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Photography 101: Connect

Day 6:  The theme presented for today is “Connect.”  As the assignment post mentioned, “There are many ways to interpret this theme: from a gadget to a handshake, from a bridge to a gathering among friends.”

The first image that came to my mind for this word was a face-to-face conversation between two friends, maybe sitting at a small cafe table.  Part of the connection people feel when talking this way is made through their eyes, so I decided to make that the subject of my photos.

Thankfully, some friends and family members are willing to humor me for this project.  I was surprised with decent results from the “Super Macro” setting on my Canon Power Shot S3 IS.

This first photo is unretouched.  All I did was crop it.

close up photo of a green and brown eye with long black eyelashes

The lighting in the photo seems a little harsh to me, but it takes ridiculously bright light to photograph an eye!  Since it was after dark when I took these first two photos, I used this small, battery operated LED light.

small, silver battery-operated light with single row of LED bulbs

With the camera lens about an inch or two from each eye and the light perched near the edge of the camera lens, I was able to bring out the color and detail in the iris.  (Watching people stumble around afterward while they were practically blind in one eye was a fun bonus to this approach.  Ha ha!)

One thing I did not expect was that placing the light below the eye gave better results for the eyelashes and details around the eyelids.

After photographing the first two eyes, I decided to see what fun I could have with the PicMonkey.com photo editor.  I liked this partially black and white effect, which was achieved by making the entire photo black and white and then using the eraser function on the iris to bring the color back.

black and white photo of an eye with the brown and green iris in color

It’s a little creepy, huh?  This next eye has such a blue-gray iris that you can hardly tell it’s in color:

black and white close up photo of an eye with the blue iris in color

I plan to add more photos to this post later this week, so please come back and check them out, too!  One friend of mine in particular, who has agreed to be photographed in a couple of days, has three or four different colors in her eyes.  They are amazing to see when she looks toward the sun or a bright window.  So pretty!

Do you have any tips, tricks, or advice to help me with my macro shooting before I temporarily blind the next subject?

~~~~~{A few days later}~~~~~

Well, I got a couple more volunteers before I finished torturing people, and here are the results:

close-up side view of multi-colored eyes with long black lashes

Frustratingly, I could not capture all the colors in these eyes due to lack of light.

She was the only person lucky enough to not be blinded with the flashlight.  Her eyes didn’t “pop” with color as much as I expected or show as many reflections due to clouds and failing daylight.  We may try this with her again on a sunny day, if the chance arises.

Here are some effects she liked.  The eyes are actually the original color, but the “Warhol” colorization effect from PicMonkey.com makes them appear different.

Here’s my last person for this post:

close up of light-brown eye with dramatic lightingHere’s a combination of his favorite effect (“Sketch”) with mine (“Focal Zoom”):

close-up of light brown eye with frosted, blurred effects around it

My daughter finds the focal zoom effect to be “creepy.”  It’s great fun to watch her face when I alter photos with it.  Ha ha!

Thanks to those of you who came back to see my updates!  Any other recommendations, my fellow photo enthusiasts?

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13 thoughts on “Photography 101: Connect

  1. Put a piece of tissue paper (or paper towel) over the light to diffuse the brightness!
    Unless of course you’re having too much fun blinding your friends – in that case, carry on! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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