Metal Sunflower and Then Some

This photo of a tall, metal sunflower is overlaid onto a stone background photo. ¬†I had to learn how to do this for my photography homework. A little secret I’ll share with you: This was not my first effort. Nor my second. Not even my third.

TreshaBarger-CompositeMontage-wk13

This was hard. Not the overlaying part using the software; the video had good instructions. No, the hard part was seeing. Seeing which objects would make good foreground subjects and which backgrounds would blend well with a foreground object.

Oh, I had the perfect composite photo in mind. I visualized a beautiful red flower atop a pebbled black-and-white background. I took both these photos at McKinney Falls State Park on my Sunday hike.

My problem was that I didn’t remember all the green stuff surrounding the flower. It’s kind of hard not to notice, but I wanted a red flower and that’s all I saw. I was quite surprised when I overlaid the two and ended up with this. Oops.

Red Flower

Looks like some kind of reptilian skin. I worked on it for quite a while. I tried to remove as much green as possible but when I did that, I lost the red as well. I don’t really know what I’m doing with the software (it’s new to me), so don’t blame it.

Rats. I tried again, with a different object: the rabbit. The rabbit has a strong outline and is opaque. Okay, that is true but I still had junk in the background. Here’s the rabbit with its original background.

a Rabbit s2

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

That’s when I figured out that the object would best be served with a washed-out original background. I ended that photography homework session without any acceptable results.

A short time later I was driving into town and just as I was getting close to the nursery (which is on the way) I remembered they had a tall, metal sunflower and bluebonnet out front. And it was a grey, cloudy morning! Maybe this will work, I thought. I stopped and photographed the sunflower. I had my camera with me, of course!

Metal Sunflower

I looked for a textured background that would merge well with the sunflower and tried the stone I photographed Sunday morning. Yes! That composite photograph is the one I submitted for my homework.

Stone Wall

I am learning something new everyday.

Shutter Flutter

I’ve spent all this time learning how to take clear, crisp photos and in doing so I took hundreds and hundreds of blurry photos. Now I’m learning how to blur the photo on purpose. This requires a low ISO, a slow shutter speed, and manipulating the zoom as the camera takes the shot. I take a lot of photographs to get just one acceptable clear one and, as it turns out, I do the same when I’m trying to blur the photo. Lots and lots of photos.

This is a piece of Japanese embroidery that my grandmother created. The embroidery technique has a name, but I’ve forgotten it. In any case, here is my artistically blurred photo.

TreshaBarger-ShutterZoom-wk11