Experimenting With Snapseed

Since I wasn’t getting the results I wanted with a couple of my go-to editing apps on my phone, I decided to branch out and try Snapseed. Not only did it let me do the HDR effects I was going for, but it had a slew of other tricks to play with. I probably spent about an hour today just messing with the different tools on. It had selective focusing, automatic HDR, tilt-shift, and  tons of different filters. Normally, I don’t like to go overboard on the special effects, but there were so many fun new toys on hand. Plus,  Mrs. Gilley’s 96th birthday is about a week away and I really wanted to step up my game and give her more variety in the photos for her. I’ll probably giver her all of these for her digital frame and print the best one. Help me out, guys. Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments below.

Memento Mori

     memento moriThings get a little dark for tonight’s post. It started when I noticed a butterfly in the grass while I was mowing and stopped to take photos. It stayed still enough for me to snap a few shots  with my cell phone. When I saw it still wasn’t moving after that, I prodded it with a leaf. As the butterfly fell over it proved the poor creature was dead. I started to get up to resume mowing, but then it occurred to me that I would probably never have the opportunity to photograph a butterfly that won’t fly away ever again.

                I gingerly picked up the butterfly with a dead leaf and walked it over to the nearest flowerbed. I propped it up in such a way that it would look like it was standing naturally. It became a sort of delicate balancing act to get it to stay in place. The legs are a giveaway though. When an insect dies, the legs curl up. If you look closely at the legs, the butterfly is actually standing on its knees instead of its feet.

                While the photo itself feels a little morbid, I’ve seen way more twisted things in my modern art history class. Hell, almost every animal photographed before the early 1900s was stuffed since exposures could take as long as eight hours, and very few animals will sit still that long.

     The post title itself is a reference to something I picked up in art history class too. The Memento Mori (Latin for a “reminder of death”) was a popular trope amongst Medieval and Renaissance artists. They would often include skeletons or a Grim Reaper in their paintings as a symbol of the inevitability of death. The term kept going through my mind as I posed the butterfly body on the dead flower, so I decided it was a fitting title.

                So, there you go, in case awesome photos aren’t enough reason to come to the site, I now have lessons on insect biology and art history.  What do you guys think; is the photo a bit too morbid, or is it permissible in this case for the creation of art? Let me know in the comments below.

Moth Montage

I decided to take a much overdue photo walk today and noticed, among other things, a group of moths in a flower bush. I took enough photos to experiment with the editing. Normally, I only choose one from a series, but I can’t seem to pick a favorite from these. So, I decided to post them all and let you guys decide. Tell me which one is your favorite in the comments below. 

A Walk to the Library

I was scheduled to photograph a softball tournament, but the event got rained out. So, I walked to the library with Karen, and took a few photos on the way. I normally try to keep my editing light, but I thought that I would get more experimental. I decided to go with some fairly drastic adjustments to the clarity and contrast. I even did an in-camera HDR with the building photo. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results.

The Insects are Coming

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My old neighborhood is in something of a swamp, so the insects are out in full force with summer. The beetle was out by my grandparents’, and is actually a night shop I snapped the shot at night with my new flash and 50mm 1.8. The dragonfly was actually shot with my camera phone while I was mowing a lawn. I dropped it into Lightroom where I bumped the contrast and clarity, played with the saturation, and added some lens distortion.