Experiments in photography, jewelry making, mosaics, and other artistic obsessions
28 April 2012
Scapula, Magdalena, NM, April 2012
My photo mojo dropped by today, bringing me some inspiration not only to get out and take some shots but also to spend a bit of time exploring perspective. This was a great day to do that because our sky, usually a boring (hah!) solid blue, became more interesting over the morning as a front moved in with broad swaths of lacy clouds. The image below is my usual style of close-up with just enough background to suggest context. I usually get as close as I can to flowers because their detail is always so fascinating. Today, though, as I moved around for a different view, the sky that came into view behind the flowers offered amazing texture and color, compelling me to zoom way out (from 55 to 18mm) to get the shot at left. Looking at this one I realize I need to expand the depth of field because landscapes, unlike close-ups (I hesitate to say I do macro because I don't have a true macro lens), seem to require clear focus from foreground to background. In both landscape shots, especially that on the left, the clouds would have better detail and the shot would do more justice to their beauty.
For the shot shown at the top of this post I'll confess to moving the bone, a weathered scapula from one of the many cattle that roamed this land before my parents bought a parcel of it in 2006. The daisies have sprung up in the past few weeks thanks to a few good rains, and I like the contrast between new life and old. I am happy with all of these, and to improve the landscape shots I'll finally read my camera manual to get the aperture and shutter speed settings right for full depth of field. I'll also need to work on light since a landscape naturally has a much broader range of tones that I haven't yet learned how to manage in the camera and in post-processing. So, more experimentation -- and I'll hope for more clouds (not usually on my wish list; I came to New Mexico for the sun!) to make my experiments more interesting and fun.