Macro Photography Photographer

365 Day Challenge – Week 1 Review


Here is where I share why I chose the shot or shots that I did, how I pulled it off, and what I will do to improve my practice.

Image 1 of 365
Macro Photography Photographer
Water Crown

Why: Macro photography is a different world. The are so many things you can see through the lens of a camera that most people miss everyday, or that you can’t even see! Additionally, I also have a love of water, so combining the two is just natural.

I set this photo up with an off camera flash and a shoot through umbrella to freeze the water. The main reason I wanted to use the flash was to try out some things I learned about positioning the flash in the umbrella, using the on-flash diffuser, and using my remote flash trigger.

On top of that, I also really like the work of Adam Karnacz of London who specializes in landscape and macro photography. That’s where the idea came to me to try out some water drop photography.

How: I set up at ISO 100, shutter at 1/100″, and f/5.6 aperture. Flash was manually set to 1/32 power.

I probably captured a drop splash once every 5-7 shots. It’s hard to time right!

Lessons Learned:

1. Try it without the diffuser. Since it’s water, the contrast from the hard light will give more definitive shape.

2. Try different fluids. Use milk or oil to see how the drops look different.

3. Use 2 flashes. Back light it, but also use negative fill.

4. Use a larger bowl or pan and a backdrop. It will help create a cleaner image.

Image 2 of 365
Street Photography Photographer
Still Movement

Why: I took a few minutes at lunch time to walk the square in Jasper, IN. My goal here was to practice street photography.

While walking around, I recalled a photo I saw of a bicyclist with the background blurry from movement, but the bicyclist in focus. I decided to try this practice out. Well, I found out IT TAKES A LOT OF PRACTICE! Even with multiple moving cars passing, it took a few shots to start getting the focus correct.

How: ISO 100, aperture widest, shutter 1/40″, white balance shady. Held the camera level and steady and tracked with the vehicle. I didn’t have my eye to the camera to be more inconspicuous, but will try more with the camera to my eye.

Lessons Learned:

1. Put camera to my eye. You have a higher chance to capture an in focus shot because you have more control

2. Subject needs to be fairly even or right at perpendicular to my camera. Otherwise it will not be in focus throughout the subject.

3. Use a smaller aperture. Try with different ones. Start with f/9.0 to see how focus and depth of field is affected.

4. Once I get the subject in focus consistently, work on more interesting backgrounds.

5. Try different focal lengths and see how the image compression will affect the motion blur of the background. I.E. a wide zoom will likely show less blur than narrow.

Image 3 of 365
Portrail Photography Photographer
Ponder This


Why: Well, we were stuck inside from rain. Isla and I were sitting in the back door trying to get the attention of our outside cat, George. I decided to get the camera out to capture her and the cat and get my daily practice in.

My original goal was to actually capture a decent photo of the cat from a low angle (I did actually get one). However, once I saw this image, I was much happier.

How: ISO 100, f/5.6 aperture widest, shutter 1/500″, white balance shady. I was moving back and forth from outside shots to inside shots, so I was continually changing the exposure. However, I decided to leave the ISO and aperture alone because of the look I was going for. That was I only had to change the shutter.

Lessons Learned:

1. Increase the exposure. I was going for more of a moody shot, but because I captured more contrast in camera, I am not able to recover the blacks as much as I would have wanted. It would have allowed me to darken the image down, but recover some of the brightness in her eyes.

Image 4 of 365
Macro Photography Photographer
Day 4 of 365 – Crayfish Portrait

Why: Today my goal was to capture a nature shot. I took a couple photos of emerging flowers, leaves, etc. Then, this guy surprised us! The girls and I had a blast as he (she?) clawed up like it was going to get us.

I picked this image because of its uniqueness to me. I have not seen a crayfish since I was a kid and even though there are holes all over our property, I have yet to see one in the three years we have lived in southern Indiana.

How: ISO 100, f/5.6 aperture, shutter 1/400″, white balance shady. Pretty straight forward.

Lessons Learned:

1. Increase aperture to say f/9.0 to get more of the image in focus. Especially when I’m not able to see where the focus point is. (Camera was down too far and I couldn’t see the live view image without laying in the water)


Image 5 of 365
Food Photography Photographer
Dinner Time

Why: Food photography. Moody food. Natural lit food. All of these items are the motivation to take the image. I really enjoy viewing creative images of food shots of chefs making food, final creations, and the story of how the food is made. A good shot may not only show the final product, but the ingredients and tools it took to make it. More to come

How: ISO 3200, f/5.6 aperture, shutter 1/25″, white balance shady. Turned off all ambient lighting in the room to make sure I didn’t have different light source colors.

Lessons Learned:

1. Holy ISO. Crank that crap down. My camera REALLY doesn’t do well on high ISO images in this type of photography.

2. Use a tripod, or a book, or something to get the ISO down.

3. My setup with a bit sloppy. Add the tools in the image.

4. Show the cooking process or some of the final product.

5. Take the shot from further away to capture more in the image.

6. Better background and work for more bokeh.


Image 6 of 365


Architecture Photography Photographer
New Perspectives

Why: Framing. Plain and simple. I was looking for a new perspective for a building that I shoot images of often. By finding something to frame the image, I was able to achieve that. If I could have had someone walking on the sidewalk right in front of me, it would have added even more to the image and I think it would be stellar.

How: ISO 100,f/3.8 (why?), 1/1600″, sunny WB. I shot between a building wall and roof drain pipe.

Lessons Learned:

1. f/3.8? Um. I probably could have gotten a pretty neat shot with 6 stops down on shutter, corrected exposure with aperture, and a moving object.

2. Try again.

3. Get something interesting in the sky.


Time for Week 2!


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