I had a really hard time with this shot on a lot of levels (more on that below) but I’m posting it for two primary reasons – firstly, it’s #macromonday (curated by the G.L.O.M. – +Kelli Seeger Kim, +Kerry Murphy, and +Jennifer Eden) and secondly, I had the privilege of shooting alongside two simply amazing photographers and people – +Varina Patel and +Jay Patel. Now, Jay is all cool ‘n the gang but Varina is really where it’s at when it comes to Landscape and Macro (that one’s for you, Varina :) )

But in all seriousness, the amount of inspiration and knowledge that I gleamed off of these two people is staggering. After spending the day chatting about Macro photography with Varina, I found myself itching to dust off my ol’ Canon 100mm Macro lens and see what I see.

Now, yesterday was also the 2nd +PDX Photowalk ( #pdxpw ) and it was the perfect time to try and expand my horizon, as it were, by getting nice and close with my subject. To say that I was so outside of my comfort zone is quite the understatement.

Everything from what to shoot, how to shoot it, and how to process it were thrown out of whack. I kept trying to summon the lessons Varina shared with me about effective composition and aperture. Jay shared some fantastic tips on using color effectively to determine what your focal point should be. I tried to apply all of what I gleamed here and I ended up walking away with this shot of a tiny ladybug on a branch.

I deliberately waited for the bug to walk over to the long edge of the branch, thereby giving me a nice cross section for my plane of focus (did I get this right, Varina?). I also dimmed the brightness of the background to help let the ladybug stand out but did I dim it too much, Jay?

So many questions surrounding such a simple subject.

But here is the key!
Instead of being frustrated and agitated with not knowing what I’m doing here, I am excited and hopeful. I can’t wait to go out and experiment more with this type of photography. And I can’t express how lucky I am to have made two new friends who are so talented and creative – it is a real driving force to become better at this.

Growth is king here, people.

In terms of processing
Not much going on here. I selectively applied the Daily Multivitamin effect to the ladybug and the branch that it was walking on. I also added two custom vignettes to draw focus to the ladybug. All done in +onOne SoftwarePerfect Effects 3.

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (1 photo)

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