One of the photographers I follow, Mike Moats, is running a Flowers Macro Contest. Frankly, the prized are pretty amazing, and while I will drastically reduce my own chances by doing so, I urge photographers who follow me to enter their own efforts.
You have until May 5th to send in your entry, and it can be a previously shot photograph. You can use the comments in the post linked above to ask Mike any questions you might have, but please; read the existing comments so you don’t repeat a question that was already asked. And yes, if I understand it correctly, it’s open to international entries (you should double-check for your individual country).
For them who don’t know how I do things, here’s what’s going to happen next . . . amma gonna do a few posts showing the candidates for my three entries. Honest, I don’t know how I will pare them down to just three.
We begin with Salsify seed heads.
Hmm . . . readers might notice these are smaller-then-normal photos . . . that’s because the requirement for the contest is a maximum dimension of 600 pixels.
Those are presented actual size, and something is immediately obvious. All that glorious detail is just not going to show up in that size. Now, you don’t have to listen to me, but in playing around with a large number of macros, and looking at how they present themselves in the specified size, I suggest avoiding overly-busy photos like the two above.
Also because of the small size, I suggest amping up the impact of the photo. In my case, I processed most photos a little more than I normally would. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.
Here are two more shots that I like a little better.
With these, while still busy, there are large distinguishable features that draw the eye to them, and are supported by the smaller, less distinguishable details forming interesting backgrounds.
Here’s another shot showing more of the structure of the seed heads.
Notice this is a portrait-oriented photo. I mention that because like the second photo above, it results in less area for the photo. It does have the advantage of it being easier to apply the thirds rule, but the smaller area might have less of an impact on the judge(s).
If you are going with something not square, something like this might work . . .
Now, a word about Mike’s site. It’s all about macros, and he does post-process nearly all of them with various effects. This might be out of necessity (there can only be so many unique flower shots before they start to all blend in), or he might really like a heavier hand in photo processing.
If you are planning to enter, you might benefit from looking more at what he does than what I am going to do here. Or, you could do both.
Anyway, continuing . . .
The Salsify seed head is most impressive, but it is technically not a flower . . . but the plant does produce flowers. They do not last long, but are impressive.
Here are a couple of shots as originally processed by me in Lightroom.
I am reasonably happy with these, both for being very showy, and for having a fair amount of visual impact . . . but maybe I can do a bit more with them.
It’s not drastic, but if viewed side by side, you would see a bit more sharpening (it won’t hurt you in this small format), a slight increase in contrast, and a bit more brightness and saturation.
I also added a border. Borders seem to work well with macro shots, but it’s a matter of taste. If you add a border, don’t add one that distracts from the subject.
You will also notice in some of the shots above (and most of the shots in subsequent posts) that I am apt to ignore the rule of thirds, and concentrate more on presenting the entire flower, and when I can, to include leaves and stems.
That’s what I do, and it’s just my preference. Some shots lend themselves to just presenting the flower with as little distracting background as possible. Some demand a setting of sorts. Again, personal preference.
In the next few days I will post more of the macros I am considering for submission. Meanwhile, dig deep in your library, and find something that will push you to the winner’s circle.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
Note: if you are not reading this blog post at Disperser.Wordpress.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website. Could be they also torture small mammals.
Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so. I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards. I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way. That would mean something to me.
If you wish to know more, please read below.
Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.
. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.