Before and After: Pear Macro

Before and After: Pear Macro
This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

I realized that I haven’t done a macro before and after! So here it is! I’m still working on my macro photography skills, but I absolutely love it and I recommend every photographer do it. It’s so relaxing. It can literally make my day 10 times better. I use my trusty Nikon 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor lens (yes, I have the older version that doesn’t have the vibration reduction. I’ll get there eventually!).

Here are the two pull-backs I have. The pear was where the fruit basket is in the second image.

20160823-_ADA238120160823-_ADA2493

So, as you can see, I have window light. The sun is right outside my window shining in, it’s about 6pm. I have all the lights on inside turned off (even any lamps, this is all being lit by sunlight). As you can see in the image below, the background is black. that’s because I am shooting down at the pear with my dark wood table behind it.

2016-08-23_0001

One of these days I’ll post a before and after of an image where I DID NOT NAIL EXPOSURE in camera. But, for now, I want to point out how important it is to get everything as close to perfect in camera. If you aren’t getting the image you want in camera, you are doing way more work than you have to in post processing. Learn the right way to expose. Practice. Practice your focus and your comp. I hardly crop my images while I’m processing them. I try really hard to get the image close to perfect IN CAMERA. I cannot stress that enough! I’ve been there, where I thought my post processing was so amazing that I didn’t have to get it right in camera. I could just fix it later. WRONG. Get it right in camera! It makes it so much easier in the long run.

Take this image for example, I only had to do minor things to it to get that rich rich color. I want to point out that I shoot all my images in RAW. I highly recommend shooting in RAW because it helps preserve details in your image. But it also makes your straight out of camera look blah. That’s ok, because with just a little bit of tweaking, you can bring out such wonderful color! I like to up my clarity for macro photos. But not too much. Usually around 10-20. Just depends on the image. But as far as editing goes, I edit just like I do all my other images: with my preset. This preset bumps up contrast and clarity. It bumps down highlights. And then it adds in a curve that is slightly bumped up in the middle. That’s it! Literally! I didn’t have to do much at all for this image. I like it like that!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments!

Happy Friday! <3

Experimenting with Light

Experimenting with Light

I spent most of my June+July experimenting with all types of light. From side light to backlight, I’ve tried most of it! Well, this month I’ve been experimenting with doing different things, such as freelensing and shooting through plastic bags. Below are the images I got. They are a little more artsy than I usually do, but man does it feel good to get inspired and shoot!

Thanks for looking! <3

20160823-_ADA243520160823-_ADA247920160823-_ADA246320160823-_ADA245320160823-_ADA244620160823-_ADA244720160823-_ADA243820160823-_ADA2437

Before and After: B&W Baby

Before and After: B&W Baby

I’m so excited to do another before&after post! This week let’s talk about a good black and white. A lot of times, what makes a good b&w is the light. Dramatic light is great for a b&w image! Newbie photographers will take a difficult light situation, say inside fluorescent lighting, and change that to b&w. Sure, the image turns out to be much better in b&w, but it isn’t a strong b&w image. But, light itself would be about 30 other blog posts. Maybe one day I’ll get around to a weekly light post. 😉

On the other hand, a b&w can make an image seem classic. Which is usually the feel that I go for. <3 Sometimes I’ll be editing an image in color and something just doesn’t seem to click for it. Then, I change it to b&w and wow! The difference is amazing. I also sometimes change an image to b&w if the colors don’t mesh well together.

2016-08-18_0001

Now, the straight out of camera is a really nice starting point. However, there are a few things in the color one that pulls your attention away from the cute chubby cheeked baby! Since she is wearing green, she’s fighting for attention with the background. Once changed to b&w, the attention is automatically focused on her. You can’t help but smile when you see her adorable expression! The bokeh draws the focus straight to her and almost frames her. Black and white can sometimes have that effect; it can help you pull the attention to the right subject.

Now, let’s talk about the editing side of this. Remember, I do most of my edits in Lightroom. However, the same thing can be applied in ACR or Photoshop. I also use a preset that I made myself as a starting point. But I will explain how to get to b&w without the preset. First, change the treatment to Black&White (shown below). You usually have to tweak the settings a bit on different lighting, but here are the basic adjustments:

Basic

From there you would play around with the midtones in the curve section. I usually pull up in the very middle like so:

Curve

After that I messed around with some adjustments brushes. I brightened her eyes, darkened the background, and that’s pretty much it! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or comment below.

Happy Friday! <3

Before and After: Tail

Before and After: Tail

How is it already Friday? It totally took me by surprise, hence the late post! About two weeks ago I rented the Sigma 24mm from Lens Rental and fell in love with it. I mean, the bokeh, the sharpness, the wide angle…..putting my 50mm back on was a shock. Had it always been that zoomed in??!? UGH! I need to get the Sigma 24mm fast! I loved all the images I got from it and it was really fun experimenting. I also got amazing lens flares!

Anyways, I played around with it the first day I got it and photographed one of my favorite pups, Kirk. Or Kirky, as I like to call him. Those of you who know me, know that I LOVE his tail. When he was younger he had a ton of black on it. It’s pretty much all gone now, but I still love the fluffiness of it! Here’s a before and after of his tail. I find I have to cool the white balance for him because otherwise he looks orange. Yikes!

2016-08-12_0001
ISO 250 f/1.4 ss 1/3200

Once again, I bumped exposure slightly, decreased highlights, bumped contrast up, and bumped clarity up. I also bumped mid tones with the curves module. That’s pretty much it for this one.

For those of you who photograph dogs, here’s a tip: make sure your shutter speed is HIGH. Those pups LOVE to move and play. I also usually have a higher f-stop for when I’m photographing their faces; otherwise they’re cute little noses won’t be in focus.