Mike Moats Flower Macros Contest – Part 4


This is the fourth installment in my short series related to the Flowers Macro Contest Mike Moats is running. No, I am not affiliated with Mr. Moats, and don’t even know the man. 

I am, however, trying to motivate people into entering the contest. As a reminder, you have until May 5th to send in your entry. The requirement for the entries is they be no larger than 600 pixels on the largest side. If you do not happen to have Lightroom, Aperture, or Photoshop, I can recommend a program I sometime use to resize photos. The program is called FastStone Photo Resizer, and it is FREE for personal use.

So far I’ve covered Easter Lilies, Salsify flowers, and Roses. This post covers a broader variety of garden flowers.

The process of choosing a worthy photo for submission is one that involves many side debates . . . is it better to present the tried and true, or the unusual? Even after making the choice, you are still left with “natural’ or “creative” presentations options. 

Take Cone Flowers . . . I’m guessing a large portion of submissions will include Cone Flowers.

untitled-5407_DIGI

So, how does one go about making one’s own photos stand out against a sea of other excellent offerings?

Post-processing, of course!

4372_14AUG09_1_DIGI 4372_14AUG09_1-2_DIGI

Meh . . . let me try something else . . .

untitled-5119-2_DIGI untitled-5119_DIGI

. . . hmm . . . maybe something that punches you in the face!

4399_14AUG09_1_DIGI

Say! . . . Poppies are both punchy and interesting!

10JUN2012_1__DSC3128_DIGI

On the other hand, there’s something to be said about simplicity, the familiar, the recognizable . . . like a Daisy!

4627_22AUG09_1_DIGI

. . . maybe punching it up a tad is not too bad an idea . . .

4627_22AUG09_1_DIGI-1

Now, were I to pick the flowers I photograph more than any other flower, it would be Geraniums.

untitled-1_DIGI

But, I think they suffer from their commonality . . .

I know! Dahlias! They are varied enough, showy enough, and gosh darn, they just look good!

19AUG2011_1__DSC5109_DIGI untitled-4882_DIGI

And, they do look striking when one plays around with some filters . . .

19AUG2011_1__DSC5109_DIGI-1 untitled-1_DIGI (2)

But sometimes presenting the flower without tweaks makes for a striking enough photo.

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Still, there is something to be said for the unusual . . . Delphiniums fit the bill because they have a unique look, and striking color.

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Add a bit of punch and a border, and you have yourself a potential candidate.

12633_15JUL2010_1_DIGI-1

Of course, one can certainly lean toward combining Dusty Miller with Petunia, and call it a day . . .

untitled-1-2-2_DIGI

Hmm . . . what was that about Cone Flowers?

untitled-13433_DIGI

Waa-a-ay too dark and foreboding.

Here’s what they look like as babies.

untitled-4008_DIGI

And before you know it, they are teens . . .

untitled-5120_DIGI

Soon they enter their 20s . . .

untitled-13325_DIGI

. . . and breeze into their 30s . . .

MISC_08AUG2010_13397_DIGI MISC_08AUG2010_13412_DIGI

Around their 40s they begin to put on some weight . . .

MISC_08AUG2010_13380_DIGI

In their 50s they make sure you only look at them from the front, minimizing the ‘bulge’.

untitled-13452_DIGI

But, by their 60s they just don’t care any more.

untitled-5136_DIGI

Why, they even let everyone walk all over them!

untitled-5126_DIGI untitled-5129_DIGI untitled-5130_DIGI

Of course, I cannot use those shots . . . the contest specifically says ‘flowers only’. 

Too bad, too, because I have a few nice shots of bees on Cone Flowers.

untitled-5302_DIGI untitled-5303_DIGI untitled-5304_DIGI untitled-5354_DIGI

I’ll have another post tomorrow, but in the meantime amma gonna take a break and do some writing.

. . . and if you’ve not begun gathering your favorite flower macros, you should do so; don’t wait until the last minute. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Flowers, Macro Photography, Photo-effects, Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mike Moats Flower Macros Contest – Part 3


This is the next installment in my short series relating to the Flowers Macro Contest Mike Moats is running. 

Just a reminder, you have until May 5th to send in your entry. The requirement for the entries is they be no larger than 600 pixels on the largest side. If you do not happen to have Lightroom, Aperture, or Photoshop, I can recommend a program I sometime use to resize photos. Actually, more than sometime; I use it whenever I need to make quick changes to photos. It does a number of things, it does it fast, and it does them well.

The program is called FastStone Photo Resizer, and it is FREE for personal use.

So far I’ve covered Easter Lilies and Salsify flowers. This post covers another perennial classic (in both senses of the word).

DSC_0104-yellow-roses_DIGI

I mean, who does not like Roses, right?

0105-yellow-rose_DIGI

I’m thinking one should not do much to the natural photograph of a rose . . . but, we’re ‘sperimenting here!

0105-yellow-rose-1_DIGI 0105-yellow-rose-2_DIGI

The colors in this next shot . . .

untitled-3-2_DIGI

. . . made it difficult to find an alternative treatment I was happy with, so I left it as is.

However, this next one . . .

Pink-roses-01_DIGI

. . . did grant me permission to tweak it a bit, just to see what it would look like (roses are vain that way).

untitled-01_DIGI

I like the effect, but lean toward the original photo.

12159_26JUN2010_33_DIGI

That looks OK, right? . . . but here’s the original . . . 

12159_26JUN2010_3_DIGI

In this case I think I prefer the tweaked one over the original. 

However, in this next pair I definitively lean toward the original.

untitled-3-3_DIGI

That’s the cranked up version; here’s the original . . . 

untitled-3-2-2_DIGI

While I like the flowers, the two remnants of roses-no-more detract from the presentation, so while I like both the alignment (three in-line, one escaping) and the look of the flowers, the two remnants draw my eyes. Therefore, this is definitely out! . . . maybe.

I’ll have another post tomorrow, but in the meantime do yourself a favor and go find your own photos to submit.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Flowers, Macro Photography, Photo-effects, Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mike Moats Flower Macros Contest – Part 2


This is the next installment in my short series relating to the Flowers Macro Contest Mike Moats is running. 

Just a reminder, you have until May 5th to send in your entry. The requirement for the entries is they be no larger than 600 pixels on the largest side. If you do not happen to have Lightroom, Aperture, or Photoshop, I can recommend a program I sometime use to resize photos. Actually, more than sometime; whenever I need to make quick changes to photos. It does a number of things, and it does them well.

The program is called FastStone Photo Resizer, and it is FREE for personal use.

Yesterday I covered some of my Salsify shots, and today I move to a less exotic flower, and a staple of many photographs and paintings. The Easter Lily. 

I feel all Georgia O’Keeffe like.

0567_MISC_040809_1_DIGI 0567_MISC_040809_1-2_DIGI

Those are two versions of the same shot. They are treated slightly different as I tried subtle “looks” to see what worked best.

These next three photos are also one shot treated different ways. Here I included more of the surroundings at the cost of reducing the view of the flower itself.

0564_MISC_040809_1_DIGI-1 0564_MISC_040809_1-2_DIGI 0564_MISC_040809_1_DIGI

Now, it could be argued these are not strictly macros, but the contest is allowing what Mr. Moats calls “near shots”. Based on his own photography, and my understanding of what that might mean, these would qualify.

Of course, I also have what would be considered closer to macros . . .

0553_MISC_040809_1_DIGI 0553_MISC_040809_1_DIGI-1 0553_MISC_040809_1_DIGI-2

Again, those are all processed slightly different, trying to bring out either the texture or the shine, or both.

I think I prefer the whole flower shots . . .

0557_MISC_040809_1-2_DIGI 0557_MISC_040809_1_DIGI

Same shot, and once again only a slight variation in the presentation.

However, I think I could go a bit more

0562_MISC_040809_1_DIGI

0562_MISC_040809_1_DIGI-1

In case people are wondering, the blue tinge is in the original. It was shot in natural light (hand-held) in the front office at where I worked. The amount of blue depends on the spatial relationship between me, the flowers, and the window when I released the shutter.

These flowers lend themselves to multiple treatments, but the ones where the petals approach white seem to be the most effective. Although, I sure like that last one.

I’ll have another post later, but in the meantime do yourself a favor and go find your own photos to submit.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Flowers, Macro Photography, Photo-effects, Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mike Moats Flower Macros Contest – Part 1


One of the photographers I follow, Mike Moats, is running a Flowers Macro Contest. Frankly, the prized are pretty amazing, and while I will drastically reduce my own chances by doing so, I urge photographers who follow me to enter their own efforts.

You have until May 5th to send in your entry, and it can be a previously shot photograph. You can use the comments in the post linked above to ask Mike any questions you might have, but please; read the existing comments so you don’t repeat a question that was already asked. And yes, if I understand it correctly, it’s open to international entries (you should double-check for your individual country).

For them who don’t know how I do things, here’s what’s going to happen next . . . amma gonna do a few posts showing the candidates for my three entries. Honest, I don’t know how I will pare them down to just three.

We begin with Salsify seed heads.

Flowers, untitled-1-3-2_DIGI

Hmm . . . readers might notice these are smaller-then-normal photos . . . that’s because the requirement for the contest is a maximum dimension of 600 pixels. 

Those are presented actual size, and something is immediately obvious. All that glorious detail is just not going to show up in that size. Now, you don’t have to listen to me, but in playing around with a large number of macros, and looking at how they present themselves in the specified size, I suggest avoiding overly-busy photos like the two above.

Also because of the small size, I suggest amping up the impact of the photo. In my case, I processed most photos a little more than I normally would. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

Here are two more shots that I like a little better.

untitled-1-4-2_DIGI Flowers,

With these, while still busy, there are large distinguishable features that draw the eye to them, and are supported by the smaller, less distinguishable details forming interesting backgrounds.

Here’s another shot showing more of the structure of the seed heads.

untitled-1-6_DIGI

Notice this is a portrait-oriented photo. I mention that because like the second photo above, it results in less area for the photo. It does have the advantage of it being easier to apply the thirds rule, but the smaller area might have less of an impact on the judge(s).

If you are going with something not square, something like this might work . . . 

untitled-1-2-3_DIGI

Now, a word about Mike’s site. It’s all about macros, and he does post-process nearly all of them with various effects. This might be out of necessity (there can only be so many unique flower shots before they start to all blend in), or he might really like a heavier hand in photo processing. 

If you are planning to enter, you might benefit from looking more at what he does than what I am going to do here. Or, you could do both.

Anyway, continuing . . . 

The Salsify seed head is most impressive, but it is technically not a flower . . . but the plant does produce flowers. They do not last long, but are impressive.

Here are a couple of shots as originally processed by me in Lightroom.

20120706_1_DSC5740_DIGI 20120706_1_DSC5744_DIGI

I am reasonably happy with these, both for being very showy, and for having a fair amount of visual impact . . . but maybe I can do a bit more with them.

untitled-5740_DIGI untitled-5744_DIGI

It’s not drastic, but if viewed side by side, you would see a bit more sharpening (it won’t hurt you in this small format), a slight increase in contrast, and a bit more brightness and saturation.

I also added a border. Borders seem to work well with macro shots, but it’s a matter of taste. If you add a border, don’t add one that distracts from the subject.

You will also notice in some of the shots above (and most of the shots in subsequent posts) that I am apt to ignore the rule of thirds, and concentrate more on presenting the entire flower, and when I can, to include leaves and stems. 

That’s what I do, and it’s just my preference. Some shots lend themselves to just presenting the flower with as little distracting background as possible. Some demand a setting of sorts. Again, personal preference.

In the next few days I will post more of the macros I am considering for submission. Meanwhile, dig deep in your library, and find something that will push you to the winner’s circle.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Flowers, Macro Photography, Photo-effects, Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Protected: The Untitled Novel – Chapter 31


This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Posted in Fiction, Stuff, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , ,

Untitled Novel Scheduled release of Chapter 31


For Doryn - maybe

I lost track of where I was in the novel, and released this cover an installment too soon.

Here it is again; hopefully, a fun treat for my readers, created with Pulp-o-mizer.

Dear loyal readers: Chapter 31 of my Untitled Novel just went live HERE. It is password protected. If you are a regular reader, your previously obtained password should unlock it. (leave a comment below if it does not)

If you are interested in reading the novel, you can request a password by e-mailing me at “ejdalise” “at” “gmail” “.” “com” (obviously, without the quotes or spaces).

However, before doing that I suggest you start with the first few chapters. They are not password protected, and should give you a sense for whether you would enjoy reading the rest.

Thank you.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Fiction, Stuff, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Looking Back – Yellowstone 2007 – Moose


Continuing my “Looking Back” series, the Yellowstone 2007 edition, I present The Moose . . . and a little blurb about post-processing photos.

As usual, click on the photo for a larger version. You can go to the SmugMug Gallery, for the full size version.

By the way, a shoutout to Sandra who correctly reminded me some of these were previously presented. No, not on this blog, but they yet reside in my Picasa albums (now Google+ albums).

Those are from my heady pre-blog days, when I would create an album, and then send out e-mails few would ever read. Now I can get many more people to not read my stuff. Such is progress. By the way, I am listening to THIS as I write the post (not that anyone cares).

Oh, and there was more than one moose. There were two . . . here’s some information on the plural of “moose”:
(from Wikipedia) “The use of moose in the plural is sometimes problematic. The regularly formed plural, mooses, is by now rare and its use may be regarded as irksome and uneuphonious. The form meese—formed by analogy with goose → geese—will in most cases be greeted with a snigger, and is thus generally only appropriate in humorous contexts; even pragmatics notwithstanding, because moose has Algonquian origins—wholly unrelated to the Germanic roots of goose, on whose pattern the plural meese is formed—an umlaut plural form is etymologically inconsistent. The etymologically consistent plural form would be *mosinee,[2] but this plural form sees no use in English. In ordinary common usage, moose is treated as an invariant noun, which means its plural is also moose (as with the names of many animals, such as deer and fish, which are also invariant); however, this usage can sometimes be considered stilted when a group of more than one moose are considered individually, in which case avoidance of the plural may be the best option, necessitating the employment of a circumlocution.”

I’ll leave it to the reader to look up “uneuphonious” and “circumlocution”, and no, the latter is not a surgical procedure performed on infants. Of course, everyone knows about umlauts, but still, it’s interesting chancing upon the word. 

Anyway . . . the third day in Yellowstone found us stopping well short of a large group of people looking down the side of the road. I walked up there, and saw this . . .

No Adjustments

No Adjustments

The conditions were very unfavorable for photographing the animal; the sun was behind and to its side, and moose are dark, and more so in the shade.

This next shot shows the adjustments I can do in Lightroom to present the subject as a person might expect their own eyes to register it (eyes have a very wide dynamic range, plus your brain messes with what you think you see – I speak of it HERE).

Lightroom processing

Lightroom processing

It’s a war between blowing out the highlights, robbing the surrounding vegetation of its texture, and brightening enough of the shadow to bring out its hidden details.

I could go Black & White . . .

onOne Perfect B&W - disperser custom adjustments

onOne Perfect B&W – disperser custom adjustments

Click on the photo – it looks better in its larger format.

However, many people prefer the color version . . . but I can play with that as well.

onOne Perfect Effects - disperser custom adjustments

onOne Perfect Effects – disperser custom adjustments

. . . and many will look at that and say “it don’t be natural”. They are correct . . . all sorts of unnatural things be done to it.

Let’s look at another example . . .

Lightroom adjustments

Lightroom adjustments

This is already “pushed” quite a lot, but I can go more, both in B&W . . .

onOne Perfect B&W - disperser custom adjustments

onOne Perfect B&W – disperser custom adjustments

. . . and in color . . .

onOne Perfect Effects - disperser custom adjustments

onOne Perfect Effects – disperser custom adjustments

Lots of detail, but again, people might object to the coloring.

But what if it’s a bit more subtle . . . would viewers pick up on it if I only showed one photo, and not the before and after?

Lightroom adjustments

Lightroom adjustments

onOne Perfect Effects - disperser custom adjustments

onOne Perfect Effects – disperser custom adjustments

Some might say the latter is over-saturated, and it probably is . . . BUT . . . more details, more texture, better differentiation to the coloring. Is that a bad thing? If the latter was the only version you saw, would you know it had been heavily manipulated (seven different effects blended and stacked in layers)?

Here’s another example:

Lightroom adjustments

Lightroom adjustments

onOne Perfect Effects - disperser custom adjustments

onOne Perfect Effects – disperser custom adjustments

A little tougher to pick, yes? It is for me.

I can make it a bit more subtle (still lots of adjusting).

6770_YS-2k7_DIGI

untitled-7-7_DIGI

Those are all close-ups, but I think it works well for wider shots as well.

Lightroom adjustments

Lightroom adjustments

Not bad, but here’s the one with multiple layered adjustments . . . 

untitled-7-8_DIGI

Anyway, I just wanted to give my readers a taste for the difficult choices one has to make when presenting their work.

Even then, different people will react to different visual cues, and like or hate things based on their own preferences . . . and people wonder why I post so many photos.

And, for them who care about such things, I’m now listening to THIS cover of THIS song.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Flowering

Flowering

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: http://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Animals, Black & White, Moose, Photo-effects, Photography, Photography Stuff, Travel Stuff, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments