Week 17 April 22, 2020 Water Drop Photography; Persistence, Perseverance and Patience

Last week’s 52frames photo challenge was fast shutter speed, and for those who wanted to up the challenge, waterdrop photography. I found quite a few instructional videos that provide plenty of insight into the process, and I must say I learned a lot.

First, it isn’t the shutter speed that matters, it is the flash speed, and not all flashes are high speed, fast enough to catch and suspend the water drop without any sense of movement.

Second, in order to fill the frame with the image my macro lens had to be close to the action, which meant it was getting splashed, and I was cleaning my lens every few drops.

Third, there are a few mechanical timers that can be purchased to make this whole job easier, but they are not cheap, so I stuck to the manual process, a small plastic bag of water, dripping into a dish. Timing the drip, tripping the shutter, and flash to catch that beautiful drop after it hits the water is not easy. One photographer warned that this challenge would take persistence, perseverance, and patience.

As I was sitting watching the water drip from the bag into the dish, I think I was about 1% successful in the beginning, but as I practiced my timing got better and I think by the time I had enough good shots to participate in the challenge I was getting about a 20% success rate.

I would say that I persistently persevered and while my patience was tested I resolved to get it right. It reminded me of my days’ figure skating. I, like everyone, practiced, we practiced the jumps and dance steps and routines, over and over and over again, until we got them right, then we would do them again.

I am not sure I will continue with water drop photography, but I am glad I embraced the challenge it was a wonderful learning opportunity.

Week 15; April 7 Photography

close up of old antique spoons

From my great aunty’s silverware box, I have decided to clean the old “silver” and use some of the pieces for the study of light and still-life photography. A little battered, and the silver a little thin in spots these old spoons have a delicate curve. Building a mini home studio that favors the light of my east-facing windows, was one challenge, the next was to find an angle that was not full of reflections.

Dan Albergotti’s poem has me thinking of all the things I can do in my home;

“Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale”
Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days.
Lookup for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires
with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals. Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices. Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you. Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound
of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart.
Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope,
where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all
the things you did and could have done. Remember
treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes
pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.
—Dan Albergotti, The Boatloads

I think I am somewhere between listening for the sound of my heart and being nostalgic but moving on to thinking of all the things I am going to do, that I can do. Where might you be at this time? I would love to hear from you.

What to do on a snowy day!

Tulips; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

it snowed yesterday; so I played with the tulips. Tulips have a great way of brightening the room and allow me to ignore the weather outside.

Tea Time; still life

Tea pot, tea cup, and tea strainer, still life,
Tea Time; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

Tea Time, my Aunty Margaret’s hand-me-down (very old tea-pot) Erin’s cute little robot tea strainer, and some homemade peanut butter cookies.

I set up this still life on the coffee table just in front of the couch, no special table top, or background, light coming from the patio window.  I have been following Kim Klassen’s Be-Still 52, an online still life course, and each week trying to create at least one still life. I am finding it easier to do this if the objects and still life have some meaning for me. Once I had captured a few image it was time to sit back and relax and enjoy the tea and cookies.

Morning Coffee Still-life

Morning Espresso in a Green Glass cup, the perfect way to start the day
Morning Espresso in a Green Glass cup, the perfect way to start the day 

Yes another cup of coffee! I love my morning coffee! I think there are so many ways to serve and of course photograph a cup of coffee. I love these little green glass cups, almost as much as the coffee that is served in them, or maybe because of the warm dark aromatic liquid it holds.

It has been a busy couple of weeks, getting home after months travelling around, spending time with family and friends. It has been a wonderful few weeks, and there are still so many friends to re-connect with. All this has taken time, and while I believe there is always time for coffee with a friend, it is now time to building a new routine that involves the camera, and taking photos.

I have enrolled in Kim Klassen’s Be-Still 52, she describes it as a year of artful inspiration, each week there is a new lesson, and new inspiration for still-life photography. I want to spend a little more time learning to photograph still-life images; little vignette’s of my day to share with you.

Tulips in Black and White


we have been busy getting our lives organized here in Calgary, I am not sure where the time goes, but my routine for photography, blogging, exercise, and reading seems to have gone right out the door!

I hope you enjoy the tulips, I am hoping to start back into photographing at least one still life a week! I think that should be feasible?!

Drop a line, let me know what you think of the tulips. Share the post with your friends if you like it, and you can find me on instagram if that is where you like to hang out to look at pretty pictures!

After-Before Roses

Roses_after; copyright jmeyersforem 2015
Roses_after; copyright jmeyersforem 2015

It’s Friday, and that means another After-Before Friday Blog Post, I am becoming a regular contributor to Stacy’s After-Before Friday Forum, were photographers share they photographs and their working process. For some, or at least me, it is an opportunity to read and learn some new Photoshop or Lightroom skills. The photographers who submit to Stacy’s forum range in skill level from novice to those with advanced skills. The one thing I have learned is  there is more than one way to process an image, and personal style is more likely to affect the final results as software! Each photographer has a unique way of looking at the photos and deciding the final outcome and I never fail to learn something, mostly keep it simple!

I have been taking an on-line still-life course with Kim Klassen, she has provided the inspiration for this weeks post. The florist down the street had these beautiful roses for sale! Kim’s Friday blog is Friday Finds, it is all about the week and what she has found this week. I am going to give a shout out to her this week as well, as I have found her on-line course very inspiration, and I have used one of her Lightroom presets on the image. But let me start from the beginning. Above, the image I ended with, below, the image I started with…..

Roses_before; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014
Roses_before; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

The work on this image was done in Lightroom, I love that, because I can go back through my history panel for details, it makes learning, and writing this blog post so much easier! First I cropped, that is pretty obvious. In the Basic Develop module I went to my auto button. I like to do this, sometimes Lightroom is right, and there is little to do after that.

For this image I also moved the Highlight slider to -24, then added a preset from Kim-Klassen called kk_truegrit.  This preset does affect the exposure, contrast, whites and blacks as well as clarity. Presets are a good way to establish a style or a particular look if you want a cohesive look for a group of photos, and to automate your workflow.

Next I moved down to the Lens Correction Module to enable lens profile and remove chromatic aberrations, added a little post-crop vignette, and I was satisfied with the outcome.

Stacy’s After-Before Friday Forum has links to several great photographers and you can read more “how it was done” type posts, and Stacy usually has a video showing her workflow, if this interests you. I always learn a something from the contributors.

If still-life, textures and presets is something you want to learn more about head on over to Kim Klassen’s Cafe.

My Friday find: beautiful roses, and learning about presets and how to use them in Lightroom. I hope your week has been a good one, and you get to spend time being inspired this weekend.

Share your thoughts with us, in the comments box below,

remember to share with your friends if you think they might be interested