home garden photography, day 2

Today was another glorious central Florida day. The high was 84F, the sun was out, and little fluffy clouds in the blue sky. I worked around the house as well as the yard. During all this activity, the camera came back out again to record some additional flowers. Same setup as yesterday, a Pen F with a Lumix G 30mm macro lens on a Benro tripod. Enjoy.

What’s interesting this time around is how I’m turning down default settings in Lightroom. In particular I’m turning sharpening down from 25 (out of a range from 0 to 100) to 10. I’m also playing a bit with saturation and luminance in the color channels, boosting them a tiny bit. This gives me the lush saturated colors in the flowers without having to push them through the external plugins. And by turning down the sharpening, what appears to be grain artifacts aren’t nearly pronounced in the images, especially in the out-of-focus areas. Today’s lenses and sensors are more than sharp enough without having to turn to Lightroom to play games sharpening them even more.

home garden photography

I have been working more and more with my camera equipment lately, having purchased a few items that were heavily discounted during Christmas, as well as going back to some very old equipment I purchased eight or more years ago. One of those old purchases was my humble but vital tripod, a Benro A-269M8 with a B-1 head and Arca clamp. My Pen F has the Olympus grip ECG-4 with the Arca plate rails machined into the grip. With a Lumix G Macro 1:2.6/30mm macro lens, it makes for a very competent setup. A camera on a tripod allows you to slow down and literally focus on one precise spot in the viewfinder, and to make sure it’s in critical focus. And so I put my Pen F with the 30mm mounted on my tripod, with the Pen F in manual focus, to work earlier this evening during the golden hour. I was then able to photograph some of the flowers in my back yard garden in a satisfactory fashion I haven’t been able to in a very long time.

Everything was post processed using Olympus RAW in Lightroom 6. I resisted the urge to post process even further in some of my Lightroom plugins, such as the old Nik Collection’s Color Efex Pro 4. I’m trying for subtlety of tones and colors, not the “technicolor puke” also known as HDR. Believe it or not, that’s the way the bougainvillea in the first two photos actually looks.

I have a lot more flowers beginning to bloom, thanks to global warming. Today’s temperature was 81F, and it will be in the low eighties all next week. Not bad for January in central Florida.