our future explorations!
There’s nothing better for finding inspiration to create some photographs than going to the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill in Boylston, MA! I’m lucky enough to live less than 10 minutes from this wonderful facility, so visits are fairly frequent!
The walk through the Ramble area in the garden presents an intriguing array of spheres of various sizes, which subtly change their colors in a playful manner. I always love capturing them, as their mystery really comes across when contrasted with the dark that surrounds them.
By juxtaposing some of these orbs, there is the opportunity to let our minds explore thoughts of their origins. In the above image, I might imagine that we’re looking at gigantic amphibian eggs that form loosely coupled clusters in the ether around us. Very fanciful imaginings of possible space amphibians that make a regular trip to our planet…
The above images were captured with an iPhone 13 Pro Max and processed with Skylum’s Luminar AI and touched up with Adobe Photoshop.
Last night, my wife and I visited Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s Winter Lights; each winter holiday season, they do an amazing job creating a wondrous display of lights, which presents some interesting photo opportunities.
Their lighting creates moments, such as this cherub, simply to be enjoyed and taken in.
Welcome to the 146th round up of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!
First you rose to the occasion and then you went for more growth! What an amazing array of posts! Not only were you creative in your photos, but you also provided wonderful prose and poetry with them! There was also a bit of humor, which I always appreciate 🙂 Thank you for making this another week of fun reading and rounding up!
I hope that you also enjoy all these great posts!
Here’s a delectable growth…
This shot comes from one of my many visits to Tower Hill Botanic Garden, which presents nearly unlimited material for any photographer. Its displays are filled with color, form, structure and combine Nature and human creations in stunning fashions!
The following were this week’s participants in the challenge with links to their posts: