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Creative

Macro Photography and Mushrooms

June 23, 2017

Recently, I had an opportunity to use macro photography with some mushrooms that had sprung up in my front yard. We had been having a period of a lot of rain and it was interesting to watch these grow and then die in a matter of days due to the heat and sun. In one section huge amounts of mushrooms crowded into a small, multi-level area creating an interesting texture. It also created challenges in macro photography. How does one position a tripod with such little space to maneuver?

macro photography and mushrooms

mushroom patch

Here are a few tips for macro photography:

  1. Use a tripod or something to prop and stabilize the camera. You will need this because your shutter speed will be very slow.  A very high ISO could help provide a faster shutter speed, but also will produce some grain and noise in your image. On the images below I had my camera positioned on the ground with some cushioning beneath.
  2. Lock the Rear Mirror in the up position or use the Live View function. Refer to your camera’s manual to learn the specifics on how to do this.
  3. I find it best to use manual focus and a camera shutter release. Also taking multiple images with different focus points is useful if needed in post processing to achieve the necessary depth of field.
  4. Observe how the light is hitting your subject and position yourself to maximize the most dramatic effect.
  5. One thing macro photography does require is an abundance of patience. So be calm and enjoy the process.

As I worked the subject more, I was able to isolate a few mushrooms grouped together that created a more interesting photograph.

macro photography and mushrooms

Macro image of mushrooms in rocks

Lastly, I found one mushroom standing by itself with some great filter light. This one ended up my favorite macro photograph which reinforces the notion that less is more!

macro photograpy with mushroom

fine art print, mushroom art, mushroom photograph

Thanks for reading and to see more of my work, please visit my website!

Creative

Textures For Creative Projects And People

April 10, 2017

Textures are abundant in our everyday life and I like to keep on look out for them. This current batch comes from a piece of equipment that just saw its final days. It is interesting to see the wear and tear twenty years left on this pump. After a brief thought about what time and experiences do to all of us inside and out, I reached for my camera.

First I explored the exterior surfaces looking for level planes that would yield interesting textures. Much of what I found was distressed and rusted surfaces that I knew immediately would be useful.  Next, we opened it up and the interior surfaces yielded some great textures also. So now this pump will live on in my creative projects and maybe yours!  Many of these I have added to my Digital Images-Textures at my Etsy Shop. If you have a few moments, pop on over and have a look.

These textures are great for many of your creative projects. All my digital images are high quality Royalty Free images downloaded as jpg files.  They may be used on any website, blog or for a creative or personal project. The textures are great also for use as scrap booking backgrounds or as a Photoshop texture overlay. You may resize, crop, print or manipulate the image and sell it as part of a new product you create. You may use the file multiple times.  However, you may not sell, resell, give, loan, share or transfer the image or jpeg file to any third party. As with most images the artist/photographer (me) maintains the original copyright and is the sole owner of the image.

Here are a few textures I uploaded today:

clip art texture of distress blue metal

 

texture image of rust stained blue metal

 

Clip art of wood textures

 

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look. To view my Fine Art Photographic Prints, please visit my website and www.susanmcanany.com.

Creative

Hermine Inspired Abstract Images

September 3, 2016

The past few days hurricane Hermine inspired me to experiment with some abstract techniques in the studio. Hurricane Hermine was a huge rain event where I live and capturing a few droplets seemed the perfect way to illustrate some of its effects.

This is a shoot I researched to help get out of the box with my thinking and boost creativity. I was working in studio and here is the general set up. The image consists of a mixture of water and oil in a glass container. This container is situated on plexiglass, elevated around 12 inches with a multi- colored cloth beneath.  There are plenty of video tutorials on line demonstrating this technique.  Although the technique did have its challenges, some of the results I found to be very inspiring thus the name of this post Hermine inspired.

The biggest challenge was finding a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the moving water. To create the bubbles, the mixture had to agitated by either gentle moving the container or stirring the mixture of water and oil. However, the agitation created movement of the water and oil causing images to be blurred at lower shutter speeds. On the plus side, it forced me to really work with the Shutter/Aperature/ISO matrix to get some good shots. As with many shoots the more images you take the greater the probability of succeeding.

Thanks for reading and I hope the next time you have some crazy weather in your area, you let your creative juices flow and make some art!

Hermine Inspired Images

“Bubbled Over”

hermine inspired abstract art photograph

“Cellular Activity”

Hermine inspired blue abstract art photograph

Check out more of my work at susanmcanany.com.

Creative

Creativity Inspiration

March 28, 2016

Creativity inspiration comes in many forms and often amazes me what may ignite it. We just celebrated a holiday weekend when amidst fun, food and frolic I experienced I heavy sensory stimulation to my taste buds; I was on the verge of orgasm. Now that may be a little bit of an overstatement, however, I did get your attention!

Just like anything else, creativity inspiration needs attention and enrichment. Here are a few techniques I have found to help jump start mine.

Creativity Techniques

  • Keep an open mind.
  • Look at others work.   As Salvador Dali once said “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” Looking at art always simulates ideas, often unrelated to whatever I was looking at. I may be reminded of an idea I previously had or a technique I want to use again on a specific piece.
  • Read about other artist’s creativity inspiration. There is a lot of great information out there on the web and also many wonderful books, iBooks and podcasts regarding this subject. One of my favorites is “Steal Like An Artist” by Austin Kleon.
  • Write. This is very effective for me. Get a notebook and everyday write down all the miscellaneous thoughts and issues that keep playing in your head. The result is you purge your brain of some of the small stuff, which, allows room for creative thoughts to surface.
  • When all else fails just get in your creative work space or on location and just do busy work. For me I may straighten up my studio or clean my camera or maybe even sharpen pencils. Many times this sparks creativity!

So to bring this full circle what exactly cranked my creativity this time?  As mentioned, we just celebrated a holiday. Of course, there was a wonderful meal and for dessert we had eclairs that were actually warm. Now, I have not had an eclair in years, probably since my childhood. And, although, my Mom was a dessert nut and did make eclairs along with many other delightful desserts, I can not remember experiencing a warm one. My mouth was watering as I ate it. Now that was a first for me and just goes to show new experiences are open to you at any time, if you let your creativity loose.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any eclair photos to share, but I wanted to post a few other dessert images from my extensive stock image library. Maybe I can get your mouth watering also! Enjoy!!

creativity inspiration

creativity inspiration dessert image

creativity inspiration strawberries

Thanks for reading! Check out more of my work on my website.

Creative

Wild and Free

August 4, 2015

The wild and free feeling from my adolescence seems to be an overwhelming feeling as of late. Maybe it is due to a big birthday I experienced recently or the doldrums of Florida’s summer weather urging me to a cooler climate. Whatever the source of my restlessness is really not important, however, I did have an ah-ha moment when I recently viewed a field of wildflowers. These flowers growing wild and in heavy concentration where living the epitome of a wild and free lifestyle totally unattended and where only the strongest survive.

I took several snaps as you can imagine. They were hard to capture due to a slight breeze and the sheer volume and density of the flowers. I didn’t want to wade too far into the field for fear of bug bites and who knows maybe even that ghastly poison ivy lurked. Once again I thought they are exhibited their wild and free attitude and this only added to their allure.

Many times I am pretty happy with my work right out of the camera, but right out of the camera didn’t do these wildflower justice, didn’t exactly portray their wild and free personalities. In Photoshop, after using the healing brush tool to clean up any sensor spots, I took the image into Nik Color Efex and used the Cross Processing Filter which give it more of the blue tone. I then used the Detail Extractor in certain places to pull out more of the intricacies of the flower pedal. And of course we have the bug! Love the bug!!

“Wild and Free”

wildflower abstract

Missouri Wildflowers

Thanks for stopping by and if you get a chance this summer, go out and do something that makes you feel wild and free! I know I will be.

More of my work can be viewed at www.susanmcanany.com.

 

Creative

Etsy Treasuries

February 14, 2015

Several of my pieces were featured in Etsy Treasuries this week. Thought I would share a few of them with you and if you are part of Etsy any type of promoting would be greatly  appreciated. The Etsy Treasury is often a very creative grouping of items for sale. The beauty is on any Etsy Treasuries is you are not suppose to promote yourself. So it is one artist helping another.

Peaches & Cream Treasury

Peaches & CreamFeatured Print:  Folds of Love

Folds of Love

Treasury of True Fairy. Valentine Gifts.

True Fairy TreasuryFeatured Print:  “Anticipation”

Anticipation

the imitation game – birth control

the imitation game- birth controlFeatured Print:  “Birth Control”

Birth Control

If you only knew my story

If you only knew my storyFeatured Print:  “Rest Stop”

Rest Stop

2015.02.09

2015.02.09Featured Print: “Gotham Power”

Gotham PowerThere were others, but I think this is enough for one week. Lots of great Artist on Etsy, so if you a chance or looking for anything from art to jewelry to beautifully crocheted items, give the artists at Etsy a look.

Thanks for stopping by and more of my work can be viewed on my website or at my Etsy store.

Creative

The Agony & The Ecstasy

September 8, 2014

Recently I watched The Agony and The Ecstasy” starring Charleston Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II. The movie was released in 1965 and tells the story of Michelangelo’s artistic conflicts while painting the Sistine Chapel in the 1500s. I watched the movie right before I was getting ready to travel for a photo assignment. The entire movie was extremely powerful for me as an artist, but one line, a quote of Michelangelo in particular I think of often when working with my images.

“If the wine is not good, then throw it out!” ~ Michelangelo

He spoke these words right before he destroyed a rather large section of the Sistine Chapel he had been painting. It was large panels of the 12 Apostles Pope Julius II had wanted, but was not true to his own vision.  I think of this quote many times when selecting, editing images or just striving for excellence. Working in the art world can be a constant battle between the agony and the ecstasy, but I certainly would choose to to nothing else.

Another lesson to be learned from Michelangelo is no matter where you are creatively, you have the power to migrate from one modality to another. Or in my case, one concept to another. Michelangelo’s true creative love was being a Sculptor and only committed to the painting the Sistine Chapel with the promise of a future sculpting commission. However, the Sistine Chapel, in the end is what he is most known for.

There are many other concepts to be learned from Michelangelo, but watch the movie The “Agony and the Ecstasy” and see what you come up with.

Thanks for reading and visit my website to view more of my work.

Creative

Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows

August 7, 2014

This week I was featured in another great Etsy Treasury, Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows. Actually, two of my prints were featured, which is a first for me. A big thanks to Joanna Bury, the Curator of her Treasury, Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows. What really attracts me to this Treasury are the vibrant colors she used to illustrate happiness. This led me to contemplate on the concept of color and how it impacts my work and also my mood.

I currently live in a very sunny climate, but I do remember those days of living with ongoing gray and overcast skies and how that weather would impact my everyday outlook on life. (often I would love to just stay on the couch and usually gained at least 5 lbs throughout the winter) Looking back I realize during those days, I was interested in making more black and white images and attracted to darker conceptual imagery in photography. I believe my overall preferences in life were gloomier also, such as books, writings and media. Today, when I work in black and white, I am eager to be done. Finished with that specific piece or project.  I love color and prefer my personal work to be big and vibrant. Whether that is a function of my current living situation or just a creative phase I am in will only reveal itself with time. Also, a great concept for a research project.  Meanwhile, I plan to enjoy all the sunshine, lollipops and rainbows that I can. How abut you? Do you see any parallels with your environment and your art?

Here are the two images featured in the Treasury, Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows. Both vibrant, extremely upbeat and available for sale on my website or at my Etsy Store.

Perfect Form“Perfect Form” by McAnany

Yellow Zebra“Yellow Zebra” by McAnany

Thanks for reading and check out more of my work can be viewed at www.susanmcanany.com.


Creative

Studio Time

November 18, 2013

Here lately I have allocated some time everyday to “studio time”.  Although I am usually in and out of my space everyday for a number of reasons from getting equipment to doing a shoot, I wanted to see what happens it I just sit in there and think, read, write and look around. I was amazed at the amount of creative thoughts that come my way by allowing myself to just pause for a little while stay off the iPhone, iPad, computer, camera and just sit in an area where I create.  It actually has become a sort of a refuge now. Instead of craving the evening television, (I am a bit of a TV addict) I go to my studio and sit. I found I love to have coffee in my studio with pen in hand and do some writing. I am making an effort during this time to keep off my electronic toys. Like a lot of other people, all of my devices have become  a bit of an addiction or here lately I am thinking maybe a big distraction. So leaving them behind during this special studio time is very beneficial.

Now my studio is in my home, so having a morning cup of jo is pretty convenient, but the thought behind this message is to stimulate creativity sometimes we need to disconnect from our electronic toys and busy lives and get back to some analog activities such as reading, writing and pondering in a designated space and new thoughts will emerge. At least for me this special studio time has helped stimulate my creativity.

 

Thanks for stopping by and more of my work can be viewed at susanmcanany.com.

 

Creative

Alien Vista – Macro Image

September 16, 2013

Alien Vista is a macro image I shot several months ago and then got busy or went out of town and neglected to do anything else with it. It was taken with my mighty macro lens, Canon’s MPE-65mm. This lens is a beast, but it allows very close up photography up to 5:1. This would allow taking a photograph of a grain of rice. The downside is the shallow depth of field requiring taking multiple images and using a piece of software to combine the images and their different focus planes. For this image I used Zerene Stacker, which works fabulous for this type of application. It is a fun process, but does require a lot of patience. It is always amazing to me how interesting and often abstract something becomes when shot extremely close up. This is a close up of the inside of a cantaloupe.

Alien Vista, macroThanks for reading and more of my work can be viewed on my website.