After the Sprinkler: The Story Behind the Photo

By Janet Cunningham

After the Sprinkler, photograph by Janet Cunningham

After the Sprinkler by Janet Cunningham

After the sprinkler went off one morning, I noticed beautiful water droplets on my neighbor’s Gerber daisies. I wanted an unusual perspective, so I got down even with one of the flowers so I could capture the droplets sitting on top of the petals. Surprise…there was a flower behind the one I was photographing, and it was being reflected in the droplets!

I used a Sigma 105mm macro lens on a Canon 70D. Macro lenses have a shallow depth of field, so I took nine images focusing on nine different droplets, then combined the images in Photoshop.

To shoot these images I used a tripod, a cable release, and manual focus on the lens.

There are many tutorials on how to combine the images using the focus-stacking procedure. I found a Phlearn video helpful: “How To Do Focus Stacking in Photoshop.”

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Hunting Season: 6 Ideas for Your Next Photo Shoot

This time of year, some people are grabbing their guns and heading out to shoot. For photographers, this is a great time to put the camera down and hunt for things to shoot next.

Go online
Okay, this is probably everyone’s first instinct. You could start with a search for “great places to photograph in Fort Worth.” Or, if you have something in mind, you could get more specific: “Flower gardens in Bedford” or “junkyards in DFW Metroplex.” Adding quote marks around your search phrase will often give you more-focused results.

Photograph of the street view of the Alamo from Google Maps.Use this little yellow guy
Google Maps has what may be the most well-traveled location scout on the planet. And his services are free. Next time you’re on Google Maps, pull that little yellow dude icon onto whatever street you may be looking at. It’s the fastest way to see if a location is worth a personal visit. See the Alamo image above.

Peruse helpful sites
A few sites exist for the sole purpose of helping photographers find stuff to shoot in their area. ShotHotSpot.com allows you to search an area and see the types of images others have captured at various locations. This is a little hit or miss, but it can give you leads and ideas. Searching locations via FlickrInstagram, and Google Earth can also be enlightening.

Get the apps
Many apps can help you learn more about an area you plan to visit. For example, The Photographer’s Ephemeris comes highly rated. At $8.99, it’s also highly priced, but it shows topography, angles of the sun and moon, weather, and more. Mapillary is another
option for finding street-level imagery around the world.

Photo of buck by Casey Horner from Unsplash.com

Photo by Casey Horner from Unsplash.com

Take the road less traveled
Next time you’re headed home, take the long way. Who knows what exciting things you’ll find to shoot? And if you get lost, you can always use your phone to find your way back.

Ask around
TAPC is filled with local photographers who have years of experience. Someone is bound to have been where you haven’t. “Where do you like to shoot?” is also a great icebreaker question for someone you haven’t met yet.