I spent some time this weekend learning how to take pictures while my camera was connected to my computer. I started out the day working in my yard and while doing that I came up with the idea for the assignment. I had just started collecting some things from my yard for the shot when it started to rain. So much for yard work. I was walking back to the house when I spotted this interesting mushroom on the top of an old stump. I decided to take the mushroom and some leaves and straw from the woods and set up a still life in the basement. I remembered that I had been wanting to try out some shots using my camera and laptop connected. I read my camera manual and found out how to set everything up during lunch and went to the basement to get started.
The first thing I did was to set up the still life using the materials I had collected outside. Then I set up my laptop and camera and started figuring out the lighting. I had seen a photo on one of the gallery sites where a guy had done a macro shot that looked like it was taken outside but was actually taken indoors. That gave me the idea to try to create a shot with early morning sunlight which is great for shots taken in the woods. I set up a 150 watt tungsten spotlight on one side of my still life and used a couple of pieces of cardboard to make it look like the sun was coming through between some trees to light the scene. I then set up a 60 watt daylight CFL light directly above the scene to fill in some shadow areas that were too dark. I had a lot of fun playing with the software that controlled my camera and let me see my shots immediately on my laptop.
The shot below was the final result.
I decided to take another shot with the same lighting setup and a different still life. I took some berries from a bush next to my house and strung them on a piece of thread and wrapped them around a pine cone. Then I took some more berries from a Dogwood tree in the front yard and stuck them in to another pine cone. I found an old rotten piece of wood that had some character to it and a rock from the flower bed and started setting up the scene. I decided I needed a little more red accent so I got some more red berries from the side of the house but left them on the branches they were attached to.
When everything was ready I played around again with my camera tethered to my laptop and tried using several different lenses to see which one worked the best for the scene. When I was finally done, this was the result –
Happy Holidays !