Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Whoa, not sure what happened there, I completely missed yesterday. I guess I was just.. kind of busy, so I sort of.. completely forgot to post a picture. Sorry about that! I’d say “I won’t let it happen again”, but obviously I will.
I realized today that it’s been almost a month and a half since I posted a picture of a bug. How could I let this happen?? Clearly, I had to remedy that situation immediately. I don’t really know what kind of bug this is (my first guess is always “bee”, but that’s based only on the fact that it’s standing on a flower, so clearly I’m not the authority), but it was willing to hang around for pictures, so it hardly matters.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, taking pictures of bugs like this is purely an exercise in patience. Obviously, they move. A LOT. Also, you’re dealing with microscopic depths of field, so if you tend to sway back and forth when you take pictures like I do, you might think you got the perfect shot only to find out later that you accidentally got the hindquarters of the bug in focus instead of it’s head. Depending on what macro method you’re using – as in, super-expensive-macro-lens, ordinary macro lens, macro kit (like this one), reverse-mounted lens, etc – you may get a larger or smaller depth of field, but it’ll always be super small. So, to counter both of those issues, you end up just needing to take a TON of shots, and hopefully a handful of them will turn out okay. (When I got this picture, for example, I took about 40 frames, and got 5 or 6 that were decent enough to hold on to.) So don’t get discouraged, just keep shooting, and be ready to dig through piles and piles of crappy ones to get what you want.
Notes: Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-300 mm lens with Hoya Macro Kit. 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 200. Focal length: 109mm.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Hey again everyone, sorry for the late post today. It’s been a tough day trying to catch up on everything that I missed from yesterday (the hockey game was AWESOME! Maybe I’ll make a special post sometime with some of the results from me playing sports photographer for the day), so I’m only getting a chance to post something now. I promise, tomorrow we’ll be back on our regular schedule.
This is another take on the crazy curly vine thing that you last saw back in December. To sort of paraphrase what I said about it back then: I don’t know what it is, but I thought it was kind of cool looking. So, I took a picture. Actually, I took a lot of pictures. But this may be the last picture of it you see. Maybe not, we’ll see how I feel in April.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-300 mm lens with Hoya Macro Kit. 1/250s, f/4.0, ISO 800. Focal length: 35mm.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Hey everyone, welcome back! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. Mine was not too bad. I spent a surprisingly large amount of time out in the snow (skiing one day, snowshoeing the next), hoping to get a decent number of potd-worthy shots. Sadly, I wasn’t as successful as I was hoping. I got a couple that have potential, we’ll see how they turn out when I look at them on the big screen.
In the meantime, here’s a picture of a salal bush from this fall. I actually had no idea what a salal bush was, but it had these little berries that were EVERYWHERE, so I asked somebody what they were, and that’s what they said. This shot (obviously) doesn’t have any berries in it, but it’s from the same bush. Mostly it’s only here because I was playing around with my macro kit (that little set of magnifying glass type things that you put on your lens like a filter), and it was handy. But as you can see, they really do work as advertised, and they can be a lot of fun to play around with. I’d post a link here to Amazon like usual, but I’ve done that a lot of times before and nobody’s every bought one. I’m feeling a bit lazy today, so I’m going to leave out that little detail.
I’ve decided that Tuesday and Thursday this week I’m going to toss up some crappy pictures just to get them out of the way, so don’t get your hopes up too much for those. I’ll try to put up something reasonably interesting on Wednesday, and I’ve got a nice one picked out for Friday. I don’t really know why I feel like Friday is the day to post nice ones, but I’ve kind of settled on that. So whatever. See you tomorrow!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-300 mm lens with Hoya macro kit. 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 200. Focal length: 30mm.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Welcome back everyone! As you can tell by the very fact that I did indeed post something today, my traffic looks to be improved. Still not sure what happened at the end of the last week, but it sure seemed like most of you decided to go outside and play instead of sitting inside reading my stuff like you should. But since I did kind of already mentally check out for the holidays, I’ve decided to compromise, and use this week and next week (I’ll probably only post 2 or 3 times next week) to post some pictures from the backlog that are either not really that great, or just.. kind of weird.
This one definitely falls into the weird category. I saw this vine thing on a hike one day (I’m not going to say which one, due to my aforementioned hesitation at admitting to yet another picture from the Shi Shi Beach trail – although to be fair, it’s been a month since I posted one. Well, posted one that I actually identified as being from that hike anyway.) I thought it was really cool how those two strands danced and curled around each other, but the resulting pictures were still a bit weird. As in, I felt like when I looked at the picture I started by noticing the cool, playful pattern, but then right at that moment where you’d say “Oh, cool, that’s a [whatever]! Awesome!” I instead found myself saying “Oh, cool, that’s a …. umm… uhh.. what the hell is that?”. So it felt like it had a great build up, but then a crappy, poorly thought out, meaningless ending. But this and the other couple of pictures I got of this.. thing.. are both somewhat interesting photos in my opinion, so it fit perfectly with this week’s theme. (Oh, we’re doing weekly themes now, are we?)
So, there it is. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see what crappy and/or weird picture I decide to use to take up the dead-space between now and the end of the year!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-300 mm lens with Hoya Macro Kit. 1/250s, f/5.0, ISO 800. Focal length: 50mm.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
See? A bug and a flower, just like I said. Man, I’m really good at predicting stuff. It’s almost like my today self somehow sent a message back through time to my yesterday self saying exactly which picture would be posted. Almost eerie, really.
Those of you who were with me earlier this year, you know that this summer I went on a mini-odyssey of sorts, exploring several different cheapskate methods of macro photography. The extreme case was of course the reverse-mount adapter that I used to get that picture of the fly a few days ago. That one, while extremely powerful, is also extremely difficult to use. Today’s solution, while it won’t get you nearly as close, is in a lot of ways more pleasant to use. It’s a Macro Kit, which consists of a set of these magnifying-lens type filters that you attach to the front of your lens. They magnify a bit and allow you to focus more closely than you would be able to otherwise. So they get you closer than you would be able to otherwise, but with a whole new set of limitations. (Your depth of field is very small as you would expect, although not as drastic as with the reverse-mount. Also, the area outside of the in-focus range gets blurry in a weird way. I guess I’d describe it by saying it gets “foggy” rather than “blurry”. And, the longer your focal length (distance from the front of your lens to your sensor) the foggier it gets, to the point where, if you’re using a superzoom lens, and your lens is way extended, the whole frame will be foggy, even the stuff that’s in focus. It’s weird, really.)
As with any accessory though, they are well worth playing around with, despite their limitations, especially given their really low price (20-30 bucks.) Again, you’ll definitely get better results with a true macro lens, but you’ll also be paying a heck of a lot more than most of us can afford to spend on such a niche-use lens. So, if macro seems fun (it totally is), go buy one, using that link above, so that I get a kickback from Amazon. We all win! Woooo!
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 28-300 mm lens with Hoya Macro Kit. 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 200. Focal length: 168mm.