And so begin a new year in photography for me. And the first camera club meeting for the year as well. The camera club meeting in January is not the usual first Tuesday of the month but it was held later in the month as to give people the time to get back from their well deserved holidays. My photography year start very quickly with an action packed weekend with Hendrik Louw from Richardsbay and his weekend macro photography course for our Sunday evening speelgroepie. A very interesting and informative weekend. Hopefully we will have even a more interesting year of photography ahead of us.
But lets get back to the results of the evening’s meeting. We were requested to submit a few macro images because Hendrik was our guest speaker as well as the judge for the evening. Not sure I agree with the concept of a single judge because judging is so subjective that one needs three judges to get a more balanced outcome per image. However, I decided to support the club and I submitted 3 macro images in the Nature category. All three images were taken during our macro course of that weekend (Botanical gardens, Bloemfontein). The set subject for December was “Hands and feet” and I took a few images on the beach during our long weekend in Kleinbrak Rivier.. Here are the results of my images with some comments:
A. Nature category
Just remember that no manipulation of images in Photoshop or other computer software is allowed in this section.
Dragon sill – scored 12/15 (Gold award)
I was thinking how about a silhouette shot of an insect. For that one just not need the fill-in flash. Only a steady hand with the macro lens. Interesting outcome against the blue sky and the leaves of the surrounding trees forming a natural frame. If I decided to use a flash, the sky would also have been black. I am currently entering this image into national and international salons. Awaiting some results as we speak.
Dragon take off – score 12/15 (Gold award)
I had to sit with this insect for some time before it decided to take off. True to my nature as a wildlife photographer, I need some action in my photos to assist me to tell a story. Not my best action macro image but my only one for the weekend. Still trying to find my way around this field of macro photography. Totally satisfied with the score Hendrik gave this image.
Red – score 13/15 (Gold award)
I saw this little insect with this very prominent red thing underneath its “mouth”. It was sitting on top of a leaf of this vetplant. And I realized that with a fill-in flash, the background would be black. I was thinking on my composition and I decided to use the negative space in the right hand side of the image to my advantage. Hendrik also liked this images and he selected it as the winner of the Nature category for the 4 & 5 star division.
B. Set subject – “Hands and feet”
Hand and foot 2 – scored 12/15
I’ve asked my wife to assist me with this one. Very symbolic just showing one hand and one foot with impressions in the sand for the rest. For your own opinion. Totally satisfied with the score
The walk – score 10/15
Also something I though about but it did not really work out. Still, I like the idea. Maybe with some more practice it might work. So, until next time – satisfied with the score.
Message to take home
Previoiusly I’ve tried my hand at macro photography but it was a disaster. Do not ask me why but the images were just terrible. After a weekend spent with Hendrik, I did realise that I had some important issues missing in my approach to macro photography. One such issue is The act of seeing or visualizing a scene/objective and anticipate how the image/outcome must look like. Visualization is one of those things that really can’t be brought about by technical instruction in the traditional sense; meaning there are no classes on visualization. Ansel Adams himself remarked that visualization cannot be taught, it is be learned. And I did learn a lot about visualization during Hendrik’s course. Not by what he said but by how he presented the topic of macro photography. Weel done Hendrik and thanks again for the course. Valuable lessions learned and taken already to the field.
Summary: Teach yourself to see the finished product before you make the exposure and take the shot
Until next month camera club meeting – keep on shooting