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17 July 2019

Yesterday the sun came out inadvertently. So we grabbed the E-PL1 with the Lensbaby Composer Pro and the +4 macro converter to take a few more garden shots.

The Leaf. Three captures at f11, 1/125 second and ISO 250, composited in Photoshop CC.

That macro converter makes our quarter-sized apples look like softballs. We like that.

But showing scale is a problem in photography. If you want to show scale (not desirable in apple photography), you have to be sure to include something of known scale in the composition. Like a human.

Scale wasn't the problem yesterday, though. Wind was.

Sun or fog, we are getting a good stiff wind throughout the day and night around here. If we hoisted sail after breakfast we could be in Chicago by lunchtime.

We were photographing the wind not the leaf, after all.

A fast shutter speed can freeze motion -- and that includes wind. But you still have the problem of focusing on a moving target. And with the Lensbaby Composer Pro, it's your problem because it doesn't autofocus.

And just to make this exercise even more challenging, using a macro converter narrows your field of vision down to something ridiculously tiny. With a very shallow depth of field, too.

So you have the wind blowing your subject (a leaf in this case) around the scene in and out of focus and the macro converter making it had to track.

This is where Continuous mode comes in handy. Just press the Shutter button down and let the camera rip off a few shots.

Just don't expect the electronic viewfinder to show you what's going on. It can't keep up, so it just shuts its eye.

Sounds daunting, doesn't it. And yet, there we were, smiling in the sun, our hair flowing in the gusts, shooting away like an idiot.

Because we know half the fun is in the editing. And we had a plan.

We were photographing the wind not the leaf, after all. And the more that leaf bounced around the frame, the better portrait of the wind we were going to be able to make.

To get the shot above, we took three images from the set and superimposed them on each other in separate layers. We reduced the opacity of the top two layers and aligned them, then tried to find a ghostly level of opacity to show them.

We indulged in the motion blur filter for the two more transparent layers, using different angles of blur (just like actual wind does).

We weren't done with this rendering, though. We used Photoshop's Select Subject option to find the leaf on our background layer, which was the main image. And we copied that to a new layer on top, just to show who in the image was boss.

That let our leaf dance in the wind just the way we had encountered it.

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