Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nikkor 200mm Macro lens f/11 @ 1/60 second, ISO 200

Following the announcement last week of our February contest winners, we received an unusually large number of emails. Most of the emails expressed an interest in the story behind the photograph taken by our second place winner Angie Wright. Her simple yet striking image of "oil and water" had most everyone shaking their heads with disbelief and of course the question of "HOW" she did it.

Having "been there and done that" myself some years ago, I went out onto my back deck, just yesterday in fact and shot a few images of "oil and water" and as you will quickly see, it is an easy thing to shoot. The 'trick', as I am sure Angie will agree, is deciding what kind of colored background you wish to use AND to be patient! Hunching over this set-up with your camera and lens on tripod, waiting for the right arrangement of oil and water to form will test your patience, but it's truly worth it!

This is NOT a difficult set up. I have used a glass bread pan, placed atop two large drinking glasses. For my background, I have placed one of my 'wild and crazy colorful shirts' underneath the bread pan. I filled the pan about 2/3rds full with water and than simply poured a number of small drops of cooking oil into the pan.

I shot the two close-up images you see with my Nikkor 200mm Macro. You don't need a macro lens to do this shot but you will need a set of extension tubes. When placed between a lens that offers up 60-100mm focal length, you too will soon be enjoying some "unbelievable" images like you see here! And if it's not clear by now, let me end by saying, THIS TECHNIQUE IS NOT DONE IN PHOTOSHOP!

Nikkor 200mm Macro lens f/11 at 1/80 second 200 ISO

Bryan Peterson

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


It's been a really long winter here in Maine, so when I was recently invited to shoot at an orchid nursery, I jumped at the chance! Spending the morning in this tropical paradise was absolutely heavenly!

Orchids are not the easiest flowers to shoot, and a nursery provides a very busy background, so isolating a single orchid for a flower portrait was a challenge. When you are shooting a complicated flower, simplifying the background becomes essential. The owner also did not want the orchids moved, so replacing the background with something simple was not an option. Luckily, I had packed my Lensbaby Composer and the macro kit accessory, so I could easily make the background fade into soft blur. I shot many images with a straight lens too, but it was the Lensbaby that gave me the images I wanted.

The day after the shoot, we had a huge snowstorm and lost our power for a few days, so I was really appreciative of the three hours I spent in the tropics!

Here are a few samples of the images I shot, all with the Lensbaby Composer and double glass optic.

Happy shooting!

Kathleen Clemons

The Joy of Photography
Capturing the Beauty of Flowers
Lensbaby Magic
The Art of Food Photography