Macro Photography Live Chat 55# – Backgrounds and more…
It was fun to get back into the show. AD and I take a small break during the holidays and I forget how much fun it is to chat with you! It was fun to get back into the show. We chatted about stacking and backgrounds and shared some Micro Photographs to inspire you for 2020.
Time Stamps and Links
09:45 – Micro Inspiration
16:44 – Critique Segment – we had 2 amazing images to talk about.
42:15 – Question from Brian regarding backgrounds
I shared some drop shadow to give your subject a bit of dimension.
When you ask yourself what you love to photograph, you say everything most of the time. That’s ok, go for it….don’t worry about the niche that everyone says you have to have. I feel too many photographers worry about this because they want their work to be noticed, to make a statement, to inspire, to feel….
Trust me …. what will happen is that you’ll get to a point where you’ll see a pattern within your work. If you don’t, it’s time for you to start to look up the keywords on your work. I hope you’re adding keywords to your images. 🙂
Just start to play on Lightroom and see your work in a group.
Now what? Make a list of what you need to add more of to a group of work you love. You want to photograph what you love, BUT also now what you need. It’s time for you to make a strong portfolio and share that with the world. This will make an impact!
So you play and play…
The Human Element
And play and play…
Macro Lens Paintings
Until you’re happy and spreading your 1000 words!
If you feel that you just don’t have enough work to do this challenge, then start with this article that I wrote, “What do you like in life?” Plus, you’ll get to know me a bit better 😉
And if you still need help…
I’m excited to read what you’ll be working on! Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.
Push your limit by using selections. You can do so much when you select an area in your photograph to express yourself with your work. If you have a vision but just don’t know how to change it…try using a selection to get you started. Let me show you how.
You’ll learn about the various selection tools.
Rectangular Marquee Tool
Drag your mouse on the image to make a rectangular selection, then let go of the mouse.
Square Marquee Tool
To make a square selection use the rectangular marquee. Hold your shift key and drag your mouse on your image, then let go.
Elliptical Marquee Tool
Drag your mouse on the image to make an elliptical selection, then let go of the mouse.
Circular Marquee Tool
To make a circle selection use the elliptical marquee. Hold your shift key and drag your mouse on your image, then let go.
Specify one of the selection options in the options bar above when using the marquee tools. See below for more details on what you can do here.
This is where you’ll add, remove or intersect selections.
Normal style will give you the freedom of making the selections you want.
Fixed is when you set the size of your selection using pixels.
Ratio is good to use when you want to select a common print size. You’ll be able to ‘see’ how the print will be cropped.
Select Anti-alias to soften your edges when you use the elliptical or circle marquee tool.
If you have questions feel free to ask, I check every comment. This is part of a mini-course I did for our membership program. They also received a PDF and images downloads for them to practice with. It’s a detailed selection course that one of our members ask for. This is what we do to help photographers to move forward in their photography journey.
Orchids are so beautiful! I have tried so many times to keep my orchids alive and to no avail, they seem to wither and die. I’ve tried where you put an ice cube in the dirt each week to give them water, I do my best to keep them in a more humid location in my home and nope, after a while, they are gone.
These 3 orchids were given to me and were absolutely beautiful, yes I said were 🙁 I knew I had to capture their life because the inevitable was going to happen. I planned a workshop on painting with light for the members in our membership program, so I decided to use these beautiful flowers as my subject. I put the flowers in the dark so the only light that would be on these flowers would be my flashlight.
I began to paint them with light…I played a couple of times so I could get the exposure to be perfect… I had a lot of fun because it was a challenge!
I really love this composition because, for me, the flowers reminded me of a young family. Dad and mom together and their child trying to get away to explore life… but there is mom holding back the child a bit, saying come back, you’re not ready to leave… just yet.
“Splashes of vivid pink stand out in this watercolor reflection, perfect beauty captured forever.”
“Splashes of vivid pink stand out in this watercolor reflection, perfect beauty captured forever.” And that’s what I HAD to do because soon they would be gone…
This image is available for purchase HERE. Know that when you buy one of my pieces, you’ll have purchased top quality from print to package and the work I put into this for you to enjoy.
I would love to see the work in your home, office, etc… please feel free to email or comment below so I can send you a special gift.
It’s time to dive into 12 months prior to seeing what worked for you and what didn’t. Below is an easy way to get started…
If you want to have subjects to photograph you need to take the time to do these 3 easy steps. I’ll be there with you while we dive into your year and focus on what really needs to be done for a new year. So let’s get to it…
Go through what you’ve done within the last 12 months and write down on paper 😉 what worked out well for you! Circle the best of the brain dump.
Go through the last 12 months and now write down what didn’t work. Cross out the worst, what you’ll never do again and circle what you need to improve on.
Take all the work you’ve made in the last 12 months and categorize them. You can use Lightroom… or On1… to help you.
Now you can actually SEE what you need to focus on for the next 12 months to set and accomplish a new year you’ll be happy with!
Have questions? Ask, don’t just click away. This is too important for you.
A rippling pool blends shades of green while plump succulents softly fill the sky.
Succulent Flood for sale on Thirty 9.
Water IS life, if it’s gone, we’re gone. I think of life and death a lot, maybe because I’m older now? Or maybe because I have young grandchildren and hope they have a wonderful life! I do think a lot about our planet and how we all live on this rock together. Some take what they have for granted and some take care of what they have.
With this succulent piece, I thought about adaptation. A succulent absorbs water knowing that there may not be water again for a while. They have adapted to the desert and they are beautiful!
Living in Southern California has taught me to respect the water and adapt to our climate just like the succulent. For you, this may be pools of beautiful greens (which it is), but for me, it’s about living and adapting to life.
Enjoy it as much as you can and help make this world a better place for our young. This image is for sale on Thirty9. Know that when you purchase one of my images here you’ll have top quality and a guarantee that you’ll be happy with, also you’ll help our environment because Sullivan J Photography donates some of our profits to the Sierra Club.
If you purchase this image, reply below and I’ll connect with you, giving you a special gift to life!
It was so nice chatting with you all and we had 2 chatters from the UK! Wow! It’s the middle of the night for them… crazy honored that they were up late to chat with me and to have all of the other live chatters and replayer watching the show.
We had a lot of fun talking about water refractions, stacking images, differnt ways to photograph light during the holidays and a bit about Camranger’s behind the scenes.
Baz asked me why do I shoot HDR when I shoot Macro. I enjoyed talking about my process and love it when I get questions from you.
Time Stamps and Links
04:15 Show begins, oops I had my mic on mute, LOL!
12:55 Three different ways to photograph holiday lights
19:42 Why I made the Macro Live Chat Show
22:52 Critique Time – Water drop refraction from Baz
40:10 Equipment time
49:10 Baz question, “Why do I shoot HDR with my Macro work most of the time?”
Holiday lights can be absolutely beautiful! This means I want to give you a challenge during this busy time because it’s worth it!
Play with these 3 fun holiday lighting techniques. It’s about being creative and pushing your limits- I want you to remember that if you get frustrated, just put the camera down for a bit and then try again in a few minutes… the key is to not give up! Check out the video below to help you and if you have questions just ask.
1. Circles of confusion – Bokeh
Keep a distance between your lights/sparkles and your subject that is in focus. You’ll need to make sure the light is out of focus… that’s what makes the circle of confusion (bokeh).
Use a low aperture number, for example under 5.6 works better than f11. If you need more light for better exposure, change your ISO and/or shutter speed.
f2.0 @ 1sec ISO 200
2. Star lighting
You’ll need to make your f-stop number at least f16, but I like f22. If you need more light for better exposure, bump up your ISO to get a faster shutter speed so you don’t blur your light. You may need a tripod depending on your lighting conditions.
3. Motion Blur
Have some fun making abstracts with slow shutter speed, start at 2 seconds. The image below was 2.5 seconds and it was a dark area. Change your f-stop to make a good exposure and leave your ISO at 100, but you may need to add a neutral density filter to let less light into your camera.
f22 @ 2.5 sec ISO100
f22 @ 2.5 sec ISO100
Shoot Bokeh without a subject in the frame for post-processing fun later.
f2.8 @ 1/30
Have any ideas for us? Let us know in the comment section.
Oh me, oh my… it’s time to talk about equipment and fun tools. Don’t you love our gadgets? We can be such squirrels about this. Wanting that nice new shiny goodie to add to the fun of making and creating work adds excitement to the blood. You and I get it, but others don’t… when they ask you what you would want from Santa, and you tell them, they draw a blank. Soooo, I made this blog post for you 🙂
Remember though that most of these amazing gifts are not needed in order to make beautiful work, they just make life easier and if you’re a gadget person, exciting.
If you have any questions on what to get your photographer friend or family member, just ask below! I check all my comments 🙂
Before I say goodbye, I’ve linked most of the goodies here from B & H video. The reason is that I LOVE their return policy. They make it so easy to ship back what the photographer may not like. Even though I’ve given you an awesome list, they could return what you gave them and then use the credit to get what they really want or they can grab the cash 😉
Hope this helps you… as soon as this goes out to you, I’m sending this to the hubby, hehehe!
I’m excited to announce that I’m having a free master class to help Macro and Landscape photographers remove the Squirrel Syndrome. What is this syndrome? Well, it’s a real problem for many of us that love to photograph but are stagnent because we’re not sure what we want next with our work.
Yes, I have it! BUT, I’ve been through therapy and now control it, lol! Ok, I didn’t pay for therapy, but I do know how to control it. It’s a habit that is hard to kill, BUT you can do it with some help. This is my goal in life to help you because I don’t want you to be in this place…it’s not fun at all!
It’s work! If you feel you’re up to hard work, join me on this webinar.
I am not going to promise you that you’re going to make millions on your work. I am going to promise you that if you take this free Master Class and work from my strategy, you WILL accomplish your goals! I have set hard goals and have checked them off my list. These are some of my favorite goals:
Our website has made the top 20 sites/blogs to follow in 2018 & 2019.
I made the cover of Outdoor Photographer
I have sold my work to Art Buyers for thousands, yes – I said thousands of dollars!
My work has been on internet streaming devices to reach 91 million people.
I’m a Top Photographer on ShopKit – Camera gear of the worlds top photographers.
I’ve had my work exibited in the White House.
I was a Master Photographer in the Arcanum
Have a Membership Program with amazing photographers in the group.
I’m not trying to brag — I just want you to see that I’m a squirrel, but when I really focus on a goal I go for it!
I’ve realized that I’m here on the planet to help you. It’s the best feeling to work with photographers that really want to push and complete goals but need some help because they’re stuck. Been there, done that and I DO NOT want you to feel frustrated and uncertain about what to do next.
Are you ready? Then let’s Rock and Roll!
Join Us Live
Only Live attendies will be allegible for a special bonus!
We understand that our Master Class may not be compatible with your time frame. If you signup ASAP to the webinar and can’t make the call. Just send us an email after you’ve watched the Master Class and let us know the secret code.
We’ll let you have the bonus 🙂 Click below now…
Remove the Squirrel.
Learn to set your photography goals and accomplish them.
We had Micael Widell on the Macro Photography Live Chat Show! You’ll have a blast learning about Micael, seeing his beautiful work, checking out his equipment and being inspired by his love to teach.
Time Stamps and Links
00:32 Show starts 02:37 SJP Membership Program Sponsor 03:13 Diving into Micael his story 09:35 What’s Micael’s thought process while photographing 13:58 He shares his post-processing techniques 17:42 What inspires Micael 23:00 Critique time 31:57 Equipment time 41:20 What is Micael working on 44:56 Micael’s books 50:40 Sharing Micael’s Youtube
Sharing the love…
Links that Micael’s gear that he mentioned. Sony A7III: https://amzn.to/2nG9mq9 Laowa 60mm f/2.8 2x Macro lens: https://amzn.to/2nHlxmK Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5x Macro lens: https://amzn.to/2n3KSXE Foldable on-camera diffuser: https://amzn.to/2mduC6a
Where to watch the Macro Photography Live Chat Show
Is this a flower or a flamingo? This swirling feathery dance is a blur of movement and passion.
Short Artist Statement
“Macro Lens Painting” is a series of photographs, photographed by Janice Sullivan. These works stimulate the senses with color and friction. Using her macro lens as her paintbrush, she conveys her adoration of the flower.
I wanted to let you know my statement before I really dive into this particular piece. I absolutely love flowers and you probably do too? For some reason, we’re drawn to them. If you know the reason, let me know in the comments because I haven’t researched this yet 🙂
I had been photographing flowers since I picked up a camera. Well, I get bored very easily so my mind started going like it always does, hahaha. I thought, how can I photograph flowers with motion? I played and played until I found it… the story of my adoration and feeling of flowers.
This is what I did… So I took my macro lens and got close to the flowers and slowed my shutter speed and painted the form of the flower. I had a lot of misses, but I knew I was on to something. Finally, I was, YES…this is IT! I played and played and was happy…but then… I got bored again, so I began to dive even deeper into the actual flower. How did I feel about a particular flower? This brings me to my “Dancing Daisy Painting”.
When I photographed this beautiful vibrant gerbera daisy upside down, it reminded me of a ballet dancer. So elegant and graceful. The petals give us the feeling of tulle fabric gently moving with a dance. Of course, you can feel differently about this work, but that is why I made it. Are you stimulated, do you feel the elegant friction? I do 😉
This would be a beautiful piece in one of the elegant spaces in your home or office. Print on acrylic glass for the diamond effect or the modern metal to keep the colors popping and it’s scratch-resistant.
If you purchase this image, let me know and I’ll send you a special gift from me, xoxo.
In this show, we talked about working on your vision! We had 3 amazing images where the photographers were focusing on their vision and asked for feedback.
I chatted about copywriting and how important it is. As I was sharing this you’ll see how someone used my image without permission! The links below give you some awesome links to watch about the golden spiral, Copywrite and a funny video I saw from Karl Taylor on Copywriting.
Time Stamps and Links
01:46 Show starts 07:50 Brought to you by SJP Membership Program 09:28 Sharing my vision 17:33 Critique Brian sharing some clean up for your vision 28:48 Eugenie working on her Golden Ratio vision 40:01 Debbie’s Rose and merging her images together for her vision 53:47 Equipment and Tools time – Copywrite and On1
The closer you get to your subject the less in focus your subject will be. If you want to get up close and personal and have all of your subjects in focus you’ll need to focus stack. What that means is that you’ll take several images overlapping what’s in focus and merge them together. There is a video below to help you if you need it. It is a 3 part series but all you need is the first video for this article.
If you’re ready to dive into the software watch the video below. I show you how to start using Helicon Focus from the very basics. If you want a little more than that you can check out my Helicon Focus Mini-course. Now, you can use Photoshop and Lightroom to merge your images together but they only can handle basic photographing stacks. When you need 50 or more stacks together I recommend Helicon Focus or Zerene Stacker.
Daisy processed in Helicon Focus
If you have any questions feel free to ask below. I’m also sharing my focus stacking mini-course if you would like more details on that too. If you purchase any of my courses, updates are for life. If you change your email please go into your account and change it.
I’m excited to see your stacked work. If you share your images on social media please mention me so I can see them.
Cheers, Janice Sullivan
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Once completed, you will be able to see and learn how to photograph Macro Style. Janice shares how she takes on Macro Photography. This mini-course is a large download and UPDATES ON COURSES ARE FREE FOREVER.
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What a great show! We answered questions chatted about some amazing work submitted and shared some great tools to help you with pricing and catching those people who are using your images without approval!
Time Stamps and Links
02:00 Show begins 10:11 Brought to you by SJP Membership Program 12:26 Answering questions (thanks Pat) 1. When and why would I convert my layer to a smart object? 2. What does flatten, flatten visible and merge down do? 3. What is the difference between layers adjustment menu opposed to create new fill or adjustment layer from the bottom layer panel? 50:27 Critique / Feedback time – thanks Brian and Pat 01:05:12 Equipment time
Kevin and I have been going to Joshua Tree for years! I found out about the park from one of my photography classes in college and a bunch of us had a full day of photographing there. Our professor used to take us so many places to photograph from morning to night, teaching us what to look out for when shooting landscapes.
Since I love to hike with the hubby, camera in hand… I notice this beautiful Joshua Tree (conveniently sharing the name of the park) as we were out photographing sunsets. They only grow in the Mohave Desert (which I found out later). The Joshua Tree had a baby tree next to it. I thought to myself, what a beautiful story! Mommy standing tall, beautiful and tough with its baby below. So I set up my tripod and camera before sunset and just hung out knowing that the clouds were going to pop.
The dark blues and violets of the gold-flecked evening sky set the mood against the spikes and prickles of the desert.
Our professor showed us what to look out for when it comes to colorful sunset shots. As the colors began to appear, I started snapping away, making some bracketed exposures, but what I didn’t know is that all of a sudden the sky began to open like the waters opened for Noah (a story in the bible). The Family of Joshua trees had an opening to God. Being a mother and knowing about the love you have for your children, I was drawn to this beautiful tree of life and then I thought of the afterlife…. hoping that I will always be with family and friends and my children forever…
If this is not to be, at least for now I can enjoy this photograph to remind me to be strong and tall for my family!
You can purchase this image here. Feel free to contact me and share with me your purchase. I’ll send you a thank you gift to remind you of this story and why I took the shot. 🙂
What a fun time! Watch Alex Wild Premiere on the Macro Photography Live Chat Show #48. His work is AMAZING! Be inspired and learn about Alex’s story plus how he makes his beautiful work, and you’ll get a bonus… he gives us so much more about the subjects he photographs.
Timestamp 00:50 Show starts 02:58 Our Sponsor SJP membership program 03:37 Alex Wild get to know him 12:06 What’s Alex’s process when he photographs 22:77 Alex gives you tip on his site 27:00 Post-processing info 29:52 Question from Stacey – Focus stacking 33:18 Critique Time 40:31 Equipment time 47:29 Alex’s tip for you bug shooters 49:26 Workshop and other info to work with Alex
Alex Wild is a Texas-based biologist who started photographing insects in 2002 as an aesthetic complement to his scientific work on ant taxonomy and evolution. Alex holds a Ph.D. in Entomology from The University of California/Davis and is Curator of Entomology at The University of Texas at Austin. His photographs appear in numerous natural history museums, magazines, books, television programs, and other media.
BBC Wildlife New York Times Washington Post National Geographic New Scientist Natural History Discover USA Today NBC Discovery Channel Ranger Rick Smithsonian Popular Science Scientific American Audubon Nature Institute Insectarium Chicago Field Museum California Academy of Sciences American Museum of Natural History Cleveland Zoo BASF Bayer Science Nature Cell PNAS Current Biology
Where to watch the Macro Photography Live Chat Show
Macro Photography Live Chat #47 – Let’s Talk About Light
Time Stamps and Links
02:20 Show begins 07:21 Looking at light outdoors 12:58 Be opened minded about your light situation 16:05 Sorry we lost the sound?? 17:45 Fixed our sound 🙂 27:15 Critique Time 51:44 Equipment Time 55:04 Post-Processing with Luminar 01:03:19 Winners of the SJP Membership Scholarship
I base a lot of these shows depending on the submission of images from you. I want to thank every contributor that submits their work for this section. It’s hard to put yourself out there…but you went for it. Congratulations!
Brian & Pat
Sharing More of The Love
This show was dedicated to Light! This is what makes our photographs, so pay attention to the details on what light does.
We took a walk in my garden to dive into light outdoors. You came with me to the desert and I had to add external light because of the wind situation. I asked you to be open-minded with your conditions and just play with the light at the moment you’re photographing.
I also shared some gels so you can play with your light. I talk about jumping out of your comfort zone, too.
We had 3 awesome images for our critique time! I also have a video for you on how I processed the image above with Luminar Flex. LOVE IT!
Have an idea for the show? Let me know below… I may just take your idea and run with it 🙂
Where to watch the Macro Photography Live Chat Show