Seattle Skies - A Lensbaby Blog Circle Post

I walk around my neighborhood in Seattle almost everyday. It can be a bit boring walking the same route; however, when I take my camera and a different lens with me I find that each walk becomes a new experience! This past weekend was a special treat. We had great weather (hint, no rain) and the skies were magnificent! I decided to take two lenses that I haven’t used in a while - my Lensbaby Twist 60 and Edge 50 - to see what I could capture.

 Twist 60

Twist 60

Although I normally use my Twist 60 for close ups, I was pleased that I could capture interesting landscape images.

 Twist 60

Twist 60

I also enjoyed experimenting with my Lensbaby Edge 50. The first morning the sky was so amazing and it kept changing as I made my way around the hill.

 Edge 50

Edge 50

 Edge 50

Edge 50

 Edge 50

Edge 50

On a different day, another story unfolded.

 Edge 50

Edge 50

I came across this fellow sitting on the wall at Kerry Park. Although the park was busy, he seemed so calm that I was drawn to take these images.

 Edge 50

Edge 50

I loved capturing these images of our Seattle skies. There were times that what I saw through my camera took my breath away.

 Twist 60

Twist 60

 Twist 60

Twist 60

One of the reasons that I was able to capture interesting images was that I used different lenses. My Twist 60 and Edge 50 made me slow down and compose with purpose. I love that and look forward to experimenting more in the future.

Take a moment and read Keri Friedman’s post. It is a great post and you can keep following the Lensbaby Blog Circle.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.

It is Fun to Experiment!

One of the things I love most about being a photographer is the daily opportunity to experiment, learn, and grow. For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I use Lensbaby lenses quite often to create images that are more artistic. When I take photos of flowers I usually use lens at an aperture of f4 or f5.6. Rarely have I taken images when the camera is wide open, when there is more blur, until now. Several photographers that I follow who regularly shoot at f1.6 or f2.0 have inspired me to give it a try. Wow, what fun! The images are much more artistic and evocative.

 Cascading leaves

Cascading leaves

I took the above image on one of my neighborhood walks the other day. Using a wide aperture of f1.6 on the Lensbaby Velvet 56 really transformed this tree into something much more interesting. It actually glows, which is one of the characteristics of the Velvet lens.

 Fallen leaves

Fallen leaves

I didn’t expect the swirl effect that was created by the lens in the above photo, but I loved it, so this weekend I took my Velvet 56 lens to our city’s wonderful Arboretum Park to see what I could capture. While I was capturing the images I wasn’t sure if they were working, so I was so surprised once I was home on the computer and saw them. They were so much more mysterious and created a more interesting mood.

 A mystical place for a picnic

A mystical place for a picnic

 A walkway through the forest

A walkway through the forest

 Fall leaves - a swirl of color

Fall leaves - a swirl of color

 A quiet pond

A quiet pond

 Crossing the bridge

Crossing the bridge

 Children and ducks at play

Children and ducks at play

 On the way back

On the way back

Although I consider myself to be pretty good at using the Velvet lenses, I must admit that it takes some practice to shoot wide open. I am loving it though and look forward to experimenting over the next few months. I came home from my walk refreshed, energized, and excited to share what I found. I enjoy hearing from you, so please comment below, post on our Facebook page, or send me an email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.

Scary Halloween - A Lensbaby Blog Circle Post

This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the fall colors, the falling leaves, and Halloween! I don't go out treat or treating, but I do love walking around my neighborhood capturing images of the interesting, fun, and sometimes scary Halloween decorations. This year I took my Lensbaby Sol45 with me to see what I could find.

 Ready for Halloween.

Ready for Halloween.

I love the blur around the edges and the lights in the above image. It also softened the background in the image below. I must say that it was quite a sight to come across this ghost on my early morning walk.

 Spooky.

Spooky.

 Welcome and boo!

Welcome and boo!

This neighbor’s house is always well decorated every Halloween. While I was taking this photo, a young man came by and told me that there was a real scary spider web just a few steps away. He was right!

 Now this was really scary to me.

Now this was really scary to me.

Down the block there are always scary decorations - all inflatable - that are fun to photograph.

 Doesn’t look like the pumpkin is too worried.

Doesn’t look like the pumpkin is too worried.

Then there was this car decoration. He looks like he is a passenger.

 Ready to roll.

Ready to roll.

And finally my all time favorite Halloween decoration - the local grocery store puts this witch up every year. It always makes me laugh.

 Don’t drink and fly.

Don’t drink and fly.

For those who celebrate Halloween, this is a great time to explore for the best decorations. I enjoyed using my Lensbaby Sol45 this year. It gave me a new twist on this holiday. Happy Halloween everyone!

If you would like to read another person’s experience with Lensbaby, take a look at Seonaid Teal’s post on A Dog’s Life. It is a great read and you can keep following the Lensbaby Blog Circle.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.

Making the Most of Your Images

Until recently the weather here in Seattle hasn’t been the most ideal for taking landscape photos. The skies have been overcast, the water in Puget Sound was grey, and it just wasn’t as interesting as I would have liked. That didn’t stop me from taking my camera out, however, but it did mean that I needed to rely on post-processing to make the images that I had envisioned while out walking.

IMG_6310-Edit.jpg

Over the years many photographers have argued about ”getting it right in camera” versus using post-processing to create impactful images. I agree that it is important to get the elements right in camera, but I shoot in raw mode, which means that the images are pretty flat. The good news is that shooting in raw gives me plenty of data to play with in post-processing. The image below gives you an idea of what a photo looks like when first shot with light editing in Lightroom.

IMG_6317.jpg

I took this with my new Lensbaby Sol45, so you can see the blur around the edges. I uploaded it to Photoshop to remove some of the bright spots, and then decided to use Nik’s Collection Silver Efex Pro (now owned by DXO) to transform it into a black and white image. I loved what I was able to create.

IMG_6317-Edit.jpg

By turning it into a black and white image I was able to create a mood that was far more interesting than the original, slightly edited image. I also use Skylum’s Lumniar 2018 which is an amazing editing system that you can use as a stand-alone or as a plugin for both Lightroom and Photoshop. Again the sky was overcast, but the vivid fall colors spoke to me.

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The image below is what I started with, which wasn’t too bad after some editing in Lightroom, but I think the top one pulls you into the brilliant orange.

IMG_6299.jpg

Whether or not to use post-processing is a personal decision, and in some types of photography such as sports and photojournalism, post-processing is taboo. But for most of us, it is an option that we can use to make our photos pop. I subscribe to the belief that 50% of an image is captured in camera and the other 50% through post-processing. I love creating photos that have impact and express my creative vision. I welcome your thoughts, so please comment below, post on my CameraWalking Facebook page, or send me an email: carol(at)carolvipperman.com.

If you would like to receive new posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.

Seeing Things Differently - Sol45

I was honored to be a beta tester for Lensbaby’s Sol45 lens last Spring. After a few months, I passed it along to the next tester and have been waiting patiently, well maybe not so patiently, for my lens to arrive. It came this weekend and I was out at sunrise the next day to capture images. I was struck by how a new lens can help me see things differently. Along with my +4 diopter, I explored my neighborhood and found some fun shots.

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I was so pleased when I got the images back home. The texture was surprising. It really took my breath away.

IMG_6084-Edit.jpg

Even an ordinary fern became a wonderful image with rich color and texture.

IMG_6048-Edit.jpg

I love taking photos of sunflowers, but most of them are located in community gardens that have many distractions. Sol’s blades transformed this messy background into a lovely back drop for the flower.

IMG_6034.jpg

And with the diopter I could get close up to the flowers.

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I am looking forward to experimenting more with the Sol45 over the next few months. Stay tuned! If you want to read about another person’s experience with Lensbaby, take a look at Barbara Resch Marincel’s post on Macro Love  and you can keep following the Lensbaby Blog Circle. 

If you would like to receive new posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.