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Author Topic: ((( MACRO JUNKIES )))  (Read 18174 times)
JohnKoerner
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« Reply #60 on: February 19, 2009, 07:26:52 AM »
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Quote from: pegelli
I think your technique is getting there. I see improved sharpness and exposure in every shot you're posting so just go on !
From this batch I like the frog eye best.


Thank you. I am trying to work on (quite literally) everything, from being more patient with my shots, to lighting, to really every aspect, including processing.

I'd like to post a couple more today, but it's raining cats and dogs ... and I just stepped on a poodle  




Quote from: pegelli
One comment is that you might consider to varying your composition a bit more. All your main subjects are very central in the frame. Maybe try some "golden rule" compositions where you try to put the point of main attention (maybe the eyes or some other strong point in your subject) on one ofe the intersections of the 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines that would devide the frame in three equal parts horizontally and vertically.
Just a thought that might improve the impact of the pictures you take.
Thanks for the reference on the book. I'll check it out.

No prob. Yes, from a photographer's view, you are right, I should look to vary my composition (and probably shoot something besides bugs and critters too). However, I am trying to get as many butterfly photos as I can (reptiles, amphibians, etc.) eventually to make my own "field guide," not for commercial purposes so much as for just a personal goal. So getting as much as I can get in the frame, centered, is what my goal is for the time being.

But I do appreciate the message, and I think I will start to try to diversify a little, just to mix things up a bit. I am saving for the 100-400mmm telephoto, as well as the 10-22 ultrawide zoom, the latter of which I think will create some real possibilities in the direction you suggest. As a matter of fact, I have been reading that ultra-wides (with converters) make excellent macro lenses that offer unique perspective, like for instance getting as close as possible to a leaf and yet still be able to get the whole subject in view. Or, as you suggest, perhaps (say) have a close-up of a lizard in one quadrant, with his approaching prey in another. Just thinking out loud

Jack
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #61 on: February 19, 2009, 07:36:26 AM »
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Quote from: Taquin
Hi. This has been such an interesting thread with some really very good photos. I don't shoot a lot of macro, in fact I haven't even got a macro lens, I just screw a 500d filter with a step-down ring on the end of my 70-200 f4 (using a Canon 40D). So I'm really only out hunting butterflies and such when birds are not to be found, and then shooting hand held with a flash:
[attachment=11613:_MG_7984SpIlSHMPer.jpg]
Or on the ground with a beanbag:
[attachment=11614:__54SpIlSHMRel.jpg]
The depth of field with this set up is miniscule. Most insects stay around long enough to get one or two shots in, and I've bought a monopod to increase my keeper rate with the flash, but I was wondering if anyone knew whether the depth of field is better with a dedicated macro lens? I can think of no reason why it should be, but then again have never tested it.
Well you images here have encouraged me to get out and do more. Cheers, David

Hey David, nice shots.

The desire to take butterfly photos is what got me into photography, and yours was nice. But I liked the flower shot most, as it had almost a Jack-In-The-Beanstalk effect, ascending up into the clouds ... and it didn't hurt that there was a color match too, between flower and sky  

Dedicated macro lenses are actually renowned for shallow depth of field, that is what I have myself recently learned. I too have been trying to get used to such a shallow depth of field, as my G9 point-n-shoot had a such vast depth of field, that in many ways I still prefer, but yet also see its limitations. Slough here has pointed out that if you stop way down to f11 to f16 you can get much greater depth of field and have much more of your subject in-focus. But this also gives the subject more of a chance to move and so blow the shot.

But I suppose that's what makes "the perfect shot" feel so good when you get it, because you had to throw so many others into the recycle bin first in order to get the "one"  

Jack
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pegelli
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« Reply #62 on: February 19, 2009, 01:50:50 PM »
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OK, I promised some more after others had posted.
Here's some of my fungus, which is another subject I enjoy shooting.

a fly agaric:


a similar one, but now "aged":


and one unknown (to me):


All 3 are with a Sony A700 + Minolta 100/2.8 macro lens from a tripod with natural light

As always, C&C welcome
« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 01:52:06 PM by pegelli » Logged

pieter, aka pegelli
JohnKoerner
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« Reply #63 on: February 19, 2009, 06:15:27 PM »
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I liked all of those shots Pegelli, numero uno especially!

Speaking of compostion, the main story (the top) of the mushoom was up high, but also varied, and I thought the color and lighting were all excellent.

#2 was so close ... the subject, the color, and the outer-edge focus were all nice ... but the main subject (the cutout) was ablur  

#3 again had great color, and a perfect angle, but unfortunately too much of the fungi were oof.

I will try to contribute something tomorrow
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David Sutton
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« Reply #64 on: February 20, 2009, 01:00:15 AM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
Hey David, nice shots.

The desire to take butterfly photos is what got me into photography, and yours was nice. But I liked the flower shot most, as it had almost a Jack-In-The-Beanstalk effect, ascending up into the clouds ... and it didn't hurt that there was a color match too, between flower and sky  

Dedicated macro lenses are actually renowned for shallow depth of field, that is what I have myself recently learned. I too have been trying to get used to such a shallow depth of field, as my G9 point-n-shoot had a such vast depth of field, that in many ways I still prefer, but yet also see its limitations. Slough here has pointed out that if you stop way down to f11 to f16 you can get much greater depth of field and have much more of your subject in-focus. But this also gives the subject more of a chance to move and so blow the shot.

But I suppose that's what makes "the perfect shot" feel so good when you get it, because you had to throw so many others into the recycle bin first in order to get the "one"  

Jack
Thanks for the comments. As you say, the problem with f11 or f16 and little creatures is they move. One solution is shooting early on a cold morning. Another is using flash, which is what I usually do. It also allows me to hand hold, though the rig can get a bit cumbersome, which is why I've invested in a monopod. The main problem I see is that the flash is not easy to control being so close, and it can become a bit obvious in the image, and often needs more post processing to deal with small blown areas. I prefer the look of natural lighting, but would have missed a lot of stuff if I'd relied on it:
[attachment=11634:__93.jpg]
F14 and about 2 or so feet away. I used to use a Sigma 17-70 which was quite nice close up, but I often ended up with the lens virtually touching the subject. The zoom allows some leeway as far as moving back a bit from a nervous sitter, but hand held usually means I'm relying on the camera's autofocus. Live view is the only way I can be sure what's exactly in focus.
Nice photos Pegelli. I particularly like the third, as you can see the light through the gills. I always want to get fungi from underneath, but most of the time find I can't get the camera low enough.
David
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #65 on: February 20, 2009, 06:42:22 PM »
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What a nice shot David!

I am jealous that you have critters in your back yard (in New Zealand) that the rest of us have to travel to go see. That is an enormous butterfly(moth?) that the gecko is devouring. I too prefer natural-looking light, although with the ringlight flash if you adjust it right it looks very natural also. Both allow you to get those f/10s etc., and your suggestion of morning shots is excellent. Here are a few I took, 2 with no flash and 1 with a macro ringlight:




f/9, 1/3rd sec., ISO 100, tripod, no flash





f/11, 1/100, ISO 100, handheld, MT-24 Ringlight flash





f/10, 1/5th sec, ISO 100, tripod, no flash
crop



The spider really needs to be viewed at 2000-4000 mpx to be appreciated fully.

Jack


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David Sutton
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« Reply #66 on: February 20, 2009, 07:47:37 PM »
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Not quite my backyard Jack! I was in a butterfly house down south to practise my macro technique. In the two hours there I really started to get an idea of what was going to work and what wasn't when hand holding the camera, worth a month in my backyard from that point of view. Anyway, I was photographing this butterfly when the gecko darted down the tree and did some snapping of its own.    
The ringlight seems to be giving you quite a natural looking light when there is not too much foreground. I've been using a Canon flash on a Kirk bracket to get it off to the side, but the rig is clumsy and the bracket won't fold flat for travelling, so I intend to get a RRS bracket, which I should have done in the first place. I photograph a lot at historical events, and am looking for gear that will do both jobs.
David
BTW, the butterfly did a Houdini and survived another day.
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pegelli
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« Reply #67 on: February 21, 2009, 04:21:01 AM »
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John, thanks a lot for taking time to comment. I really appreciate it.
The limited dof on the 2nd and 3rd pic was intentional, trying to get something between a documentary photograph and a pleasing picture. It apparently didn't work for you.    
Your jumping spider is amazing, I love all the detail in the facial hair. Probably want to print this big and frame it. At a large size it will have quite an impact !

Taquin, amazing the butterfly survived that, must have had bad breath or something   , great capture.

Two old ones from when I just got my 100 mm macro:

An Inky Top covered with dew (again intentional limited dof, not sure It worked here either):


At home I saw a little critter was hanging from the rim, 100% crop:


And the last one, I was photographing fungus and got lucky when this ugly beast landed and decided to pose for me:
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 04:26:06 AM by pegelli » Logged

pieter, aka pegelli
David Sutton
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« Reply #68 on: February 21, 2009, 05:21:51 PM »
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I think your "ugly beast" is a fine shot. Can I make a suggestion about framing? He is looking to the left but placed in the middle of the frame. What about adding a little more space to his left like this:
[attachment=11674:copy.jpg]
Hope you don't mind me messing with your image.
Here's one from a hour ago:
[attachment=11675:_MG_9914.jpg]
I was trying out the Manfrotto 685B monopod with my macro filter on a 70-200 lens. Sometimes I don't want to use a tripod as by the time I'm ready the subject has gone. The Manfrotto is very fast to adjust but useless for this type of work because the quick release grip has play in it, and by the time I add the extra weight of a flash and bracket there is a lot of wobble. I have a Feisol here which will be a little slower to adjust, and though lighter is built like a tank. David
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #69 on: February 21, 2009, 10:23:00 PM »
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Pegelli,

I am going to have to start paying more attention to fungi--they make interesting subjects
I love the bottom detail in the mushroom, but I think more DOF would have nailed it. What was that on the bottom rim, an ahphid? The fruitfly shot was yet another classic macro shot, bra-vo! Excellent detail.



Taquin;
Your bee shot was the kind of clarity I was trying to get with mine, but didn't quite make it  


Here are some more from me:
(Note: The first shot was with my 50D, the last two were taken in summer with my PowerShot G9):





f/11, 1/80, ISO 500, handheld, built-in flash




f/3.2, 1/60, ISO 80, handheld, built-in flash




f/3.2, 1/20, ISO 60, handheld, built-in flash



Enjoy,

Jack
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JDClements
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« Reply #70 on: February 24, 2009, 08:59:12 PM »
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Quote from: shootergirl
How the heck do you get these photos of insects without them flying away just when you want to take the shot? I've tried to take photos of butterflies and just when I've got it framed, it flies away. Same with bees--they'll move on to another flower.
Kingtutt had some good advice about just hanging out where you think they'll land. This is especially true for most dragonflies, who tend to fly a circuit and come back to the same spots each time.

Another tip is to move real slooooow. And I do mean slow. Come in in ultra-slow motion, and many bugs just won't notice. Of course, if you take too long, they might finish up what they are doing and fly off!

For these wasp shots, I waited until *they* were the ones moving slowly, that is, in the cool of evening. (But when one made a slight move toward me, I moved real fast... into the house.)

1.


2.


3.


4.

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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2009, 11:21:21 PM »
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Wow! Those are scary!

I'd need a 20000 mm macro lens to get shots like that (and a can of bug spray handy just in case.)

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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
JohnKoerner
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« Reply #72 on: March 02, 2009, 06:22:26 PM »
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Very nice, with very nice color. When it warms up, there are all kinds of mud wasps around here.

In the meantime, here is one of a baby grasshopper (about the size of the first joint on your pinky finger). Not much coloration, but he sure blends in with the sand!






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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #73 on: March 02, 2009, 06:28:50 PM »
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Here is one where I blew the focus totally (handheld in low light), but I still liked the colors and the shapes so much, I fiddled with it and made it look like a drawing  


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David Sutton
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« Reply #74 on: March 03, 2009, 01:14:45 AM »
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Good shots Jack. You are doing some really interesting stuff. David
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #75 on: March 03, 2009, 10:56:18 PM »
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Thank you.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #76 on: March 06, 2009, 09:03:31 PM »
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Here is a more natural rendition of the same flower ... and then one of a butterfly:





Same Flower





Red-Banded Hairstreak




I tried to follow Slough's advice and stop down more for closer shots, but could never seem to do it right as the photos would come out either very dark or very blurry due to a very low SS.

So I have been synchronizing my ringlight flash for daytime use, in order to get the SS up and achieve the results I have been wanting to get. Well, I was getting the focus right, but I was having trouble getting the lighting to look natural. I think I have finally found the right balance between my ringlight flash and using f/9-f/16, which seems to be giving me more natural lighting results in daylight flash use, as well as more of my subject in focus.



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« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 09:05:32 PM by JohnKoerner » Logged
JohnKoerner
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« Reply #77 on: March 11, 2009, 01:40:11 PM »
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Bumble Bee nectaring on Aubutilon Pink

ISO 100, f/9, 1/100, MacroRinglight Flash






Skippers Mating on edge of Tulip

ISO 100, f/9, 1/200, MacroRinglight Flash






Giant Swallowtail nectaring on Pentas

ISO 100, f/11, 1/100, MacroRinglight Flash




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