Wednesday, October 6, 2010
So there’s been a decent-sized increase in interest in the pictures I took in Jamaica recently which happens to be one of the best tourist spots for flower lovers. (The increase in interest is recent, the pictures from Jamaica are.. well, they’re also recent. But.. less recent. I was talking about the interest.) Not among, you know, “real people” per se, but among people that I work with. And my mother in law. On the one hand, it’s a little bit frustrating, because most of the pictures I take are NOT from Jamaica, and nobody cares as much about those. But, on the other hand, it’s making me realize that I should really sit down and go through those pictures. So far, I’ve only grabbed one here or there, but I haven’t yet dug through the whole pile to grab anything that’s interesting. Don’t get your hopes up or anything, I feel like I’ve already posted the best ones, so what’s left will just fill out the middle of the pack a bit. But, they’re still worth posting here.
In the meantime, here’s another one I happened to have lying around. It’s another shot of the hibiscus flowers that were so prevalent around the area(s) of Negril where we stayed. Hibiscus flowers are weird. They’re pretty, and have a lot of character, but they’re kind of hard to take interesting pictures of. That middle part can be really… droopy.. And it’s pretty long too, which can make it hard to get both the tip and the body both in focus, if that’s your thing. (And yes, I’m really going out of my way here to keep it clean. ) But the color is really fantastic, and there’s a lot of nice detail in there, so if you get one to turn out, it can be pretty cool.
Speaking of interest, by the way, I should mention that I can make prints of just about any of the pictures you see me post. And they’re cheap, since I get them printed at Costco. A 12×18 print is only 3 bucks, and a 20×30 is only about 10. Recently, I got one of my pictures printed on canvas, at 20×30, and it looked FANTASTIC. It was mounted on a wooden frame, so it was ready to hang. That came out to about 100 dollars, shipped. So, a few folks that I know are asking for prints here or there. If you want to get in on that action, definitely let me know.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm lens, and I think I used a little screw-on “macro lens” attachment for this guy. 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 800. Focal length: 33mm.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
So as long as we’re on a Jamaican kick, I may as well keep it going. This is yet another shot that I got when I was in Jamaica earlier this year. This is a hibiscus flower. Or, this is *an* hibiscus flower. Normally, I tend to be one of those obnoxious folks that’s always snarkily pointing out glaring grammatical flaws. (My two personal favorites are using an apostrophe to pluralize a word (using apostrophe’s to pluralize your word’s), and using “less” instead of “fewer”. God I hate that.) But, in this particular case, I don’t know how I feel about it. I mean, I KNOW that you’re supposed to use “an” with words that start with h. But I just don’t buy it. It doesn’t feel natural. H is a consonant. It sounds like a consonant (most of the time, anyway). So why should we treat it like a vowel. Grrr, it eats me up inside.
Anyway, right, hibiscus. Cool, right? Yeah. I took this one with my ordinary walk-around lens (Tamron 17-50), but I used a cheap set of diopters aka macro lenses aka “a macro kit”. Basically, a couple little magnifying lenses that you screw on the end of your lens like a filter, that magnify the subject and let you focus closer. They’re a great way to dip your feet into macro photography, because they’re cheap. I mean, sure, if you’re a Canon purist, you can of course find a way to spend hundreds of dollars on one. But you don’t HAVE to, you can get an off brand (I have a set from Hoya and a set from Opteka. Different sizes, to fit different lenses, that’s why I have two) and only spend 20 or 30 bucks. I read a blog once from a guy that spent WEEKS researching which way to go, and eventually he decided to get the cheap ones, and he was just AMAZINGLY disappointed. He actually went so far to include the words “BIG MISTAKE” in his blog post. Yeah, that’s total crap. They’re not that bad. And besides, you spent 20 bucks on the goddamn things, how big of a mistake could it have really been? For things that are cheap like that, there’s no reason NOT to try them out. Sure, they may not be fantastic, but you may be surprised, and regardless, you’re only out like 20 bucks. Personally, I’m pretty happy with the cheapie cheaps. Sure, they’ve got their limitations, but as long as you realize that, you can work with it, and you can do some cool stuff.
Okay, rant over. Sorry I missed yesterday. I may also miss tomorrow, just sayin’.
Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens with Opteka macro kit. 1/1000s, f/4.5, ISO 200. Focal length: 30mm.
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.