1 2 3 Previous Next 1,161 Replies Latest reply: Sep 29, 2009 8:08 PM by RWeb1 RSS

    Up Close and Personal

    shoot me now-d3u3se Community Member
      I don't how many of you do macro photography, but I try my hand at it from time to time. I thought this might be a good place to post pictures, discuss techniques, talk about equipment, etc. <br /> <br />I'm short on time right now, so... enough words. Here are a few recent pix to kick things off: <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1sPBQufCaMMQfBYohHTJkp4JV6mT8N" /></a> <img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1sPBQufCaMMQfBYohHTJkp4JV6mT8N_thumb.jpg" border="0" /> <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1xzK53rLFuly2arZrX3Hy5R7nExbm1" /></a> <img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1xzK53rLFuly2arZrX3Hy5R7nExbm1_thumb.jpg" border="0" /> <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1FHknaEZdaJgxe4T5t1OVM2UV6tnUz1" /></a> <img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1FHknaEZdaJgxe4T5t1OVM2UV6tnUz1_thumb.jpg" border="0" /> <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1zWbSv05z8nZ7e5zBjv0tvre51m9A0" /></a> <img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1zWbSv05z8nZ7e5zBjv0tvre51m9A0_thumb.jpg" border="0" />
        • 1. Re: Up Close and Personal
          Sharon VL Community Member
          These are pretty, Ho. I look forward to hearing your tips on macros as I have found them to be challenging.

          Sharon
          • 2. Re: Up Close and Personal
            Community Member
            Ho,great idea. i really enjoy macro myself although nothing more than 1 to 1. your shots are nice,particularly the ladybug. nice depth of field and good composition.did you use a tripod for the ladybug or handheld? What fstop did you use.nice out of focus background and sharp subject .
            • 3. Re: Up Close and Personal
              Dirck Community Member
              Do the pictures have to be attractive? :)
              • 4. Re: Up Close and Personal
                LRK 2 Community Member
                Howard, I like the ladybug... I also like the texture of the last image.
                • 5. Re: Up Close and Personal
                  Cindy- Community Member
                  One of my all time favorites!

                  This guy is really spooky. It is some kind of fly that can capture a bee or a wasp and suck the life out of them. I stumbled onto him by accident while shooting in Long Beach. There they were just hanging out on a palm tree waiting for me to grab my lens. Yuk!!
                  • 6. Re: Up Close and Personal
                    Sharon VL Community Member
                    That is an incredible shot!
                    • 7. Re: Up Close and Personal
                      Dirck Community Member
                      Trés Intime!
                      • 8. Re: Up Close and Personal
                        shoot me now-d3u3se Community Member
                        >Do the pictures have to be attractive?

                        No, they just have to be pictures. :)

                        Any subject is suitable. Insects, flowers, postage stamps, etc. Ordinary objects can take on extraordinary appearances when magnified.

                        >did you use a tripod for the ladybug or handheld?

                        I used a tripod, a ball head, and a focusing rail. The lens (for most of my shots) was a Vivitar Series 1 f2.5 105mm macro (1:1). The last picture in the series was shot with the macro lens and all my extension tubes (68mm worth), plus an off-camera flash. I did not record the exposure, but I'm guessing it was about f4. This lens has great bokah.

                        > I look forward to hearing your tips on macros as I have found them to be challenging.

                        Macros *are* challenging. The depth of field is very limited, and the combination of long lenses, slow film, small apertures, and slow shutter speeds can make for some tedious afternoons. I highly recommend using a flash (off-camera is best) when possible since it neatly solves many exposure problems.

                        I should point out that all these are really practice shots. I'm still learning *how* to shoot macro, how to position the camera, how to light the subject, how to choose the subject. My best tip would be to grab John Shaw's books Closeups in Nature and Nature Photography Field Guide. Both have much good info for shooting at higher magnifications.
                        • 9. Re: Up Close and Personal
                          Community Member
                          Cindy,i am not certain, but i think that is a robber fly. i have one or two shots somewhere but i rarely see them in my garden. if you watch them closely,they will track subjects going by and take them down on the fly. great work and they look real sharp as well.I assume your using some close up flash setup as well?
                          • 10. Re: Up Close and Personal
                            Community Member
                            Howard,i have been a longtime admirer of shaw and actually met him at a lighthouse in new england once. it was just the two of us and i was in shock to be there at that spot together. i think it was fate,cause i mentioned it to my wife on the way that maybe ill see john shaw up there, as i knew he shoots fall foliage there. i got a photo with him and treasure it. he has great technique and vision. good suggestion
                            • 11. Re: Up Close and Personal
                              Cindy- Community Member
                              > Cindy,i am not certain, but i think that is a robber fly

                              That's it! A robber fly. I couldn't remember.

                              No, the flash did not fire on this one. I did not want to scare him off. They posed for quite a few shots and since I had good light I just did my best.

                              When using macro I often use flash. I shoot in manual mode with the shutter set at 1/250 generally but not always. This particular shot had me real nervous. No tripod available. I probably would not have had time to set it up anyway.
                              • 12. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                Ozpeter Community Member
                                At what point does a photo become a macro? Is there any agreed definition in terms of distance from subject, lens setting, or whatever?
                                • 13. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                  Dirck Community Member
                                  I don't have a true macro lens, this was with the 17/35.

                                  Sight

                                  One of the things I've learned from close shots is that things are dirtier than I expect.
                                  • 14. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                    Cindy- Community Member
                                    macro
                                    adj : very large in scale or scope or capability; "`macro' in the word `macroscopic' is a combining form" n : a single computer instruction that results in a series of instructions in machine language [syn: macro instruction]
                                    • 15. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                      shoot me now-d3u3se Community Member
                                      &gt;No tripod available. <br /> <br />That's really preferable if you're chasing bugs, for exactly the reason you stated. Who has time to mess with a tripod? In his books, John Shaw shows how to fabricate some nifty macro flash-brackets. They position the flash out near the end of the lens for proper illumination; a great asset to hand-held work. <br /> <br />More practice shots from a couple of weeks ago, when I started trying out focusing rails. This was the Manfrotto rail. <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1jurB1kWQyMCb8SUMtO3q9T9wnJW3x" /></a> <img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1jurB1kWQyMCb8SUMtO3q9T9wnJW3x_thumb.jpg" border="0" /> <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1ytcZVsocWLnNpnHPEqRsHI0SLv2E1" /></a> <img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1ytcZVsocWLnNpnHPEqRsHI0SLv2E1_thumb.jpg" border="0" /> <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1Hdu1D0auDCcpKW6obs0e01pvyfMx0" /></a> <img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1Hdu1D0auDCcpKW6obs0e01pvyfMx0_thumb.jpg" border="0" /> <br /> <br />The orange label was shot with a 50mm f1.4 prime and 56mm of extension. Notice the DOF, or lack of it, even though shot at f16.
                                      • 16. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                        shoot me now-d3u3se Community Member
                                        Oz, some photographers claim that true macro begins at 1:1, life size on film. Others may dispute that. I don't think (for the purposes of this thread) that it matters. If you have a close-focusing lens, get in something's face and fire off a few frames. If you have a good sharp image, do macro via Photoshop with a healthy crop.
                                        • 17. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                          Cindy- Community Member
                                          > That's really preferable if you're chasing bugs, for exactly the reason you stated.

                                          But absolutely necessary when trying to capture hummingbirds. For those who did not see, these were also taken with my macro lens on a tripod.
                                          • 18. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                            shoot me now-d3u3se Community Member
                                            Wonderful detail. What shutter speed(s) did you use?
                                            • 19. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                              Cindy- Community Member
                                              > What shutter speed(s) did you use?

                                              They were shot at f/4 1/640. I was able to do f/4 because I had some distance whereas with the bug I was very very close making my DOF even shallower. That is why I went f/14 with that shot. If I had tried to shoot f/4 with the bug as close as I was it probably would have all been a blur particularly since I was handholding the camera.
                                              • 20. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                Community Member
                                                This gem-like creature actually had two antennae, but one was twitching very fast. As you can tell from the title, I'm not an entomologist.

                                                Glossy, green, grasshopper-like bug on yellow flower

                                                And on the plant next door was...
                                                • 21. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                  Cindy- Community Member
                                                  Love that shot John. All of my grasshoppers are a dull grey.
                                                  • 22. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                    Sharon VL Community Member
                                                    Very cool, John. Unicorn hopper!
                                                    • 23. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                      Community Member
                                                      John,real nice shot.i think it might be a young katydid,but im no bug expert by any means. <br /> <br />Cindy,those are nice too,but i would never have guessed f4.looks much deeper. i never had wings stopped that good either. <br /> <br />Here is a bee i posted before somewhere else. hope its new to you all.105 micro.1/500th with a ring flash at f16.one of a few that were actually sharp <br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1q4v1Sd9imUkLUZoat0Qwyz9Y1Uyb" /></a> <img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1q4v1Sd9imUkLUZoat0Qwyz9Y1Uyb_thumb.jpg" border="0" />
                                                      • 24. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                        Community Member
                                                        Some fungi and 'shrooms (once again with not much in the way of identification):

                                                        Tiny, bright orange ones

                                                        On a fallen tree

                                                        Tiny puffballs

                                                        Bearded Tooth fungus

                                                        I'd never seen the Bearded Tooth before. Not very common and actually protected in Great Britain. One website said it was a prized delicasy, another said it tasted awful.
                                                        • 25. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                          Sharon VL Community Member
                                                          Wonderful, Donald!
                                                          • 26. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                            Community Member
                                                            I love the "in-flight" shots. What patience it must take (or is everyone just luckier than I?). My first real macro shots of this year year (Crocuses) reminded me that my legs and back aren't near so supple as they once were. :)
                                                            • 27. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                              Cindy- Community Member
                                                              Thanks John!

                                                              Here is my bee. I prefer a little less saturation. More natural.
                                                              • 28. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                                Community Member
                                                                John,i find that just being patient and picking one flower that they are frequenting helps.i prefocus,lay in wait and cross my fingers that i hit it right.a lot of fuzzy ones,interspersed with moments of wonder.And yeah,i aint so supple either anymore. i usually moan in some way when getting up.Sorry i think i wrongly assumed you meant in flight bee,when probobly meant the hummers.sorry
                                                                • 29. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                                  Cindy- Community Member
                                                                  > Sorry i think i wrongly assumed you meant in flight bee,when probobly meant the hummers.sorry

                                                                  Doesn't matter which. Catching 'em is a pain!
                                                                  • 30. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                                    Community Member
                                                                    CINDY,i know you will call me crazy,but that is how i see things.full of color,although comparing the two side by side,i see your point,but i still love vibrant images. just a velvia man i guess. excellent shot by the way and i like it as much as mine even with the softer palette. I do find i revisit my corrections from time to time to fine tune them.
                                                                    • 31. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                                      Cindy- Community Member
                                                                      > CINDY,i know you will call me crazy

                                                                      I don't call you crazy. You find it exciting that way. I just prefer the softer more realistic colors. It has been hard to find the balance that suits me.
                                                                      • 32. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                                        Community Member
                                                                        In-flight hummers and bees both! Great shots. Thanks for the tips. Later this summer maybe I'll take my camera and tripod and go lie in a field of clover for a while.

                                                                        Just don't roll me over or you'll scare away the bees. :)
                                                                        • 33. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                                          Cindy- Community Member
                                                                          John, just be careful of those african bees! :) I had a bee hive next door. I actually called the dept. of animal something or other and had them removed. Neighbor didn't like that too much as he thought he would make honey but I did not want them there. They were stinging my dog. It is illegal in the city. He didn't know it was me.
                                                                          • 34. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                                            Ozpeter Community Member
                                                                            Many stimulating examples above - resulting in... <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=1mFut8hqa6vvyHpQGcApVhlqNd84A" /></a> <img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/1mFut8hqa6vvyHpQGcApVhlqNd84A_thumb.jpg" border="0" /> <br />which is a thought-in-progress, the thought being very small still-life-type pictures.
                                                                            • 35. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                                              shoot me now-d3u3se Community Member
                                                                              Wow, you've all been busy while I've been napping! <br /> <br />Donald, that's a very good bee shot. I could have used that when I designed my Honey Farm brochure. What kind of camera are you using with a 1/500 flash sync? <br /> <br />John, I think the Bearded Tooth fungus is a fascinating subject. I like the way it's lit. Did you experiment with other lighting schemes? <br /> <br />Cindy, another excellent bee. They come and go too fast for me. <br /> <br />Oz, small still life shots are something I've considered but never tried. I will be interested to see where you take this idea. <br /> <br />Before I go, the only decent insect picture I've ever taken: <br /> <a href="http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?pic=16NQWe3s6OWcFLeblsVoZ10YfROn9t" /></a> <img src="http://www.pixentral.com/hosted/16NQWe3s6OWcFLeblsVoZ10YfROn9t_thumb.jpg" border="0" />
                                                                              • 36. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                                                Ramona Dear Community Member
                                                                                Awesome Ho!! I really really like that shot ... what lens?
                                                                                • 37. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                                                  Ozpeter Community Member
                                                                                  > I will be interested to see where you take this idea.

                                                                                  Heh, it's got a
                                                                                  b long
                                                                                  way to go! I've sort of wished I hadn't posted it but decided it would be an abuse of priviledge to delete it. Still, perhaps it will spark some ideas around the table.

                                                                                  I don't think I have ever seen an insect picture that required so long a look, Ho. Incredible detail, static (ie not flying) but obviously caught in the middle of feeding or the like - and kind of looking at the camera as if posing for its portrait. Hmm, in fact "portrait" is the key word, no?
                                                                                  • 38. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                                                    Community Member
                                                                                    The macro pictures you all have posted are amazing. So much detail...even the bugs are fascinating.

                                                                                    I made an attempt. I don't have a macro lens (or a decent camera for that matter) but I used what I had. If I got any closer, the shot was very fuzzy.

                                                                                    I watered plants and lawn this morning, as I walked by to go back in the house, I noticed this tiger lily just coming up. I liked the water droplets on the swirl pattern of the leaves. I got these pink reflections from somewhere. I had to go back out and look and there aren't any pink flowers around it. I think it was just the way the morning light reflected off the back wall onto the leaves. Or the reflection from the pink tips of the leaves???

                                                                                    Tiger Lily Beginning
                                                                                    • 39. Re: Up Close and Personal
                                                                                      Community Member
                                                                                      >>HO: John, I think the Bearded Tooth fungus is a fascinating subject. I like the way it's lit. Did you experiment with other lighting schemes?

                                                                                      Howard, I tried different angles, but the light was just what was coming through the canopy to the forest floor. I thought the fungus was quite fascinating too, because it almost looked like something from under the sea. And it was because it was so unusual that I searched for its name. Grant Dixon over in the Elements forum knew what it was.

                                                                                      I think your "insect" might be a cousin of my green, shiny hopper. You got a better (and closer) shot though. I notice that the intense yellow of the flower really changed the green on my fellow.
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