Thursday, November 11, 2010

Up Close & Personal

This past weekend we had another great macro workshop with great people & amazing images. We had 4 shoots. The 1st was in the garden of 33 Stellenbosch & didn't shoot anything myself, just walked around helping & making sure everyone was happy & managing with this tricky form of photography.

The next morning we were off to Eagle Encounters at Spier. That's always one of my favorites. I've been there a number of times & tried to get a few shots of as many birds as possible, but this time I got stuck on the Martial (Brutus) & the Crowned Eagle. When I first tried to get close to Brutus I got some serious warnings telling me I might be lunch & with as much power as a lions jaw in it's feet I was very aware of every movement he made. 3 years later, he was calm & letting us get really close. The Crowned Eagle was still not 100% comfortable with us getting in his face, but with some patience we managed to get some great shots of him.

The next shoot was in Rose's Garden at Rustenberg that afternoon. I wondered around just looking at what our options were & enjoying the amazing garden & variety of flowers. I eventually went to get my camera to see what I could do. After a few shots I felt like I was just doing the same again & helped someone with multiple exposures, I had never gotten round to doing myself for some strange reason & after a few test shots I thought of trying to focus on the far petals of a flower & as I held the shutter in burst, I moved slightly back to bring the focus past the front petals. My idea was to get a combination of a multiple exposure & orton image. Quite happy with the result & will need to play with that more. I couldn't help myself & found some flies & by then a little breeze had picked up & made life quite tricky, but kept going & managed to get a few sharp flies.

Sunday morning was another one of my favorites, Butterfly World. They are always working hard there & the place had a few new additions again & was swarming with Glass Wing butterflies. I was keen to shoot a bit wider than I normally do with these guys & after a few shots I went into another section to find a nice group of them sitting on some palm fronds. I was super excited, coz I knew the lines of the leaves & all the butterflies would give the opportunity for some cool stuff. I spent quite a while there & just walked around looking & decided to shoot the pupae. Something else I'd never gotten around to. They were quite tricky to shoot, but were too good not to give it a go.

That wrapped up the shooting & everyone was tired & had been working hard, but very happy. The standard of work was amazing, even with quite a few people that had never done macro before. Have a look at our Dance of Light group to see some images the participants shot during the weekend.

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