Michael Wyman

Thoughts at Random

Holy Zeiss, Batman!

The Arboretum is a favorite photography haunt. Our recent busy weekends are not conducive to getting to the Arboretum, so we went this past Tuesday to make sure we didn’t miss the crabapple blossoms this year. Spring has come so early this year; the crabapples are normally blooming mid-May, but they’ve been out this entire past week.

The blossoms were marvelous, and the fragrance was so intoxicating, that we had to drag ourselves away in order to catch the Tulip garden before sunset (when the Arboretum closes).

The Zeiss 50mm has turned out to be an amazing flower lens — the background blur (bokeh, in photo-speak) is wild when shooting wide-open at f/1.4. Combined with the incredible saturation the lens provides and subjects almost take on a painting-like quality. I’ve taken many macro shots of flowers, but nothing quite like these! I must strive to use this effect in new and novel ways, as it can get very old very fast…

Spring at the Arboretum

Minnesota Spring has come early this year. This March, typically our snowiest month, was the first on record bereft of snowfall (or any precipitation at all). This winter had some early and heavy snows, and April brought some rain showers, so we’re probably in good shape water-wise. But with snow lacking from the ground for so long already, it’s been about time flowers are popping up.

So we were pleased to get to the Arboretum for our first trek around the gardens. Magnolias were flowering, as were several small ground-cover/wildflowers. But by far the most impressive display was the daffodils.

I’ve seen many examples of using a wide-angle lens placed within a flower bed to give a “bug’s-eye view”. So with a new circular-polarizer for my 17-40, I decided to give it a whirl…

Re-living the past

Or, how the new Aperture 3 and a lack of time spent with my camera is making me go back over older photos.

Our Honeymoon photos have been getting a recent work-over. Jenny would like some prints on our walls (currently somewhat barren), and I’ve been exploring several of the processing presets in Aperture. Mixing and matching works wonders. My favorites to mix have been the “Toy Camera” and black-and-white settings, with some tweaks.

“Toy Camera” gives such saturation and contrast. Mix that with a B&W conversion color filter, and it often gives some punch to the image that the straight B&W wouldn’t give.

Hopefully work and life will settle a bit, and I’ll get some chances to bring the camera out for more new pictures soon. We’re also hoping to take some vacation soon and get to the Minnesota North Shore to catch some spring. Before it turns into summer (which, given this winter/spring, will be sooner than we’d like to think).