Tag Archives: flowers

Workshop Report: Macro Photography Intensive

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Seven participants joined together in September at Mo Ranch for the three day macro photography workshop including in the macro lab (From left) Kelly Sile, Richard Bennett, Glenn Rudd, Gary Eastes, Diane Young, Tracy Curran and Dan Tonnison. Nikon D800, LAOWA 14mm F 4.0 Wide Angle Macro Lens.

 

The historic, 500 acre Mo Ranch at Hunt, Texas, was the site for a three-day intensive macro photography workshop geared to shooting in a macro studio/lab and in field settings. The workshop was located in a beautiful setting on the North Fork of the Guadalupe River  in the heart of the Texas Hill Country and centered in diverse habitats including aquatic, riparian areas, grasslands, oak-juniper woodlands, and limestone hills.

Award-winning naturalist and photographer Brian Loflin led the macro  workshop packed with over 20 hours of hands-on instruction and guided shooting where participants grew in their photographic abilities with new found skills, techniques and proficiency.

The intermediate/advanced level workshop featured hands-on learning and demonstrations with native flora and fauna of the area and covered many subjects including:

• Equipment for getting close   

• Perfecting Exposure

• Tools to make macro work easier

• Grip and support equipment

• Backgrounds • Wide Angle Close-Ups

• Lighting with Flash • High Speed Flash

• Multiple Flash • High Key and White Box

• Tank Photos • Macro Panorama

• Focus Stacking / Extreme Depth of Field

• Extreme Macro • How big is it? (Mensuration)

Everyone worked hard through the workshop to capture stunning, highly detailed images of tiny subjects difficult to observe with the unaided eye. Everyone brought home images to brag about. Here are a few examples of that work:

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Richard Bennett- Stick insect, above, and grass seed head (focus stacked), below.

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Glenn Rudd, Red Ant, above and Mayfly, below.

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Diane Young- Bark lice (Psocoptera) above and below.

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Dan Tonisson- Cactus stem, above (focus stacked), and Sunflower, below.

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The next Intensive Macro Photography Workshop is scheduled for
September 7-10, 2017.

Copyright © 2016 Brian Loflin. All rights reserved. Participant images copyright by the maker.

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June Macro Photo Workshop

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Ten avid participants from as far away as Minnesota discovered great surprises as they developed new skills in the exciting small world of macro photography. The workshop was held in the heart of the Texas Hill Country at the historic Mo Ranch Conference Center in Hunt. Everyone expanded their understanding and skills through classroom instruction, and intensive, hands-on field and lab photography sessions.

Participants said their macro images are much better than any they would have taken before this instruction.  Most participants were also in for a big surprise as they learned precisely how little DOF their macro lens has. All appreciated learning how to use flash to improve their work and learning to use Live View for better focusing on tiny objects.

Of special interest was the use of a macro focusing rail, focus stacking, flash for additional depth of field and techniques for mitigating wind.

Mo Ranch was a really great place to hold the workshop–very relaxing and lots of nature to photograph. Participants would definitely recommend this workshop to others.

Several of the images from the workshop are shown below:

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Photos:© Melody Lytle, Rose Epps, Steve Houston.

See more participants small world images on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brian-Loflin-Macro-Workshop/469018396566911

Copyright © 2014 Brian K. Loflin. All rights reserved.

What color are cactus flowers?

Many people are lovers of cacti- or cactophiles- you might say.

There are many reasons for this fact. Cacti are most interesting plants. They grow in many  shapes and sizes. They have spines in many diverse shapes, patterns and numbers. They reproduce easily. And maybe the number one reason for enjoying cacti, is that they take very little effort.

Cacti are a New World plant group and are mostly found in arid parts of this side of the globe.They thrive from the high, cold and dry Altacama Desert of Chile, to the hot southwestern United States. In fact, cacti occur naturally in each of the mainland 48 states and into Canada.

Because they are xerophytes, they require little water or time-consuming care as do other vascular plants. That makes cacti real user-friendly.

But an additional reason to enjoy cacti are the many variety of flowers. When a cactus gets moisture in nature, it believes that it’s time to reproduce and puts out its flowers in hopes of polination by bees, moths, bats and other critters of cactus country. Again, cacti are show-offs. They may frequently flower with large multi-colored, spectacular flowers, or put out only a few. And some produce blossoms larger than the plant itself. Sometimes, because of the plant’s natural camouflage, these flowers and the bees that they attract are the only method to find the cactus itself.

So what color are their flowers? Every color except blue!

© Copyright 2012 Brian Loflin. All rights protected.

Texas Cacti

Many of my readers believe that Arizona or maybe New Mexico are the Southwestern states with the most abundance of cacti. This is perhaps because of the large land mass covered by the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts.

It is actually not surprising to discover that Texas has a great number of cacti species as well. More than 150 species have been documented in Texas from dime-sized button cacti to seven-foot tall barrel cacti. A large portion of the Chihuahuan Desert that covers Texas west of the Pecos River and the geographic proximity of Mexico with its vast semi-arid and semi-tropical flora augments these cacti numbers. This number is also showing diversification due to the science now available allowing greater differentiation in plant species.

To get an in-depth look at cacti in Texas, you may want to review our recent book Texas Cacti, published by Texas A&M University Press.

Lace cactus, Echinocereus richenbachii,Nikon D2Xs, 200mm f 4.0 Micro Nikkor, SB-800 flash on Gitzo tripod.

I will add some additional images from the book in later posts.

© Brian Loflin 2011. all rights reserved.