Landscapes and Objects

Creative Fireworks – Bokeh and Blur

Creative Fireworks - Bokeh and Blur Whenever the Fourth of July rolls around we all see the same photos of fireworks, and they all look pretty much the same. Last year when shooting pictures of the firework show on the Fourth of July I accidentally discovered a whole...

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BYU-Idaho Greenhouse

BYU-Idaho Greenhouse

I love the BYU-Idaho greenhouse. All through the year, through the 8 months of winter, it is always green and lush. There are several different greenhouses, each with it’s own smell and purpose. I recently went to the BYU-Idaho greenhouse to teach a student how to shoot macro photography. The greenhouse was perfect for this because there are so many different plants that are indoors away from the wind that we could shoot.

There were flowers, clovers, vegetables, and we even found a snail! It was so relaxing to be in the greenhouses and just shoot away. I hope you enjoy these shots as much as I do.

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Spring in Macro

Spring in Macro

If these flowers, bees, and water drops don’t get you excited for spring then nothing will! I love all the colors and life with these macro shots I got last summer. I thought I would post them now since it feels like spring is coming (I hope!) Each one has a different story and adventure behind it.

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Winter in Idaho – Frozen Fog

Winter in Idaho – Frozen Fog

We have had an amazing frozen fog filled few days here in Rexburg, Idaho. Frozen fog is pretty rare, and only occurs when it is very very cold with no wind. Then ice crystals accumulate on anything and everything, and the results is a frost filled world! I love frozen fog, and even though it was 15 below zero my little family went out for an adventure to capture all of winter and it’s beauty.

Another thing that you’ll find interesting is that most of these images are hardly edited, which is different from my usual style. They didn’t need it! The images don’t do it any kind of justice. The whole world becomes frozen over in white, the air is still, and it seems fake! I hope you enjoy all the ice crystals, scenes, and close ups of what I got from all this frozen fog we have been getting. It makes winter worth it.

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Payson Utah LDS Temple Prints

Payson Utah LDS Temple Prints For those of you that have seen the new Payson Utah Temple, you know how unique and gorgeous it is. I had the chance to go to it's open house, my cousin's wedding inside, and also to photograph it this last year. I love the mountains, the...

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Amazing LDS Temple Prints

LDS Temple Pictures at Sunset for Sale

I believe every LDS (Mormon) family should have a picture of the Temple in their home. I am a Mormon as well, and it’s the center of my life. It’s a great reminder of so many happy things and goals, and I try to make my images different and unique compared to all the rest.

I have posted my most popular image for each Temple I have photographed, and you can click on the link below the Temple to see more! You can order them in several sizes and paper types. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or requests!

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How to Photography: Water Drop Collision

How to Photography: Water Drop Collision

Water drop collisions are one of those things that I tried, and just absolutely freaked out in love over! They are so much fun, and even though they are a lot of work, it’s definitely a photographer’s adrenaline rush when you finally get those two water drops to collide or crash into each other!

My favorite one, I love the little drop with the umbrella on top of it!

A little blurry, but rare! Three water drops crashing together creating two umbrellas!

An umbrella unattached to the drop below!

LOVE this one I got with Christmas lights behind it.

A normal water drop drip

Prepare a few hours for this, especially if you want them to crash together. This is hard! But definitely a blast to try, and something different than most photographers.

First, watch this quick video on some of the basics. It helps to see what is going on. If you want more detailed tips, keep reading below the video!

Setup
Attach some macro filters or macro tubes onto your camera. I prefer tubes because the filters will make the edges of your photo blurry, but both work fine!
Set your camera up on your tripod. You need a tripod! It’s important to be stable, once you get your camera in the sweet spot, you won’t want to move it!
Set up your speed light and trigger, make sure it’s working.
Get a colored background! This is easy, because it can be anything! I’ve used everything from a colored piece of paper ripped apart and put back together, to a colored pillow. Point the speed light at this background of your choice.
Grab a casserole dish and fill it almost to the top with water. Lay a piece of tin foil down, and place the dish on top of it. This will help it to be more reflective and catch the color of whatever background you chose.
Cut a small slit (you may have to try a few different times to get it right, like I do haha) in a ziploc bag, and hang it above your pan so it drips right onto the edge of the water in the pan. You don’t want it to drip in the middle because then your camera has a hard time reaching it or getting close enough.
prepare paper towels, lens cleaners, a chair, maybe some snacks… it’s gonna be a long wet ride!
Settings

Shutter Speed: 1/200 or 1/250 You can’t go any faster than that because then it won’t pick up the speed light. If you go any slower then it won’t freeze the action of the water drop. 1/200 is fast enough to freeze the water drop in a picture.
F-stop: f4 to f12 This is the setting you will change depending on (1) how much light you need in your photo and (2) how much blur you want in the background.
ISO: 100-400 You don’t want grainy images, so a lower ISO is always better for that.
Continuous Speed: You want to be able to hold down the button and snap quickly, so I turn mine on continuous so I can hold that puppy down and click away!
White Balance: Auto works great! You can change it if you want different coloring effects.
Speedlight: You don’t want the speed light to be too powerful or else it will take too long to recycle, so I like to stick around 1/64 so it has time to keep firing.
Focus It

This part is pretty tough. You have to focus on the water drop and lock the focus so you don’t ever have to do it again haha. It’s almost impossible to do this by focusing on the drops alone, so I like to stick a toothpick or even my finger right where the drops are falling (make sure the drops are falling in the same place each time and that the bag is holding still) and then focus on the toothpick. Take a few test shots to make sure it is in focus, and that the speed light is working.
Adjust the f-stop if needed. It not enough of the drop is in focus, bump up that f-stop. Remember: If you are trying to get the water drops to collide, then you will want a slightly larger f-stop because the diameter of the water crash is way larger than just a small drop.
Shoot Shoot Shoot

Now hold that shutter down and take a million photos! You never know when a collision could happen, or when different stages of the single water drop could happen, so I like to just hold down the button and take as many as I can to make the chances of missing anything small! (click image to see a few different stages!)

Megan Kelly, Macro Photography, Portfolio, Unique, Professional, Talented, Young, Colorful, Snowflake, Water Drop, close up
Look occasionally to see if you got anything! Then you will start to see when the good times are to shoot. For example, when I get a collision, I will mark it with a sharpie on my ziploc bag, so I know that once the water is down at that level in the bag, good things could happen=)
Adjust the colors, angle of your camera, and get creative!

No Collisions?

Sometimes I get stuck in this rut and I don’t get any collisions. It’s frustrating. Here are some things I try to see if I can get them to collide. The first is to make the speed of the drips closer together, so they are falling fast! This can be done by cutting a bigger hole in the bag, by putting more/less water in the bag, etc.
Sometimes the drops aren’t big enough. Some drops that fall out of my bags are small, and others I cut the hold perfectly and the drops are nice and large! The large full drops work better, so try to get them as big as you can!
Make the drops fall from a higher distance. Then it will splash back up higher, and give the next drop a better chance to hit the other one.
Good luck! Let me know if you try it out, and if you have any questions! I will answer them the best I can!

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Rexburg Idaho LDS Temple at Sunset

Rexburg LDS Temple at Sunset

I have lived in Rexburg, seen the Rexburg Temple go up, and see the Rexburg Temple almost every day. It’s one that is very special to me. I have been racing up there every now and then at sunset to capture these beautiful images, and I am selling these on stunning metallic prints. Everyone needs a pictures of the Temple in their home. I order them in any size, so let me know if you are interested!

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Draper LDS Temple

Draper LDS Temple

The sky was AMAZING for this LDS Draper Temple shoot! From every angle, this Temple was so easy to photograph. I just ordered a metallic print for a client, and it looks incredible. If you are interested in a print of one of these images, let me know! Everyone should have a picture of the Temple in their home, and if the Draper Temple is your Temple, you are in luck!

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How to Use a Reflector

How to Use a Reflector

Reflectors. Are. Amazing. If you are into portrait photography, spend the $15 and buy a reflector! It is my light source of choice. It doesn’t need batteries, the light can be controlled and you can see where the light will fall before you even take the image. It’s wonderful. Here is a great link to go and buy one, http://www.carynesplin.com/gear/. The reflector listed here is a 5-in-1 reflector and it’s the perfect size!

I’m going to show you images of what the reflector can do, particularly the 5-in-1 since it has so many different cool things you can do with it! First of all, here is a before image:

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Freezing Fog | Frozen World

Freezing Fog | Frozen World

There are few things I love more in the winter than Freezing Fog. It freezes everything over and it just becomes this beautiful magical frozen white world. Everything is still, frozen in it’s place, and the only worry you have is driving on the roads, haha.

I love the close up details of the ice, and standing back and seeing the whole picture. Hopefully you can see my vision of how beautify frozen fog is, as well as see some of the skies I threw in with them. Enjoy!

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How to Take Pictures Through a Waterdrop

How to Take Pictures Through a Waterdrop

When I first found out how to take pictures through a water drop, I was obsessed. Waterdrops have been here all along, how could I have missed such a beautiful detail! I will show you just how to capture images through a water drop. First, here is some inspiration! (click to enlarge)Steps

Set up your gear. Bust open those flowers, fruit, or whatever your subject is. Set it up nicely with lots of flat places and different angles to hang water drops from. Set up your LED, tripod, macro filters or tubes, and get everything set up.
Camera settings. If you are using the macro filters or tubes, you will want a higher number for your f-stop. This might be the opposite of what you think, but since your macro filters/tubes create so much bokeh and blur in the first place, having your f-stop higher will balance it out to add a little more focus. Your ISO is better the lower it is to avoid the grain, and your shutter speed can be changed to make up for any light that you may need. Remember if you are using a speed light, to keep your shutter in between 1/60 and 1/200.
Make the water drop! Natually plants and several objects repel water. So try to find a flat place or the end of something that a drop will stick to. TIP: don’t try to get the drop on there all at once, do it little by little until it makes a nice large drop of water.
Position your camera and what’s inside the drop. This can be tricky. I like to look with my eyes first and move my head around to see what the best angle is. You can see through the water drop with your eyes, so use your eyes first to see what angles give you the best subjects in the water drop. Then move your camera to that same angle. If you don’t like any of the subjects behind the water drop, you can also hold something behind the water drop, and it will be reflected on the other side.
Take the picture! It’s going to take practice, but it’s really not to hard to get an image through a water drop. Good luck, and send me your images! I would love to see them! Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

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