Making Something Out Of Nothing

Canon 5D camera and Canon 180mm f3.5 L series lens

The images in today’s post were made during a workshop in Central Victoria. The weather was inclement and the participants, while keen for information, were less than enthusiastic about photographing outside.

You can’t really teach enthusiasm, but you can inspire through example. When teaching on location its important to be out there, in the trenches, regardless of the conditions. Participants are expecting to come away with great images and a tutor must do their best to help them achieve their expectations.

On the day in question the light was flat and uninspiring. There was little hope of classic landscape imagery, so a different approach was in order. Out came the macro lens and a quick demonstration followed. The above image features a close-up of a portion of an olive oil bottle, surrounded by aluminum foil, photographed on the kitchen table at our workshop base. The tip for participants, without such a specialized lens, was to set their own lens to manual focus, walk up close to their subject and move and then rock the camera back and forth until sharpness is achieved. While not macro, the average kit lens will allow you to produce interesting close-ups when used in this manner. So, with a new way of seeing the world and a more physical approach to their photography, bad weather was forgotten and the group got on with having fun and making great images.

Canon 5D camera and Canon 180mm f3.5 L series lens

The image of the kangaroo skull was taken mid afternoon, when a sudden blaze of sunlight caused us to head into the shade for more controlled lighting conditions. I found the kangaroo skull nearby and photographed it on an old sheet of rusted iron, which I placed on top of my car bonnet for some on location tabletop photography.

Canon 5D camera and Canon 180mm f3.5 L series lens

The final photograph emphasizes the texture qualities of a wild flower near the shores of a reservoir. While the poor weather prevented the opportunity for our planned sunset, matching alternative subject matter with appropriate technique produced a worthwhile image.

All images were processed in Adobe Lightroom 2 and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography
Glenn Guy