Black & White Daylily Stamen

Yesterday was probably the most bizarre first day of school I’ve ever seen. It was weird enough having BG at home, but the weather felt like a cold Halloween night, making everything feel completely out of sync.

We shattered previous records by something like 10 degrees. No, 56 isn’t exactly cold, but for a high temp during the first part of September and the day after hitting near 90, it felt frigid. I threatened to turn the heat on last night (didn’t, but came damn close.) I don’t know that I’ve ever turned the heat on this close to the beginning of September. The very end of the month, maybe, but not anywhere near the beginning.

Today isn’t going to be any warmer and it is rainy and dreary on top of it. That isn’t very conducive to motivating me to do anything other than snuggle down with a book and a pot of coffee.

Daylily Seed Pod

Where all my pretty flowers once were, now I have these. They aren’t pretty like the flowers were, but they are full of interesting textures and shapes. I once had a college art class that used a much larger version of something like this as a prop for a drawing assignment that focused on shading in ink. At the time, I wasn’t thrilled with the subject, but I LOVED the finished piece. One of my early lessons in paying attention to the little things and seeing beauty in unusual places.

First Focus Stack Attempt

Something that I’ve seen and have been wanting to try lately is focus stacking. This is essentially when you have multiple photos taken with each having a different focal point and then blending those images into one to give you a photo that allows a viewer to see a photo much like they would experience looking at the actual object or scene because our eyes automatically focus on multiple points.

Focus stacking is something that is often done in macro photography because there is such a small focal range. It is used in a lot of different areas as well, but it is the application in macro photography that caught my attention.

Peach Daylily
Peach Daylily

The image above is straight out of the camera and you can see that a very small portion of the image is crisply in focus while the rest is either soft or really blurry. It has long be a frustration of mine that I struggle to get the pieces of a subject in focus the way I expect them to.

While I’m still very much a purist when it comes to photography and normally prefer my images to stand on their own right out of the camera, there are times when a little manipulation (or a lot depending on what you are wanting) can still be exciting. Especially if your goal is to showcase a lot of detail or an artistic twist.

This attempt was mostly just to see if I could even pull it off and to find out how difficult it is. It is quick and dirty and not completely clean as there are areas that stick out as not really fitting with the rest of the image. I’m still really impressed with how it all works and that I managed to get it to turn out even that good.

It is a fun concept that I’d like to try and play with again in the future. Especially for the macro aspects, but also because that process and concept is what the majority of astrophotographers use to get those stunning star and comet images. And yes, I have a batch of comet photos I fully intend to test this out on.

Even with all the imperfections, I’m pleased with how it came out. It was fun to play with and I learned quite a bit. Enough to build on anyway.

Daylily: Looking Up

Last night was MC’s crew game night. One of the guys wasn’t originally going to come, but ended up being able to at least be here for a while if not overnight, so I think it was kind of a momentous event for them. Then I got a moment to be THAT mom. The mom that your kid’s friends actually speak to, which is a feat in itself with this group as they are all massive introverts (one of the guys I see in the few seconds after he walks in the door, never to be seen again until he leaves).

Continue reading “Daylily: Looking Up”