Rainy Day Photography 1 - Rik McRae

Rainy Day Photography 1

6th Decmber 2015

Bad weather is something we're used to in the UK but there are times when you get an urge to do something creative and it doesn't seem compatible with the weather outside. What do you do when faced with that situation? 

Inside looking out

What I really wanted to do was sit outside and read a book. Something I love to do on a summer evening but not at all sensible on a rainy December afternoon. I decided to play with a camera instead. If I can't sit outside, I can still look outside right? I felt that I wanted to concentrate on the raindrops with the suggestion of the garden behind them. After all, the rain was standing in the way of of what I wanted to do, so I wanted to show that.

Using a wide aperture gives you a shallow depth of field And the further the distance between your subject and the background, the more out of focus it will appear. At f/4, the background was blurred a little too much for what I wanted. I had to stop the lens down a bit to get the look I was after.

This is a great technique for highlighting your subject. The eye is naturally drawn to what is in sharpest focus and we can use that to our advantage, to tell the story for our point of view.

Cherry leaves

We have a little cherry tree in the garden and with being so busy lately, I missed the autumn colours. Though some of the fallen leaves still had a good range of hues in them. I collected a handful of the best ones and dried them off on some kitchen roll.

The cherry tree is not far from my observatory and one of the bits of kit I use for astroimaging is a flat-field panel. I normally use it to capture an image of the vignetting in the optics and dust spots on the filters and sensor of my telescope and imaging equipment. I then use that image to calibrate my astro-data. That's for another post though.

The panel I use started life as a cold cathode electro-luminescent panel for viewing x-rays. It's not perfect but it does give a nice even white illuminated surface on which I arranged my cherry leaves. The light shines through the leaves picking out the detail in the structures and emphasising the colour. The overlaps help give some contrast and interest. With my camera mounted on a tripod and pointing straight down, I got my shot.

Yes, I know. You don't have a flat-field panel. Well I guess you could lay a laptop screen down flat with a full page of white open in MS Word or Notepad or something and that would give the same effect.

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