Selection of September 2018: Guardian by Andrew George

Guardian by Andrew George

Every spring I visit the local pond in nature reserve Nuenen broek (Nuenen, Noord-Brabant, The Netherlands) to photograph Common Frogs and toads during the mating period. To me, it’s a symbol of spring and the start of a new life.

I needed sunny weather to create a bokeh, but this little pond is surrounded by trees so the sun need to be high, not near the horizon. When the sun rose above the trees it was already late in the morning, so it was difficult to get the right angle to create a bokeh in the background. Also sitting on your knees just above water level is very exhausting, as the water is very cold at this time. I have used a wading suit to stay dry and warm, but after an hour, I became cold. Also the light was very intense, the backlit subject became a silhouette, therefore I have used the external flash to avoid the frog becoming a silhouette. 

I have made the black and white conversion with Silver Efex Pro 2 in Lightroom. The presets there are great and achieving a good b/w conversion with some minor adjustments is possible. I have adjusted some levels, contrast and shadows/highlights

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