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Photo of the Month April 2020

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It’s time for the Photo of the Month April 2020. Social isolation for COVID-19 continues and as a result, I have not been out in the field taking too many shots lately. Being locked up did give me the idea for my Nature Photography During Lockdown video series on YouTube though.

The photo of the month is the result of one of the ideas for my videos.

Nature Photography in the Month of April 2020

Nature Photography has become an indoor sport. Perhaps it was the mental strain of COVID-19 isolation, but my idea for Nature Photography During Lockdown came to me in a blinding flash of crazy inspiration. I realized that all around me in my cozy little 4 bedroom prison were things that reminded me of the outside world.

As Nature Photographers, we are mad about nature, so we tend to bring it inside with us. I thought that showing you how to continue your nature photography while in isolation would be a great idea. 4 weeks later and I am realizing that it is not only possible but a whole lot of fun!

So far I have shown you how to take photos of pot plants and make it look like you took the images outside. I have also done a couple of tutorials on how to edit these shots to give the illusion of the outdoors.

Last week I started photographing water, and decided to start with it’s frozen form – ice.

Setting Up the Photo of the Month April 2020

My original idea was to shoot ice blocks and try to get some inspiring images that way. I soon realized that this did not exactly give the illusion of nature – ice does not form into perfectly formed shapes in the real world.

There was nothing wrong with the photos I got of the ice blocks, in fact I will be uploading them to stock websites, so it wasn’t wasted time.

I decided the best idea was to crush the ice. This way it would look more like ice or snow and give the illusion that I took the photos outside.

Inspired Ideas are the Best Ideas

The crushed ice worked immediately. The shapes and textures formed within the small bowl of ice in front of me filled me with child-like excitement! The addition of a little lighting (provide by my Tolifo PT176s), helped even more.

These two images show you how just one light can add so much more dimension to your photos:

The image on the right above has so much more depth to it. There are nice highlights and deep shadows, it just has a more three-dimensional look. The photo on the left is lifeless and, let’s be honest – a bit boring.

The Image of the Month April 2020

After experimenting with different coloured lighting, turning off the ambient lighting and using just the Tolifo, I chose to do some macro shots. I used my Xit 36mm extension tube with my AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 lens and got in a little closer. The closer you get to your subject, the smaller your Depth of Field becomes so you end up with less of your subject in focus.

The image of the month for April of 2020 is the result of a technique called Image Stacking. This is where multiple shots are taken to get the entire frame in focus and then stacked together in Photoshop to provide a fully-focused image.

photo of the month april 2020 - ice lit from below
An image stack of crushed ice lit from below.

More Photos of the Month To Come…

Thank you for reading this post today. There are many other Photo of the Month posts here on my blog – check them out if you have time.

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