Macro with the Olloclip

31 01 2014

I’ve been neglecting this blog lately for 2 reasons: 1) I’ve been getting my new computer (and new Photoshop CS6!) set up, and 2) been studying like mad for the PHR (the big HR certification). Well as of this afternoon, I can happily say I passed! So now I have to catch up…

For Christmas I got an Olloclip (a lens for an iPhone camera – and yes, it should have a line over the first O, but I’ve no idea how) and tested out the macro lens.

No editing - pretty clear center of the flower

No editing – pretty clear center of the flower

sweetgum ball

sweetgum ball

Have to admit, the clarity it’s capable of is pretty impressive. In the right setting, the quality can rival that of my SLR.

tree bark

tree bark

It has some challenges though. Certain objects it has trouble focusing on… with a sprig of flowers, for example, it wants to focus behind them. This was the closest I could get with this:

image

Less successful were these berries… I tried about 20 times to get them in focus. Sometimes it would focus for a millisecond, but the instant I pressed the shutter button, it would dissolve into blur.

image

Also, you have to get the lens REALLY close to the subject, but too close and you’ll have depth of field problems:

See, the pinecone edges are clear, but it's middle is blurry.

See, the pinecone edges are clear, but it’s middle is blurry.

Some daffodil shoots coming up  - the plants are getting very confused with the weather lately (one day 30 degrees, and the next 70)

Some daffodil shoots coming up – the plants are getting very confused with the weather lately (one day 30 degrees, and the next 70)

Overall though, it’s pretty nice.

orange pores :)

orange pores 🙂

A tiny earring for my upcoming stud earring line...impressive detail for something so small.

A tiny earring for my upcoming stud earring line…impressive detail for something so small.

The Olloclip on whole is a 3-in-1. The fisheye lens is pretty neat. It says it has a wide angle too, but I haven’t tried that component. My biggest issue with it is that it fits on the iPhone itself and doesn’t account for case sizes, so I have to take my case off when I want to use it – which is really difficult! But I think this macro will make my Etsy product photography much easier. 🙂

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An actual painting!

14 01 2014
Systems 3 paper for acrylic - pretty nice!

Systems 3 paper for acrylic – pretty nice!

So I’d taken this selfie (I know, what a stupid word…and yet, here I am, using it) because of the lighting and thought it would make a great quick sketch painting. Basic colors, little blending. And then, as always, I got carried away. But I’m very proud, because I finally managed to document the whole thing with photos! Here’s an illustrated look at the progress steps I tend to follow:

Pencil sketch- half the time I skip this or use watery paint instead, but for a portrait with a complex object obscuring the face, it's best to do so for spatial planning.

Pencil sketch- half the time I skip this or use watery paint instead, but for a portrait with a complex object obscuring the face, it’s best to do so for spatial planning.

Under painting- mostly a wash

Under painting- mostly a wash

Underpainting is also a way of building layers of color. Look - only a bit of brown added and such a difference from the previous pic.

Underpainting is also a way of building layers of color. Look – only a bit of brown added and such a difference from the previous pic.

Bit of darkness to start building the skin shadows.... for the entire painting, I used a blue, red, yellow, orange, white, and green. The shadows here are sort of a purple.

Bit of darkness to start building the skin shadows…. for the entire painting, I used a blue, red, yellow, orange, white, and green. The shadows here are sort of a purple.

More dark layers, colors...starts looking decent now

More dark layers, colors…starts looking decent now

Building with the blues...chose this pic because of the blues and yellows - unusual combination.

Building with the blues…chose this pic because of the blues and yellows – unusual combination.

Almost done. Near the end, changes look much less dramatic. I like to take a break for 10 minutes or so to give your vision a rest - sometimes you notice new things that need doing when you come back.

Almost done. Near the end, changes look much less dramatic. I like to take a break for 10 minutes or so to give your vision a rest – sometimes you notice new things that need doing when you come back.

Ta da!!

Ta da!!

I spent just under 2 hours in all. If you’re in an artistic rut, I def recommend playing around with self portraits (unless you’re in art school, because self portraits and skeletons are all you get to do, so you’re probably sick of them) – no one to impress, so you have a lot of creative license.





Circle Face

9 01 2014

I got it in my head years ago that people formed the basis for animation heads with a circle, a center line, and a jaw outline. Lol pretty sure they don’t. But I used to do that about 12 years ago and want to get back into it…
image

Man this is unsightly. But! I do like my 2 second reindeer:
image





Holiday Wrap-Up

3 01 2014

What’s this?

zoolights 2

What’s this?

zoolights 3

It’s Zoo Lights!!

zoolights 8

The Jacksonville Zoo hosts the “Zoo Lights” event for a few weeks around the holidays. (Cutest marketing ever, by the way, with a possibly-stop-motion penguin commercial.) I finally got to go on New Year’s Eve, its last night. Even though you can’t go now, I get the feeling they’ll do it again next year. See their current events here.

Prepare for some pictures with excessive grain (shooting with a 1600 ISO on a Canon Rebel is total bleh)….

Rudolph the Red Nosed...Dolphin?

Rudolph the Red Nosed…Dolphin?


This might fit in better at a Halloween event...but I still like it.

This might fit in better at a Halloween event…but I still like it.


Why not keep these lights all year round? Perfect for weddings, yes?

Why not keep these lights all year round? Perfect for weddings, yes?


Ugh the grain! The blown out highlights! But with a cormorant statue on top of the fountain, it had to be captured.

Ugh the grain! The blown out highlights! But with a cormorant statue on top of the fountain, it had to be captured.


Check it - wood carvings! We heard the chain saws from a distance and thought they were sculpting ice at first. Well, it's a Florida Christmas after all.

Check it – wood carvings! We heard the chain saws from a distance and thought they were sculpting ice at first. Well, it’s a Florida Christmas after all.


fire and ice

fire and ice


tiger? jaguar? I'm thinking jaguar, considering....

tiger? jaguar? I’m thinking jaguar, considering….


Real jaguar!! They gave it "presents" of food so it would come out and eat...I actually don't believe in using flash with zoo animals. This is probably weird, but I think it's kind of rude. Especially at night when it might hurt their eyes. But everyone was doing flash photos, and someone shined a flashlight on the jaguar. I took advantage of his light for a non-flash pic.

Real jaguar!! They gave it “presents” of food so it would come out and eat…I actually don’t believe in using flash with zoo animals. This is probably weird, but I think it’s kind of rude. Especially at night when it might hurt their eyes. But everyone was doing flash photos, and someone shined a flashlight on the jaguar. I took advantage of his light for a non-flash pic.


eating din din

eating din din


The only other animals you could see (being night and all) besides the jaguar were the giraffes. the zoo has like 10 of them or so, all of which were very active at night. This one was the youngest and came right up and stood perfectly still. I still had to amp the light way up post, but still a cutie.

The only other animals you could see (being night and all) besides the jaguar were the giraffes. the zoo has like 10 of them or so, all of which were very active at night. This one was the youngest and came right up and stood perfectly still. I still had to amp the light way up post, but still a cutie.


End of the show!

End of the show!

It was a cute event overall, not too expensive. They also had fire pits with smore kits you could purchase – lots of kids roasting marshmallows. Oh, and a “southern” ice skating rink (real skates, looks just like ice, but is actually plastic). Some other fun things too like a train ride….oh I guess the stingrays were awake too, because Stingray Bay was open, but you had to buy separate tickets.

Anyway, in 2014, I’m considering buying a new camera. I love my Rebel, but the ISO constraints are getting a bit frustrating. Still does pretty with proper light:

mmm...depth of field

mmm…depth of field

Upcoming art projects in 2014:
– mermaid sketches
– cute vulture stuffed animal
– more resin botanical pieces (emphasis on no-mold
pieces, more natural looking)
– more Euro paintings!
– more anthropomorphic animal paintings
– forest of tissue flowers

Of course I’ve got my big HR test coming up among other things so no promises of an ETA, but I’m looking forward to working on them. Happy New Year!








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