Robyn Graham Photography

Bars of Light

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About this photograph:  I am teaching a teen photography camp this week.  I have 15 students ranging from 11 to 15.   The camp sessions are from 9am to 3:30pm Monday through Friday.  During the morning hours, we simulate a classroom setting and I teach the students about photography.  Thus far we have reviewed manual settings and the technicalities of cameras, which none of the kids had previously been using, composition and light.  Today well talk about posing human subjects.   After the lessons, we venture outside to experiment with cameras and use the information learned.   After talking about light yesterday, we took a hike to a near by covered bridge.  In between answering questions and guiding the teens on how to use their cameras, reminding them of compositional “rules”, and pointing out light and it’s qualities, I took a few shots myself.  This photograph is taken of one of the walls of the bridge.  I noticed the light peaking through the slats, between the boards.  Instead of focusing, I intentionally decreased the focus so that I could create a bit of blur to capture the circles of light in each strip, which the shallow depth of field helped create.  As I was shooting, my intent was to convert the file to black and white.  I do think I like that edit better than the original, but the green and white strips of light are also appealing to me.

To see the photograph in black and white, please visit my Thursday post on Monochromia. Which do you prefer?

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"Bashful"

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Last week when I was coming home from a run I noticed that my beloved peonies had all but wilted and the petals been discarded. At the time, there were only a few remaining flowers. Spring has been so rushed and harried with work and activities for the kids that I had almost missed the joy of photographing the peonies.  That afternoon, instead of ironing and doing the banking, I cut the last of the living peonies and did some still life work. This was a time to be inspired, to create, take a deep breath and recharge my soul.

I didn’t have time to go to the studio, which means I didn’t have any back drops to use.  I knew that for some of the shots I wanted a white back drop.  I could have used a white table-cloth, or a sheet and hung them from a door, but, I didn’t feel like going to the trouble and I knew I could create the white back drop myself using light.

Using my Nikon D800 and my Nikkor 105mm 2.8 lens I set out to create.  I grabbed some props, antique prescription bottles, an antique miniature milk bottle, a white cheese cloth, a black stool, some ribbon, and some sheets of music.  I don’t know how long I moved around in front of my front door playing and creating.  I lost all sense of time and felt so relaxed.

To create the white back drop effect I used only natural light.  I metered my exposure on the flower so that it would be properly exposed and the backlight would be blown out.  To avoid flare, I angled my lens down just enough to allow some haze, but to eliminate flare.  I wanted this shot to be flawless and dreamy therefore colorful flare spots were not welcome.  My settings are below for your reference:

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I could have worked with the above scenario for hours.   But, alas, the kids needed to be picked up from school and driven to activities, and, honestly, my equipment is so heavy that after a considerable amount of time, my neck and arms begin to tire.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my equipment and the Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses that I have give me great flexibility when working in the various areas of photography that I focus on.  I do love them, but I have recently been evaluating mirrorless cameras, especially for travel and street work.   Lighter weight cameras and lenses would be fabulous when having to hold or carry them for any length of time.   In addition, I just recently came across a new camera that I found interesting.  Light, is a compact camera that appears to have many features.  I don’t know that it has the flexibility I need, but I think it is worth checking into for travel and street work.  I thought I would share the link with you in the event you might have interest in a compact camera that appears to have a lot of great features.

To compare this photograph in black and white, please visit my Thursday post on Monochromia.

To view more of the photographs from this still life session, check back on the blog soon or follow me on Instagram.  I post to Instagram much more frequently there.

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The Porch at 560

The Porch at 560

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This home was once grand, beautiful and well-maintained.  In more recent years it was the Mill Creek Bed and Breakfast.  Until, someone purchased the “mansion” next door and later purchased this historic building to tear it down and build a garage.   The town of Nashville, IL would not allow this and the new owner is letting the building grow into ruin.   It saddens me to think that someone would let this happen just because she didn’t get her way.   The former owners of the Inn are wonderful, kind people and would never have sold it had they known what was going to happen to it.   Can you imagine living across the street having to see the building you poured so much love into a crumbling, mis-happened mess?  This building was the location of many special occasions in my youth…bridal showers, baby showers, and more.  Despite the dilapidation and ruin, the building still has character, charm and is fascinating from a photography perspective.

To see a close-up of the door and the “letter” box on the outer wall, see my post on Monochromia.

 

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Be of Good Cheer

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“After every storm the sun will smile; for every problem there is a solution, and the soul’s indefeasible duty is to be of good cheer.” ~William R. Alger

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In The History and Language of Flowers the Daisy means, cheer.  We are experiencing a lot of gray days this Spring,  it is raining incessantly.  The quote above reminded me that no matter the gray skies, my heart and soul should be full of cheer.

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Goodness of Heart

Dead, decaying flowers.  Really?  What is the allure?  I cannot explain it, but I love to photograph dead or decaying flowers.  I find them intriguing.  So much detail comes through the petals.  The colors mold into unknown shades.  Decaying, or dead flowers speak to me saying, “Even in death, there is life and more to come.”

The flower in the photograph below is a white tulip.  I saved the tulips a bit too long as mold was beginning to grow on the stems.  Time was not permitting me to tend to them until yesterday.  I finally thought “enough is enough” and decided not to let the opportunity to photograph the bouquet pass by.  I noticed this particular flower was hanging in the shape of a heart.  It is almost as though it is traveling through the air.

You’ll notice that there are three images for you to view.  I thought the original was a bit drab despite the detail.  I used backlighting and could have exposed it more, but when I did it seemed blown out and some of the details were lost.

The second version is edited in Photoshop using a curves level and then adding a texture layer.  Have you used Adobe Paper Texture Pro?  I love it.  There are so many options and once you have applied a texture layer you can adjust the opacity in the layers panel.

Loving black and white photography the way I do, I of course had to include a third version in black and white.  I left the texture layer on when converting to black and white.

Which version of the tulip speaks to you the most?  What does it say?

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Original “Goodness of Heart”

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Nikon D810, Nikkor 105mm f2.8

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Curve adjustment and Adobe Paper Texture Pro Layer – Brushed Rose

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Version II converted to Black and White

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Never Stop Fighting…Every Day

Last week I posted a photograph of a wilted flower on Monochromia.  Sue was curious what the photograph looked like in color.  Last week I was preparing for my daughter’s first communion and the celebration and had family in from out of town thus preventing me from getting extra time to create a second post.   With that being said, I thought I would post the lily in color in addition to posting a color version of the image I posted on Monochromia today.  Which do you like best?  Do you find the black and white versions more appealing, or the color versions?  When you visit Monochromia, you will also find fabulous quotes that accompany the images.  I would love to hear your thoughts as to which version of each image is best accompanied by each quote.

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Never Stop Fighting

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Every Day…

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A Weekend of Art

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Inviting all of my local followers (and anyone who can travel) to stroll through Doylestown for the second Annual Doylestown Art Days.  Local shops and businesses will be adorned with work by local Bucks County artists from June 4th to 7th.  My photography will be hanging in Booktenders Secret Garden located at: 42 E State St, Rear Plaza, Doylestown, PA 18901.

When you stop in to see my work, be sure and have Ellen, the owner of Booktenders, help you with all of your summer reading lists – support local artists and business owners and check items off of your “to do” list all at once!

 

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