Alright, I’m going to post Nikon shots to this blog now. Its a lot easier than managing another blog and trying to get followers there too.
As you know, Shannon and I have a mini challenge going on right now. I came across my first subject yesterday when I found a praying mantis hanging out on a cosmo. I figured if I did a session early on, it would give me a chance to tell you about my process for one of these shoots.
Since this guy was on a cosmo that was in a little pot, that made it really easy to move him around and get different lighting conditions and backgrounds. I tried a few shots indoors with window light, but I wasn’t really into it, so I moved outdoors. I set the pot in a patch of light next to some shadows. It was a little tricky because the wind was blowing the eucalyptus all over the place and messing with my light.
I decided to move over to a bench to get some cool background patterns. The background was nice, but I didn’t really care for the lighting. Next, I put the mantis on an unopened Lilly. Unfortunately, the light was really harsh and the exposure was off because I forgot to switch to spot metering. Ooops! Yes, I still make mistakes when I’m not totally immersed in what I’m doing.
This shoot provided a few challenges. The subject was small and alive. I had to be in really close with a wide aperture, which means a small depth of field. The mantis seemed a bit on edge with a DSLR less than a foot from its face. Another problem was just one little breeze would throw the focus totally off when it was perched on the cosmo. I have lots of proof of that.
The good news is when you take around 150 photos, you’re going to get some that work. A few of them would have been awesome, but the composition was slightly off, or the legs were cropped out on accident because of movement.
Seeing these mistakes helps me to remember that next time I should be looking around the frame before I press the shutter. I need to be reminded to slow down sometimes and shoot with a purpose.
The final product required a little work on my part. I created a black and white version, but ended up setting it to soft light blending mode around 30% opacity. I also painted in some more detail on the face and arms because I’m a perfectionist…and cuz I can. =)
Keep an eye out later this week to see images of the flower I used for a 500 shot challenge last year.