Shooting Through Non-Natural Materials
So what happens if you don't have four grown foliage? What else could you shoot through? Oh, this is fun. I'm gonna show you my very favorite technique. Just the one that I used for that one. And it involves using tool or lace tulle. This kind, not wrenches, even comes in camo. I'm gonna show you how I used the lace, though, So you would by about a third of a yard of lace. And it's easiest to do this with your camera sitting on a table, and then you're going to wrap the tool for the lace around your lens hood. You can secure it with a rubber band, and then you're pulling the fabric in front of your lens, leaving a small opening. Now, if you want a very subtle veil of color, you do maybe one layer of the tool or one layer of the lace. If you wanted thicker, say you're trying to hide some dark edges, then you would just pull it out a little thicker, and then you leave an opening for where you want your subject to be, and you can easily move that as you recompose. Just a ZZ as that and it...
comes in many different colors. I have not found green lace yet, but I'm hopeful that ST Patrick's Day like, might allow me to find some, Uh, but it's Ah, it's a beautiful technique and definitely one of my favorites for Flowers and Aiken simplify a background just the same way that I was shooting through the foliage, but with something different. This is also done with tool. This is pink tulle, and you can see that I had a pretty heavy over the lens with just a very small opening of this hydrangea. And any time I do this, I get stopped at a garden and asked what I'm doing. Someone said, Is this some sort of like I was teaching it to a group? Is this some kind of a club where the tool girls, uh, you can see, uh, the image on the left with the Spanish moss? I've loved Spanish moss, but it was a little too intense, a little too strong. So I did, um, on off white piece of tool and, uh, just added a very soft and yet to it, I went a little heavier on the on the tulip and here to this was, Ah, yellow tool, and it was pretty thick because I really only wanted you to look at that one flower. And this is the way that I could do that, where I could tone the other ones down with the tool and just leave an opening for that one flower. But you don't on Lee have to use a tool or lakes. And if you have things that you've shot through that I don't mention, I'd love to hear them. The people at home If you you have some suggestions, I'd love to hear them pantyhose. It still does exist, and you just cut a piece off, stretch it over your lens and attach it with a rubber band. I'd stretch it pretty pretty tightly, and that's how I made this photo. You can cut a hole in it if you do want a little more definition in one area if you don't want that soft diffusion all the way across. So I get two pieces of pantyhose, one with a hole in it and one straight one for that. I think it's a beautiful, softened effect, and that's how I did the main image for this class was with pantyhose, and these leaves is, well, not just flowers. So here's a shot a straight shot of, um, and a flower from along with gardens. And then I tried the pantyhose. I wasn't crazy about it, but I wanted you to be ableto have a before and after shot so that you can see just what that effect is doing. You could use a plastic bag over your lens like a plastic sandwich bag. This is ah at one that instead of a plastic bag I used I don't have one with me. You know those free shower caps they give you in hotels? This is what I used, um, for this shot. I had it loose over the lens. I did. I didn't tighten it. I just held it with my hand, not a rubber band. And for the second shot, Um, no, I take that back that completely wrong. This is where I had it stretched tight, and I did have it held with my hand. And then for the second shot, I let it go looser, and I think there's a little more distortion because of the rumbles in the shower cap for this one. I used a Vaseline on a filter and I'm going to tell I wouldn't listen to this. Never, never, never put Vaseline on your lens or on your camera. You buy a cheap UV filter and and you and you put Vaseline take a little bit on your finger and I go just around the edge. If you want that diffusion to cover the whole thing, you could do that. But a little Vaseline goes a long way. Just a tiny bit around the edges would work. And then to be able to keep this somewhat sterile and not pick up cat hair, dust to dirt or anything, I take a second UV filter and I just put it right over the top. Put that on my camera and shoot through, and that way I can reuse it. I mean, it will last a couple of years. You don't have toe clean. The filter and UV filters are are pretty inexpensive. But that's how I did this and you can see in the center. I didn't have the Vaseline. Can you see that there's a little more definition there? The softness is more around the outer edges. Same thing here. There's just that softening around the very outer edges of the flower. Or you could do it all over again. Your choice. This has it a little thicker. Comes in a little bit more with a smaller area without the Vaseline. So something fun to shoot with. I even tried bubble wrap because I asked him. I always tell my students to ask themselves what would happen if and I do it myself and I When I was doing the shower cap, I thought, I wonder what bubble wrap would look like. It wasn't great, so that's why you're not gonna see it. But it was worth a shot, something fun to try. So this is a shot that I took in in Ireland and the plant was behind. I didn't set this up. The plant was behind a door that had this amazing distortion to it. And I started to think about doing some of that on my own. So bought myself a piece of patterned glass. You can see the ripples in the glass, and I bought probably three or four different ones. This this ripple effect is my favorite. I also have one that has raindrops on it, so it looks like you're shooting through a rain soaked window, which is pretty cool, too. The only thing I don't like about is I can't do this myself. I tried. I set my camera up on my tripod and try and pre focused and tried toe push the button and have this at the right angle, and it just did not work. So I went shooting when a couple of friends and they were nice enough to hold the glass for me. I do use a polarizer for this because the glass is shiny and you need to be sure that your assistant is holding it at the right angle so that you're not catching glare. You know, if they have it tilted this way, you're going to catch, catch some glare. So you have to direct your assistant on just how to use the glass. I am hoping that I can find some of that rippled glass in plexiglass instead so that I could use a clamp and and hold it myself. Because in my life and assistant doesn't happen unless I'm shooting with friends and we take turns. So this is through that same rippled glass so I can go from this chart of these daisies to this with a rippled glass. I mean, it's just a fun, and it is my latest obsession. I will be adding to my glass collection and doing a lot more of this. It's not real portable. I also shot this cosmos the same day and not just flowers. These air coleus leaves that I shot through. I'm I think that looks painterly to me, and it's just beautiful. So while we were at done gardens, I did some shooting through both with, uh, tool and fabric and the pattern glass. And I'd like to show you that now. So what can you do? If you want to do the shooting through technique and there is no foreground foliage, you can shoot through something artificial. This is just tool. That's T u L L. A. Not tool, like a wrench that I've wrapped around my lens and secured it with a rubber band. Have it around the lens hood. If you're using a tulip lens hood, it's a little tricky to use. It's better with a solid one, so what you do is wrap it around, and then you just pull the tool in front of your lens hood, leaving an opening so that would be like the opening that we had in the foliage to shoot through. And I'll use green if I want to match the leaves of a flower. If I'm shooting a full frame flower like an orange rose, I'll use orange tulle lace works well, too, but you can recreate that look without having the foreground foliage. So we found this gorgeous tree. I have no idea what it is, but the blossoms air just fabulous. They're beautiful and I wanna be able to simplify them. And there are a lot of leaves up close and those would be coming into focus. So the tool will allow me to simplify the shot, tone those down and keep the attention on that soft, painterly flour. So I'm gonna shoot a few of those for you. And if you're putting that opening on the side or one of the corners and then you decide you want to recompose, you can easily just slide the tool and move that opening. It's really simple to Dio. I want to do another shot now, but I want to use lace instead. So let's go up and do that one. Now I have yellow lace wrapped around my lens hood, and if you're looking to buy some, about a third of a yard is a good amount, and I'm gonna shoot thes leaves their yellow and green, and they have some beautiful little pink tips so I could use pink Tuller lace. I could use green. I could use yellow. I think yellow will warming up nicely. I'm going to be really careful that I don't catch the bright white sky that I feel the frame with Onley the leaves. I'm going to shoot this at four because I want probably just the pink tips off the leaves in focus. That's my focal point. I think it's the strongest part. I'm gonna move just a little bit because I was getting a little sky. Yeah, beautiful soft look right in camera. There's one more shooting through technique that I wanted to show you. This is shooting through textured glass, and for this one you need an assistant. I've been tryingto figure out a way where I could hold the glass. Hold the camera. It's not happening. The glasses, too heavy. Um, plexiglass might be an alternative. That would be lighter. I haven't found any yet in a pattern that I like. So I'm going to have my assistant come in and hold the textured glass in front of my subject. Choose something with a lot of color. Um, compact together? No. You don't want specks of color throughout the frame. You want a good concentration of subject matter. I have the polarizer on my 180 millimeter, which will cut down any glare from the glass. And let's shoot it. You're not gonna get focus confirmation for this. You want to shoot in manual focus and just dial it in so that it looks good to your eye, This type of shot. You know, you don't want to focus on the flowers behind the glass because then you will lose your distortion. And focusing on the glass doesn't work really well. I find it just to get dial it in. This is supposed to be painterly and soft and a funky effect. So you really don't need anything tack sharp anyway. And that's a simple as it ISS. And as soon as I find a way to hold the glass. I'll let you guys know This is the shot that I photographed through the leaves through the yellow lace on You can see that beautiful, soft yellow You don't see any lace. You just see soft color. And this is the shot through the textured glass with my wonderful assistant holding that for May. And I took one more when I was there Just because I loved I loved this. It was in the next pot over and you guys didn't get to see it, but I wanted to share that with you.