Day 2 – Closeup


Dear Day 2, Oh, how I struggled.  ‘Close Up’ gave new meaning to the word CHALLENGE.  I immediately hit a creative wall.  Doing most of my work out and about on the streets, I tend to shoot from a distance.  In search of a close up yesterday, I saw a couple of fascinating street personalities, but was not comfortable invading their space.  Saw some AMAZING carved, chartreuse green doors on an old city church, but they lacked a fabulous doorknob to close in on.  With a million ideas running through my head, nothing seemed to jump out at me. So, I decided to sleep on it, and voila, first thing I saw this morning when I woke up, our globe!  A globe given to my son one Christmas early in his life.  It sits very majestically on a book shelf in our living room.  My daughter was one of ten chosen to represent her school this year in a French Exchange Program and she is so very excited.  We will be hosting our student mid month and Libby will travel to France in March. So, my idea….  to zero in on France on that globe!  I would accomplish my close up for Day 2 of the challenge and create a wonderful gift to print for my daughter, as she so anxiously awaits her travels.

It is a very dreary day in Buffalo, so the lighting in my living room is not good.  I decided to take the globe outside and place it on a table on the patio. The patio is covered with an awning and it is actually the natural light peeping through that created the faded area on the upper right corner of the photo.  When shooting with an iphone, one can get about 4 inches away from their subject before they start to lose focus.  It took me a few tries and I found while getting that close, it was important to have steady hands. The slightest move, and focus was lost.  For that reason, I would suggest a mini tripod if you find yourself doing a lot of macro photography.  There are some fun lenses one can purchase for their iphones to help with macro photos.  Check out the iPhoto TelePhoto lens or the olloclip 3 in 1 at Photojojo.

Post photo…  I cropped (only to make the photo into a square), brightened a tad and sharpened in Snapseed. Used a retro effect in Camera+, and lightened it up a bit in pixlromatic with a bubble effect.  I was looking for something that had a nostalgic feel, but with just enough bright color to make it fun for a 13 year old!

YAY, I’m done!  I do not like close ups.  Just ask Alex. She will tell you! 😉

“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph”  ~ Matt Hardy


For ‘close up’ I chose to capture a perfect imperfection.  This is my 15 year old daughter Ella’s right eye.  When she was born we immediately noticed the wonderful amber stripe in one of her blue eyes.  This genetic abnormality called Heterochromia iridium is perhaps more well known for those celebrities like David Bowie who have eyes of completely different colors. It makes her eyes unique, special, and stunning.  I think I had a head start on Bonnie for this day of the challenge, as I knew immediately that this wonderful amber stripe was my project for the day.  As another piece of trivia, for any fans of the movie 28 Weeks Later (from the ‘About’ page you will see I am a zombie genre lover), because of Ella’s genetic make up she would’ve been a carrier but immune from the Rage virus (total nerd moment on my part there)!

Ella had just arrived home from swim practice, still in her swimsuit and with soaking wet hair.  I was panicking a little as the light was quickly fading.  At about 6:30pm we went into the backyard and she faced the diminishing sun which you can see setting below the fence line in the reflection on her pupil and iris.  I couldn’t get as close up as I wanted with my 50mm lens but I knew that I would be able to crop the image later in Lightroom.  As it was a little later, the light was slightly dimmer so my ISO was set at 200, my shutter speed was 1/200, and I kept my aperture wide at f/1.4 because I wanted to really focus on her eye and blur the rest of the image.

When it came to post processing, I once again did my edits in Lightroom 4.  I cropped the image, which originally included her other eye and nose, and used the rule of thirds, putting her pupil on the line of the right third.  I increased the exposure, clarity, and sharpening a little.  After 2 hours swimming in the high school pool, her face and blemishes were a little on the red side so I decreased the red luminance and saturation.  I also did some spot removal and smoothed out her skin using a preset brush from Pretty Presets for Lightroom.  I reduced the dark circles under her eyes and in her eye sockets (high school students have a long, busy day!).  Finally, I increased the clarity just in her iris and pupil and increased the blue saturation in her iris.


3 thoughts on “Day 2 – Closeup

  1. Great close-up! Who would have thought a globe would be such a cool picture? I like it! Great job Alex on the eye close up! I’m in ahh of y’all!

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