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Daydreams and Nightmares

I had a camera in hand and an unusual amount of free time.  That wasn’t a great combo because I wasted a perfectly good evening playing around with lighting and online photo editing programs!  I present the results for your amusement:

Daydreaming

macro photo of eye staring off as if daydreaming

 

In the Spotlight

eye staring into flashlight in dark room

 

Paranoid Panic

macro photo of panicked eye, with zoom effect

 

Crocodile Tear

tear running down cheek

 

Creepy Cornea

partially lit eye, seen from side with light shining through cornea

 

Pixlr Gone Mad

macro photo of eye and cheek, edited to look like green monster

 

This was fun, but in hindsight I think it would have been wiser to put down the camera and go to bed!  Lol

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Strange Photographer Selfies

Macro photography has fascinated me of late, though I don’t have the best equipment for pursuing it.  While looking through recent photos on my computer, I zoomed in on the “bug traffic jam” in this first picture and realized that my reflection was showing up on the beetle’s shiny black shell.  Can you see me?

millipede walking across a rock in front of a shiny black beetle

The fast-moving beetle was cut off in traffic by the longer, slower millipede. Don’t you just hate when that happens? Lol

reflection of a photographer in a beetle's shiny shell

I saw my reflection in a photo of our resident bunny, too.  It wasn’t very clear, so I grabbed my camera and purposefully captured a rabbit-eye-selfie.

rabbit relaxing in the grass while watching an Easter egg hunt next door

It took me a while to figure out that the fuzzy gray dots all over this photo were caused by a swarm of gnats that flew between me and my nervous subject.

reflection of a photographer in a rabbit's eye

Here’s another from a different day.

extreme close up of a rabbit's eye, showing reflections

You’ll never guess what momma bunny was doing when I took this photo. She was watching dozens of kids across the street having an Easter egg hunt! The dark, curving lines are reflections the of wild green onions that quickly grow tall in our yard between mowings.

Can’t leave out a chicken-eye-selfie!

close up of chicken's face with oatmeal hanging from her beak

Yes, that’s a reflection of me in front of a window — we had the chicken inside our house to do some health maintenance (I’ll spare you the gross details Lol).

reflection of photographer in hen's eye

~~~UPDATES~~~

This “selfie” was taken on purpose.  I wasn’t going to share it, but I was inspired to add it anyway after seeing a post by Rita Hueston on her blog Tidbits and Tales.

silhouette of a woman, trees, and sky reflected in a puddle

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Have any Strange Photographer Selfies surprised you in your photos?  Please share them or describe them in the comments below!

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Photography 101: The Journey of a Girl and Her Camera Manual

Yes, after all these years I’m finally reading my camera’s User Guide manual.  I highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to improve their photography skills.  There’s no need to rush through it.  Digest it a couple of pages at a time — it’s not exactly riveting reading — and you will discover many simple methods to improve your photos.

Through this process of reading the manual (and somewhat randomly pushing buttons on my camera), I’ve produced quite a few enjoyable photos.  Here’s a compilation of my favorite images.  Some you’ve seen if you’ve read my previous Photography 101 posts; others are new.  (You can scroll over or click on the photos for more info.)

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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?