Puttknob Photography, LLC: Blog https://www.puttknobphotography.net/blog en-us (C) Puttknob Photography, LLC (Puttknob Photography, LLC) Wed, 14 Jul 2021 19:43:00 GMT Wed, 14 Jul 2021 19:43:00 GMT https://www.puttknobphotography.net/img/s/v-12/u138183000-o791912569-50.jpg Puttknob Photography, LLC: Blog https://www.puttknobphotography.net/blog 96 120 Creating a Table Top Studio for Macro Photography https://www.puttknobphotography.net/blog/2021/6/creating-a-table-top-studio-for-macro-photography One of my real joys in photography is creating macro images. Armed with several different size macro lens I can often be found searching the woods behind my home and my yard for macro subjects. And although my neighbors may think I am a bit off, I have been known to run around my yard and neighborhood armed with a butterfly net. Even killing bugs inside my house is forbidden! Capture alive and unharmed, photograph, and release back into the wild, often to the questioning eye of my wife.

So, once I had the critter / flower / small object to photograph the next problem was how to accomplish creation of decent images. I realized that photographing a flower of bug posed the same basic challenges as any studio shoot. One needs a space of appropriate size, proper and controllable lighting for the space, a way to stage and / or "pose" the subject, and an appropriate background. (And of course, a camera and tripod.) All this, but on a much smaller scale. Thus began my quest for a Macro Photography Table Top Studio.

My first task was to find a decent size, preferably folding, table. I picked up a "cheap" wooden TV tray table at the local Walmart for $14. The table is about 24' x 14' in size. Then I was off to Home Depot for a 30' x 24' piece of flat sheet metal (About $22.) Using Liquid Nail, I attached the sheet metal to the wooden table top, lining up one long edge to the front edge of the table (See photo below.) I placed books on top and clamped the edges and waited for it to set.

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While I waited I started the search on line for the "gear" I would need to hold and light objects. I had chosen the sheet metal top because I was getting light holders and specimen clips that had magnetic bases, and I wanted freedom to move them around on the table as necessary. These items are available on Amazon.com at very reasonable cost. To hold objects and stage them, I got a "Third Hand" kit, normally sold for use in electronics repair. I also purchased two magnetic base LED flashlight holders for lighting. For lights I picked a set of LED flashlights that are rated at 3000 lumens (I would recommend at least 1000 lumens) that had rechargeable batteries with a charger. I also added a small clip on UV light.

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Note that I wrapped the edge of the sheet metal with painter's tape. Be careful! That metal sheet can be sharp!

When attaching the sheet metal to the table top I was careful to line it up so that the table could still be folded flat. When not in use, it can be leaned against the wall or placed in a closet out of the way. Here are a few shots of the final product in use.

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Macro Photography is both a challenge and a great deal of fun. It can also yield real "art" if carefully pursued. I highly recommend giving it a try. There are a huge number of resources available on line for those wishing to learn. My favorite professional Macro photographer is Don Komarechka in Canada. Famous for his individual snowflake images, his work is breathtaking and he freely shares how he accomplishes his magic. In fact he just published what is the best (my opinion) complete book on macro called "Macro Photography: The Universe At Our Feet" which is available at his website: https://www.donkom.ca/ He also has a GREAT podcast that comes out almost every week called "Photo Geek Weekly" at: https://photogeekweekly.com/ I highly recommend checking his work and podcast out.




(Puttknob Photography, LLC) #DIY #DonKomarechka #Macro #MacroPhotography #TableTopStudio https://www.puttknobphotography.net/blog/2021/6/creating-a-table-top-studio-for-macro-photography Wed, 30 Jun 2021 01:39:37 GMT
My new photobook is now available! https://www.puttknobphotography.net/blog/2017/2/my-new-photobook-is-now-available My new photo book, "Rising Above: The Great Flood of 2016" is now available through the link provided below. Here is the book description:

About the Book

The August 2016 flood in south central Louisiana left thousands without homes or transportation, destroyed businesses and infrastructure on an epic scale never before witnessed. The city of Denham Springs, Louisiana was particularly hard hit with 90% of its structures flooded. Photographer Adin Putnam, who like so many lost his home in the flooding, takes you on a photographic journey into the heart of the devastation just days after the storms, showing the destruction and how the people of Denham Springs rose above to find strength and hope out of all they lost.

And here is the link: http://www.blurb.com/b/7779339-rising-above-the-great-flood-of-2016

Take a look, and share it with others. Thanks!

(Puttknob Photography, LLC) #Books #DenhamSprings #Disasters #Floodof2016 #Floods #Louisiana https://www.puttknobphotography.net/blog/2017/2/my-new-photobook-is-now-available Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:34:22 GMT
How to Avoid a Chemical Attack! https://www.puttknobphotography.net/blog/2016/4/how-to-avoid-a-chemical-attack  

I had the opportunity to “shoot” my first Color Run this last weekend. (If you are unfamiliar with what that is, check Google.) I was pretty excited to be going until I took a few minutes to check YouTube on how to best photograph this kind of an event. I expected to find information on the technical aspects like shutter speeds and f-stops. Instead I found dozens of videos on how to avoid DESTROYING your camera gear at one of these events. I have to say that I am glad that I saw this information before the color run. As a result I spent the last few hours before the runs start frantically digging up materials to avoid the horrors I was seeing and reading about on line.

So here is what makes a color run so devastating for photographers - It’s the colors! The colored powder that is used to cover the runners as they go by at stations along the route is extremely fine. When released into the air, the slightest breeze will turn it into a massive colored cloud. And of course it sticks to everything, especially skin, and sweaty skin all the more. While it’s harmless to the runners and will (they say) wash off and out of clothing, the same can’t be said for camera gear. And (according to the “experts” on line who have experience with this) even a weather sealed professional camera body and lens is no match for this stuff. It WILL get on and into ALL of your exposed camera gear. The solution is to approach the problem like a biological or chemical attack! The secret is to seal everything up. I won’t go into the techniques for doing that here, as there are many good YouTube videos that do that. But here are a few images of my camera after following those instructions.



According to the various videos on the subject, the best thing to use for enclosing your camera is a camera rain sleeve. I didn’t have one so I used a large clear plastic bag “barrowed” from my wife’s scrapbooking supplies. A hole in the bottom for the lens, and a small one for the viewfinder, and a bunch of electrical tape to seal ALL the edges. And I put a clear UV lens filter on the lens and sealed the outside edge with more tape around it and the lens hood. Oh, and two small holes for my neck strap, also sealed with tape. After some practice, the controls were easy to operate through the plastic. One mistake I made, however, was failing to leave enough slack room in the plastic bag to account for the zoom on my lens. So I live and learn! My precautions were well worth it. I returned from the color run covered in blue and yellow powder, but my camera was clean and secure. See, it DOES pay to do a bit of research before a new photography experience!

(Puttknob Photography, LLC) #CameraPrep #CameraProtection #Color #ColorRun #Preperation #Seal #Tape https://www.puttknobphotography.net/blog/2016/4/how-to-avoid-a-chemical-attack Thu, 28 Apr 2016 02:12:40 GMT
Old Images from New - Creating the Look and Feel of the Past. https://www.puttknobphotography.net/blog/2016/4/old-images-from-new---creating-the-look-and-feel-of-the-past There are two things about me that are important to understand. One, I have a BA degree in history, and second, that I am a Marine Corps Vet. Now add to that my love of photography and a desire to share that with others. Throw in the "Relive WWII Weekend" reenactment at the Sidney Hutchinson Memorial Park in Walker, Louisiana. The result is a LOT of images!

The event is a fund raiser to help support the Veterans Homes of Louisiana, and to honor all Veterans. As a history major and a Vet, I was attracted to the event, and as a photographer I knew it would be a great photo-op. And as I tend to do, I shot a LOT of images. (Almost 600.) When you have to go through them all and edit out what you want to keep, and then edit the keepers, this can take up a bit of time.

As I was walking around the park getting all those images, I began to formulate an idea on how to create a presentation that would best reflect the spirit of the event. After all, it was called "Relive WWII!" I wanted the presentation to help the viewer to see the activities I was photographing as they would have at the time of World War II. I also wanted to convey the feel of patriotism, courage, and determination that was felt on ALL sides of the conflict. And to show that regardless of political motivations, it is ALWAYS the individual soldiers that carry the burden and the consequences of war.

It took me the better part of three full days. Working, tweaking, editing, and starting over (more than once...) to finally generating my latest video slide show. The concept was simple. Take the best images for the presentation and produce two copies of each. The first would be the normal color original image (after normal post-processing) and the second image would be black and white, add a touch of sepia and reflect the 1940s time period. With the black and white images I edited out anything that wasn't "period" for 1945. The result was a lot of background replacement. Here is an example. First is the original color image:

And here is the edited version:

In the video I placed the color original images ahead of their edited counterparts, and faded from the first to the second. Then I added appropriate music. The last half of the presentation shows the combat reenactment. This required a change in music to something more dramatic and serious, and "action" shots, many of which included motion blur. I wanted the images to be as realistic as I could make them.


Here is the link to the video slide show on YouTube. Please go check it out. Also, all the photos used in the video are located here on my site in "Portfolio" and "Special Events."


And here is a link to the reenactment organizationsa website:


I realize that nothing is perfect, especially when it involves my creativity, so I am always open to CONSTRUCTIVE feedback. So please do leave your comments. Either there at my YouTube channel, or here. They are always appreciated. Thanks! More soon...

(Puttknob Photography, LLC) #Action #History #Reenactment #Vet #Veteran #WWII #War https://www.puttknobphotography.net/blog/2016/4/old-images-from-new---creating-the-look-and-feel-of-the-past Fri, 22 Apr 2016 01:08:48 GMT