Still working on my compositing skills. These are three images combined. I shot the photo of Christine in February in the studio on a white seamless background. Over the next several weeks I looked for backgrounds that seemed to fit and finally got the structure behind her. The very back landscape (in the structure openings) is from Jekyll Island, Georgia. They all seemed to fit together visually, and I guess I enjoy the challenge of masking, blending, and matching tones to make the whole thing fit together -- as Joel Grimes says: "selling the fake." Once combined I ran a flattened version through Nik Color Efex and added some additional tone and contrast, did a custom vignette in Photoshop, and this is the final result.
More experiments with extension tubes, this time with a new flower I discovered called a pincushion flower. 1/60 sec at f/1.8 with a 50mm lens and 36mm extension tube; light from a speedlight in an umbrella above.
More experiments with abstract floral macro photography -- this time with a full frame camera body. 1/100 sec at f/2, 50mm with extension tubes. I found that exposures seemed a bit hot, so I had to bring down the ISO. Discovered there are quite a few options under ISO 100, which will be nice for motion blurs and water blurs with the neutral density filter.
Compositing -- either you love it or you hate it. Kind of like HDR in that sense. I don't do a whole lot of it, but I've been strangely interested in it over the last few months. I think it tests you. It tests your skills in capturing, lighting, and selecting images that work well together; and it sure tests your postproduction skills to, as Joel Grimes says, "sell the fake." Color blending, lighting effects, blend if sliders, atmosphere layers appearing in front of and behind, hopefully adding a sense of dimension -- all that combined to make a final image. The shot above of Alyssa was taken in late December with rim lights on a grey background in the studio. Finally got around to working through it, and with inspiration from Joel Grimes and Aaron Nace on Phlearn recently, got something I kinda liked. If you're interested -- 23 layers, mostly lighting and color effects, lots of masks and opacity work. No plug-ins. Fun stuff. The only thing that bothers me is the orange color in the soccer ball. I may end up color shifting those to a pink or purple ... 24 layers.
Doing some tests with the new Nikon 85mm AFS, f/1.8 -- a fine lens at a reasonable price. Selective focus seems to permeate most of my work these days, whether it is portraits or macro. So this lens will fit in nicely in many applications. This image was taken in my back yard with afternoon sun hitting the wrought iron fence. 1/1000 sec at f/1.8, ISO 200.