Macro is an extreme close-up.
I believe these links deserve a close-up 😉



By Sebastien Grobelny


Macro is an extreme close-up.
I believe these links deserve a close-up 😉

Wallace and Gromit - Jumping Frog

By Sebastien Grobelny


Macro is an extreme close-up.
I believe these links deserve a close-up 😉

By Sebastien Grobelny


Macro is an extreme close-up.
I believe these links deserve a close-up 😉

Fly away with me

By Sebastien Grobelny

Long Exposure #5 : To edit or not edit?

As mentioned in “What is a photographer?” and again in “Fiat Lux“, a photograph is a succession of steps.
Once your camera caught the scene the next step is to deliver it to your public, but before you do that you need to answer the question that haunts a lot of photographers: Should I edit this picture or post it “as shot”?
For some people, to not edit their shot is a credo: the shot is over as soon as you push your shutter. For others the push of the shutter button is just one of the many steps towards their final picture. For me editing is a way to bridge the gap to my ideal shot.
Below is a before (left) / after (right) shot I edited recently using Adobe Lightroom 4. I played with the colors and tones a bit in order to get a picture more vivid. Don’t you think the right one looks better? (for a look at the final result just click)

Bryce Canyon Before / After EditSome photographer have more restrictions than others. If you’re a photojournalist you will not be allowed to amend details that alter the meaning of the picture. It means that cropping might be allowed, contrasts and tones amended but you won’t be allowed to remove or add anything from your picture. I suggest you have a look at this article on Gizmodo to see how pictures were edited in the past.
Recently, I went with Celine on another roadtrip and our starting point was Las Vegas. We have been there several times but never really thought of capturing the Welcome sign. Unfortunately for us we just remembered it on our way to the airport, during our final day. If I were to be a purist, I might end up with the shot below.

The Las Vegas welcome sign unedited

I didn’t like much all the cables or some of the buildings but it’s not as if I could just go an bulldoze the buildings or cut the cables down. The sky was also pretty uniform as the sun was high in the sky. With Lightroom and Photoshop I was able to get the result below, with more textures in the sky and a dreamy effect, closer to what I’d like my shot to be.

Las Vegas Welcome Sign Edited with Photoshop and LightroomEditing is for me one more tool, a way to get more control on the final result but like a super power it must be used responsibly. One of my proudest edit is a very subtle one. People liked the shot below, but very few people know that it was one of my first edit (to see the original version just click the image).

Statue of Liberty editedIf you want to see what edit can do for you I suggest you read Mike Campau guest post on Scott Kelby’s site.

By Sebastien Grobelny

Long Exposure #3 : Challenge accepted!

Celine built Photoblogchallenges from the ground up almost 3 years ago. She was already very passionate about photography and very involved in sites like Moody Mondays, Two for Tuesdays and posting/commenting daily on Aminus. Each challenge site had its specialty and its core of participants. The idea behind photoblogchallenges was to try to federate all the various sites into one and showcase the pictures to as much people as possible. It’s not because you don’t do macro photography that you can’t appreciate it and can’t vote for it.
After more than 440 challenges offered (about 3 per week), I’m really glad to be part of this adventure. It gave me the opportunity to see some amazing shots over the years and interact with great people. I’m always sad when I realize that some regular is not participating anymore but I’m overjoyed when I see someone new giving the challenges a try. There’s a lot of anticipation and questions. Will he have fun? How “good” will his pictures be? Will they be on topic? Will he come back? Will he participate to all the challenges or only some? These questions are important to me as Celine puts her heart, soul and countless hours in the site without expecting anything back. (donations or comments are encouraged)

Art is subjective and is about feelings and expression(s). What I look for in a challenge is to see how my pictures are received. I know what I wanted to achieve with my shot, but if it doesn’t translate to the viewer, I failed. When I participate in a challenge, winning is not the most important thing. I want to know where I’m at and how I stack against the competition. I’m still learning daily and I find that to challenge yourself is a way to move forward. I discovered Smoke Photography, Water droplet, macro (among others) through challenges and I do believe that I’m a better photographer and editor because of it.

I have the feeling that I’m ready to move from Single-A to AA and maybe one day I will join the Majors. For that I still need to work and learn a lot but I still have plenty of time.
Here are 2 galleries of contests with inspiring shots:
PopPhoto August Best submissions
Winners of the 2013 Red Bull Illume contest


Macro is an extreme close-up.
I believe these links deserve a close-up 😉

Macro of a Mineral by Sebastien Grobelny

Endangered Species?

Last week, I read this article from Ashley Feinberg on Gizmodo : Those Adorable Animal Pics May Be Fake—and Cruel.
The article is based on an article by Jenn Wei at Peta Pixel.
It shed some light on some practices I wish I had never known about.
I always thought that a nature photographer was the paramount protector of the fauna he tries to catch. What would he do if the endangered species and their habitat were to disappear?
Unfortunately it appears that some amazing shots over the years are the result of pure and simple cheating without any form of respect for the animal or their surroundings. Using props and wires has no place in nature photography. To be a photographer is to be an observer, not an actor.
The issue with revelations like these is that it will cast a doubt on all the nature photographers. Who is going to believe you spent hours and hours studying and following your “prey” for that lucky shot when it could have been staged in minutes?
To finish on a lighter note, please enjoy this capture of a Felis Catus in her wild environment. Full disclosure : No catnip or chloroform were used to take that shot.

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