Tulip Glow–Wins place in 2011 Microsoft Photo Book #365Project

When I embarked on my 365 Project this year I didn’t know what to expect – apart from allot of learning. What I certainly didn’t expect was that an intentional, architected, photo of the day would make it through the selection process into the 2011 Microsoft Photo Book (an effort by the photographers @ Microsoft that raises money for charity). I always thought that it would be my more grandiose attempts. Smile

I’m excited to announce the Tulip Glow has made it into the book – I’m even more excited to say THANK YOU to all my friends and followers who helped select the photo by voting on my initial selections.

Photographers interested in the ‘how’ can see a description of this photos project below the photo itself.

Some facts about this photo;

  • It started as a ‘desperation shot’ for my 365 Project. It was late, I hadn’t taken any other photos that day. My aim was to get something ‘quick’. As I started exploring the fresh flowers my wife had bought.
  • It was shot with a Canon 5D MKII + 100mm F2.8L Lens
  • The primary lighting was an overhead halogen spotlight. Other light sources were the highly reflective metal table (Diner Style) and the main kitchen light (a double CFL).
  • It is three blended exposures (HDR, Photomatix) – This enabled me to get rich detail in the highlights and keep all the shadow detail. Single exposures lacked not just dynamic range but also depth of detail in the subtle grooves of the petals.
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom was used for minor touch up
  • It was photographed against a red wall in my kitchen (see below for set up shot) the high f-stop used resulted in such a reduction of the depth of field little was visible beyond the subject.
  • The tulip was purple but I opted for a slight shift in tint to get a red final product
  • …I spent an inordinate amount of time fiddling with the flowers to get a composition that I liked. Quite amazing actually how many iterations of one Tulip there are. Angles, petal arrangement, lighting (how is it filling the Tulip, hitting the tulip?). And the biggest challenge of all – getting some essence of leaves and stem to provide context and pleasant framing. Experiments without the leaves just didn’t have the same story for me. Smile


Set up shot:

HDR Tulip Glow Setup Shot

Two weeks of #365Project and some workflow notes

It’s been a busy, hectic two weeks of life and photography. So I’m finally caught up. Oh snap, and despite publishing ten days of 365 Project  two weeks ago I didn’t blog about it. So if this blog is your main entry point you have twenty four new works of art to view.

Link to the latest 365 pics.

I’ll work to get back to a ‘few days at a time’ publishing cycle now, I promise.

Below you can see my Lightroom view as I went to upload the latest batch of 365 Project photos. I also share some insight into my work flow and how I have my PC set up. For those photogs out there I hope it’s of some use Smile click to see it bigger.

Some Workflow Notes

Street Photography

I read a good article on “up close and candid” street photography the other day on my Windows Phone (Samsung Focus) whilst waiting for a table at a restaurant as my family enjoyed the pet store next door. I digress.

I really like the concept of shooting from the hip, getting the candid shots. Something you really don’t get from holding the camera up and pointing it at someone.

Technique: I found the relative quiet of the supermarket required and a short sharp ‘cough’ as I hit the shutter helped to keep my camera secret. Also my 50mm is too tight and its hard to aim, need to get a 35mm prime me thinks.

Strap: Having an Optech USA strap slung bandolier style in reverse (so the lens normally points down) and one (two is too long) extension gives me the ability to do this. My Optech wrist strap would work too, but if out on a long walk you will appreciate the neck strap.