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Experimentation on a Thursday

Today has been bad weather wise, I wasn’t sure what to do, but the one thing I did know, was that I wanted to try out the EOS 600D.  I also wanted to try some more images in the Silver Efex Pro 2, I need to use it as much as I can before the trial period ends.  Since the weather was bad, I decided to buy some roses to see what I could come up with.  I will admit, I’m not a big fan of roses, no idea why I bought them, you should do still life images of flowers you love.

I lay this down on top of the canvas that I usually use as a backdrop.  It is not black, and so I tried to make it black, but for some reason it wouldn’t really work with this image.

I don’t have a flash for the 600D, there is a built in flash, but I don’t really like the built in flashes, you can never get enough control.  I do have a couple of external flashes, but they are Nikon, so no good for these.  I decided to try taking the photo without a tripod, I had to up the ISO and I am pleasantly surprised at how good they turned out with a higher ISO.  I was also very happy with how close I could get to take the photos.  I was only about 40cm away from this.  I was using the 18-135mm lens.

Using Silver Efex I processed this image.  I played with a lot more things.  I really do like the software, it is very user friendly, though, if I had a criticism, it would be undoing something once you have done it can be a bit tricky, thank godness for the Ctrl Z command.  It undoes so many things.  I did add a filter, but it was very subtle.

Again, this was photographed with the 600D.  I had it on Aperture priority, and I started with the aperture at f5.6, but this was taken with an aperture of f7 or f8, still, zooming in gave me a very short depth of field, and the third rose is out of focus.  I haven’t decided if that bothers me or  not.  I don’t mind it.  I probably should have used my tripod, but my mouth is still bothering me some, and I was being lazy.  I did buy a lot of roses, so I might have another go later on, or tomorrow.  I would also like to take much better images so I can do more with the processing.

Again, processed with Silver Efex, and again it has been processed differently.  I like how many different things you can do.  I think if I had to try and do all this in Photoshop I would be at a loss, because I didn’t know how much is possible.

I was standing on the table to get this image.  They almost look like paper.  I don’t have a colour version of this, just the one processed in Silver Efex.  I played with many more effects in this one.  I did some vignetting to see what it would be like.  I put a heavier tone on the image.  It also has much more of an antique feel, which does seem appropriate for roses.

I am really liking this software, I’m not going to lie to you.  I am going to have to find a way to get it I think.

I have heard from Nik Software and Adrian also commented that if you register with them, or join their mailing list they also have free live training sessions and sometimes you might be able to get a 20% discount on their software.  That would be good.

Updates

I got a response from Nikon today, and found out the information I have been after, that was a relief.  It was so disappointing that they hadn’t replied before.  You understand how it is, I love Nikon and have always thought they were the best, and then when I asked for help, and then received none, well, I was disappointed.  I am so glad they have replied to me.  I know what I need to know now to help me write my online courses, so that is good.

I have approached Crumpler about a camera bag.  I was sent a response that the woman who dealt with requests like mine was away and was meant to be back last Monday.  I haven’t heard anything yet, though I am hoping that is just because she has just got back from holidays and is catching up, so will give her a little more time.

I don’t know how many of you have heard about Crumpler, it is an Australian Company, and I am pretty sure most Australians have heard of them.  They make bags of all sorts.  They give all their bags a lifetime guarantee on the stitching or maybe on the whole bag, which I think is fantastic.  If the stitching comes undone, they will just restitch it for you, I wish Lowepro did that.

I think they became famous for their courier bags, not totally sure, but if you ask anyone who has one, they all say the bags are comfortable and very durable.  I have to say, that is exactly what I am looking for in a camera bag.  I do have Crumpler camera straps, I love them and they are so comfortable.  I found the Nikon straps that came with my camera weren’t comfortable when I was carrying my camera around my neck for long periods, but the Crumpler straps are wide, padded and brilliant.

I also heard from another company that I sent an enquiry about, it was for some other HDR software called Oloneo, someone left a comment about it, and I am so sorry, I can’t remember which post or who it was to say thank you, so please, if you are reading this let me know.  They have given me some information, and I will download a free trial of it and do a review to let you know what I think about it.

It will be hard using other HDR software.  I did set up an affiliation with Photomatix Pro, so if any of you buy it using the code I would get a percentage of the software, but I don’t feel that I have to be loyal for that product.  I have a few different types of HDR software to test and try out, so it is going to be good to see what I think is best in the end.

Anyway, enough words for today.  I hope lots of you have downloaded the free trial version of Silver Efex and have been playing.  It is a lot of fun.

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51 Comments Post a comment
  1. I always enjoy your posts and usually read something that sends me running to inspect or try something… Keep it up!
    I love your roses :)

    I think I’d really like to get my hands on Silver Efex too… B&W photography is my first love and I like the results you’re getting / achieving.

    November 1, 2012
    • Thank you Robyn, that is wonderful to hear. :)
      I am glad you like them, though I do wish I had taken more care.
      If you love B&W you would love Silver Efex, download the trial and see what you think.

      November 2, 2012
  2. If you can capture such images of flowers you don´t particularly like, then how about the ones you really DO like?

    Stunning photos, Leanne :)

    November 1, 2012
    • I don’t know Marianne, I will have to give it another shot. I do like doing flowers that I think will make rather dramatic images.
      Thank you.

      November 2, 2012
  3. lensaddiction #

    It was me who mentioned Oloneo :) I am glad you are giving it ago as I feel its a much better option than Photomatix, and gives a lot more realistic feel to the images. I have also not had the same issues with glow either.

    BTW i *love* your first rose pic. I am tempted to say those rose are Double Delight which is one of my all time fave roses. And you are playing with the Canon, yay!

    Have a look at this – they have free LR presets which are quite nice, and a fee trial I am going to give a go

    http://www.ononesoftware.com/products/suite7/

    November 1, 2012
    • Thanks lensaddiction, I have been sent some information, so when I do a post on it I will make sure I mention you in the post. I am looking forward to playing with it. I want to wait until our internet if renewed for the month first. I have been downloading quite a few trial programs lately. I have been finding a problem with Photomatix when I process a HDR with lots of trees, I get grey areas, so I am keen to see if this stops that.
      That is really nice to hear, I wasn’t sure about the roses, but they seem to have been liked quite a bit.
      I will check it out, and thank you for all your help.

      November 2, 2012
  4. Nice shots and you seem to have a had a very “thoughtful” session there! Well done you! I also am no great rose lover.
    Charles

    November 1, 2012
    • Thank you Charles, I don’t understand the attraction with roses, though I have seen some beautiful images of them.

      November 2, 2012
  5. Paul #

    Just popping in to say how impressed I am about your work, Leanne.

    I introduced Photography as part of the Visual Arts curriculum at MacRob back in the 90s, and taught it for a number of years, using a disused Physics storeroom as a B&W darkroom (!) before I retired (the Art Department now has its own darkroom and a revolving light-safe door).

    While I read all your posts I don’t always respond to them (preferring to lurk?) but I do very much admire your dedication, your constant acquisition of new skills, and your determination to do better in everything you do.

    (Ha ha, that sounds like a typical teacher’s report, doesn’t it?)

    Anyway, just keep up the good work!

    Paul x

    November 1, 2012
    • Thank you so much Paul. I take that a massive compliment.

      That is very cool about MacRob, nice to know you got it all started. I have to admit I was never one for the darkroom, I found it so tedious, and I could never get the results I wanted.

      Lurking is fine, and I appreciate you telling me that. I love learning new things, and there is so much software out there now to learn, so more to learn.

      Yes teacher, haha, maybe a little.
      Thank you so much.

      November 2, 2012
  6. Lovely work here Leeann. I think the DOF is perfect for these types of images.

    November 1, 2012
    • Thank you so much Ed, great to hear liked that.

      November 2, 2012
  7. Love the final rose image.

    November 1, 2012
  8. Very very nice!!!

    November 2, 2012
  9. Roses – Always beautiful no matter how you look at them.
    Not to mention your photos in general. Thanks for always sharing!

    November 2, 2012
    • Thank you RoSy, and thank you for always checking them out.

      November 2, 2012
  10. Breathtakingly gorgeous images, Leanne…and that comes from one who photographs flowers incessantly! Lovely color in that first image…and those roses are a quite spectacular variety…the B/Ws and the sepia are beautiful treatments for those ‘we deserve to be photographed’ flowers! Keep Going!

    November 2, 2012
    • Thank you 1000, I don’t know if they are a variety, or just cream ones they have coloured some how. I have some others that are a lighter pink. I do like the antique look of them. It is interesting doing the images in different ways. I have to make the most of the software before the trial runs out, haha.

      November 2, 2012
  11. Tricia's Blogs #

    Leanne I am not necessarily a rose fan either, however they are sometimes captured gloriously, and you did that, especially in my two favorite images: the colored group of 3 (with the 3rd one blurred… isn’t that called bokeh?), and the last ‘antique’ look grouping. Wow, those were so lovely to look at!

    November 2, 2012
    • What a lovely thing to say Tricia, thank you so much. I think I like those ones as well, I do like the group of three, I’m not sure if it is bokeh or not, I am not totally sure of the correct definition. So glad you like them.

      November 2, 2012
  12. Beautiful…. I’m going to have to come back and study your posts when I have more time to play with my pictures… I really appreciate all you do to help!

    November 2, 2012
    • The posts will always be here Keli, it is lovely that you find them educational, I like to talk about what I do and why. It is a great record for me as well. Thank you.

      November 2, 2012
  13. The roses look very nice. The B&W treatment does give it the old-fashioned view.

    Another possibility on a camera bag is emera bags (emerabags.com). A photographer friend of mine in SF has two bags by them. They have messenger/courier styles and tote styles.

    November 2, 2012
    • Thank you David,
      I haven’t heard of them, but I will be sure to look them up. I am getting a little jack of waiting for Crumpler to get back to me. There is only so much time you can give a company.

      November 2, 2012
  14. a beautifully captured experiment :)

    November 2, 2012
  15. I found something to like about each of the rose images but the last antiquey image is captivating. Interesting what you say about the Crumpler bags. They have a store near me, and I wanted a bag for the G.O. but the store smells so mouldy I had to run out. I might persevere. They look like a great bag.

    November 2, 2012
    • Thank you EllaDee, that is great to hear, the last image has been very popular, wish I could remember what I did, haha.
      I wonder if they are aware that there store smells, they have a good website. Though don’t email them for help, they aren’t very good at getting back to people. I am over it. I think I need to start looking elsewhere for my bag. Though, having said that, I have a friend who has a Crumpler that she travels with, and she loves it, and has used it for many years.

      November 2, 2012
  16. WOW…WONDERFUL….Orofiorentino from Italy

    November 2, 2012
  17. Gorgeous!!!

    November 2, 2012
  18. Beautiful Leanne!!..

    Just wanted to weigh in on your ‘bag’ issue.. I have two.. A crumpler camera bag which from memory fits a laptop, my SLR an extra lens and still has PLENTY of room.. I’ve not used it for two years as I’ve been traveling O/S and wanted something that was a little bit more compact, but I also believe that it will fit a second camera in (which is awesome as I now have two!!) and all my accessories.. the second is a new one that I only purchased in August.. it’s a Lowepro passport sling and I LOVE it for traveling or when I’m hiking.. I’m one of those ones that loves to have my hands free, but also love’s to have a few accessories ‘just in case’. The sling is perfect size for day to day use and has big enough pockets on the outside to store your water or anything else that you just want to slide in.. The other feature is that it is expandable, so when I went to Las Vegas recently it doubled as my handbag and I had all my Camera gear with me when ever I needed it, Body, kit and second lens,

    November 2, 2012
    • I have a Crumpler swing, which I use when I am just wondering, but I don’t like using it with my tripod, it find it swings around and has almost sent my tripod, and camera, flying a few times. Though it is good if I am just wondering around the city, or something like that, and not using the tripod. I am looking for a bag that is big enough to carry nearly all my gear, for when I go to cycling, or have to go to a job. I am not happy with Lowepro, they will not respond to any correspondence, so that is really disappointing. I had hoped that Crumpler would be better, but I am having my doubts there as well. Ah, to find a company that can just answer your emails and your enquiries.

      November 2, 2012
      • Thanks Patchegal12 for your input, I do appreciate it.

        November 2, 2012
  19. The last photo is divine, gorgeous, beautiful, lovely! I love how the roses do look papery and fragile and how not all of it is completely in focus but faded.

    November 2, 2012
    • It has turned out to be more popular than I thought it would be. I like what you have described and why you like it, thank you.

      November 2, 2012
  20. I love that last photo, too. And now I have to check on Crumpler and Lowepro bags! I’ve just never been able to find a bag that is just right! I also like to use a camera bag as a purse to have only one bag I carry.

    November 2, 2012
    • Good luck on checking out the bags, I am finding the companies quite annoying to deal with and am thinking of looking elsewhere altogether. Can you tell how disillusioned I am. Tamrac and Think Tank have also been recommended.

      November 2, 2012
  21. I love the first photo. It’s so ….. defined undefined. Well done. Also the editing!
    On silver efex: I have them, too, and use them every now and then. They are great.

    November 2, 2012
    • Thank you solaner, I wasn’t sure about that one myself.
      I am fast becoming a fan of Silver Efex. I can see why people love it.

      November 2, 2012
  22. I’m not a fan of roses either but I really like the triple B&W shot, that’s a winner. I never knew Crumpler was an Australian brand, just assumed they were American! Have you tried Black Rapid straps? I really like mine over the usual neck straps, gets my camera down and out of the way when I’m not using it.

    November 2, 2012
    • Glad you like that one, that’s great. Yes Crumpler is very definitely Australian. It is easy to assume that. No I haven’t tried Black Rapid straps, have thought about them from time to time, but never got around to getting one, I always thought they would be good for the cycling. Thanks

      November 2, 2012
  23. petit4chocolatier #

    I love your roses! Stunning and brilliant photos.

    I hope you don’t mind if I reblog the link on my reblog tastings page?

    November 2, 2012
    • Thank you, glad you like them, and no, I don’t mind you reblogging it at all, it is nice to be asked,

      November 5, 2012
  24. Nice experiment with a good outcome.

    November 3, 2012
    • Thank you, that is great to read, glad you liked it.

      November 5, 2012
  25. I have a Crumpler bag & I love it Leanne! Great shots of the roses

    November 3, 2012
    • That is great, but somehow I don’t think I will be getting one now, :(
      I am happy to hear that the roses have been well received. Thank you.

      November 5, 2012

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