“If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise..”
OK, so no bears, but you would have seen members of CPA out with the Northern Ireland Fungus Group hunting for mushrooms. It was great to be welcomed along to one of the Funguys outings and to get a chance to be shown some of the cool things that start to appear in forests and woods around the country this time of year.
I know I harp on about camera clubs, but if it wasn’t for my membership of one, I’d never get opportunities to take some of the photographs I do, to play with kit I can only dream of owning and to learn things that no sane man would ever set out to teach me.
It’ll be interesting to see what the fungus experts make of the camera club pictures – I suspect they may despair of our artistic license…
(100mm (macro), f32, 1.3secons with a flash fired from low camera left to create shadow)
Macro round is just around the corner. This could be another example of how I get hooked into a photo and don’t see its bad points until much much later.
Colours are as shot. A little sharpening was about it. I’ll probably play with it in Photoshop over the weekend, but I thought it was nice as a starter for 10.
As part of my messing with the Button flowers a few nights back, I also tried to get a nice tight macro shot.
There’s a macro competition in the camera club coming up shortly, so I wanted to do things “by the book”. A definition of macro photography being that the image on the film (I’m not sure what this film thing is) should be the same size as the object, but that up to 4 times smaller is also allowed. Now, I’ve no idea how you measure that in Digital world where cropping is so simple, but I decided to work to a simple rule for this shot…
The lens had to be sharp at 1:1 and focused at the minimum focus distance. For this shot I used a Canon EF 100mm F2.8 on my 400D. If you’re in the market for one, I’d recommend it.
To get the shot above, I shot at F/29 from a tripod. You can see that even with an aperture this small, the depth of field is still pretty shallow.
Focusing also required me making use of a Macro Rail for the first time. A Macro Rail is essentially a fine adjustment mount for your tripod and camera. In my case, the rail mounts to my existing tripod mount and then the camera mounts to it. Adjustment is performed along two axis by use of small screws. It’s pretty neat, though I’d suggest the ball mount I have isn’t the right choice for a tripod head in cases like this as the initial set up was a nightmare!
I’ve been fortunate enough to get my hands on a little Marumi ring flash unit for a while. Mostly I’m planning to use it to take some Macro shots, but I’m told ring flash works well for portrait light as well.
Given my reluctance to post (and therefore take) portraiture, I’m not going to comment on this aspect. Although, for reference, Marvin had a bit of the ring flash about him. And now I think of it, he was taken with a 100mm Macro lens as well….
The nice thing about Ring Flash is the ability to get light to the front of your lens. When you’re shooting at a distance of 30cm and you’re using F22, you need a lot of light in a little area. Straight on flash can be an issue. It actually makes it almost possible to shoot Macro hands free.
This is actually a bobble my daughter has for her hair.
the Marumi seems like a decent little light. It’s a lot cheaper than the others on the market and I guess you do get what you pay for. The Marumi only has one bulb so no individual side control as offered by Canon ring flash. Also, it’s fully ETTL so there’s no manual control of the light (unless you use flash compensation on your camera).
However it does come with a set of adapter rings so mounting on a selection of lenses is possible, and it’s pretty quick to charge and recharge as well.
The light it throws off is pretty consistent, certainly meeting the challenges I gave it over the last day or two.
If you’re going to be spending your life with macro, invest in the Canon or Nikon ring flash. If you want something to supplement your gear or you’re shooting on a budget, I’d suggest taking a look at the Marumi.
Oh, and there is one for you Nikonites as well.
There’s a macro themed competition this year, so I’ve been trying to get the hang of macro photography. I guess the stereotype for the competition will be an inset shot and so I started out with those because I love stereotypes and it’s a decent way to practice focusing.
I ended up converting this to B&W as part of my messing about with the image and actually quite liked it.
I’d love it to be sharper though.
Here’s another shot of the mini’s I mentioned.
I’ve ended up with 15 pictures or differing degrees of like and dislike. Some feel over processed and some are definitely filler, but there are a few I like.
All in all, I think I’m happy with the outcome. I know in a similar situation a few months back I would have came out with a lot less than 15 images I’d show to people. So either I’m getting better at this sort of thing, or my standards are slipping.
God I hope it’s not my standards slipping…
Oh, and if rumours are true and a 7D is round the corner, I’d appreciate you all having a word with Santa for me!
I was asked to take some photographs of model cars tonight.
It seems there is a big anniversary coming up for Mini (40 years?) and since I had a camera I was asked if I would take some shots of classic model minis.
Not being one to say no to an opportunity to play with the camera, I jumped at the chance.
I took two styles of shot over the evening. A sort of typical archive approach, car at 45 degrees shot and a more adventurous shot. I’ll post a few of these over the coming weeks I guess.
Here’s one as a starter anyway.
I’m asked to do this sort of thing occasionally. Most everyone who knows me or knows me through friends or family knows I’m a bit of a photo nut. When I’m asked, I always make it clear I’m very amateur and still very much learning, but if they’re willing to loan me their toys, kids, whatever I’ll see what I can do. I make sure they understand they may get nothing out of it, but if I manage to take anything they’re welcome to it. It’s a great way to learn and to keep stimulated.
I guess what I’m saying is, make sure you’re available to improve your photography. If you’re like me, you only truly learn by taking pictures. And taking new pictures is a great way to learn…