After the awful weather of late it was great to have some evening sunshine for our walk around Mardley Heath. We had about 10 members attending, and after a brief intro from Lee who was leading the evening we split into 2 groups to discover the different halves of the woods.
My group followed the eastern edge of the woods, (encountering a scout group building dens) before looping back towards the central meadow area. As we walked we came across lots of opportunities to shoot into the light.
Lee’s group crossed to the other side of the nature reserve and investigated the forest and quarry workings there.
Although early days, my aim for the evening was to start practising for the close-up competition coming in March next year. So I was trying to improve 2 techniques;
Focus Stacking – Here you take a series of images all with subtly different focus, then with the magic of PhotoShop you combine all of the bits which are in focus into one single image.
The following photo is made up from 14 separate shots;
If you’d like to learn more about focus stacking check out this YouTube video from Phlearn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYA7wb2Vkz8
Macro with Flash – As the light fades ensuring you have a fast enough shutter speed and small enough aperture (to prevent camera shake and get a good depth of field) becomes increasing difficult. By using flash outdoors you can overcome both of these issues in one go, and get the benefit of separating your subject from the background as the light fades.
The following shot demonstrates this technique.
Thank you to Dave who held my flashgun for me giving me 2 free hands, making shooting much easier.
As always after the event a number of the club members disappeared to the nearby Chequers pub for a refreshing beer and a chat (and to visit the Secret zoo – which is somewhat less secret now). As we chatted at the pub we found out that a number of members would welcome a question and answer session as a club night, so look-out for the “Photographic Gardener’s Question time” planned for the 20th February next year.
Here are a few shots from the evening. If you’d like yours to appear here, simply sent them to me and I’ll upload them.