Light is Everything!

Macro

My Bleeding Heart

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I haven’t been shooting much Macro Photography as of late.ย And there is no greater bang for your photo buck than a macro lens. It is super versatile! But I do really like it as a genre. I find it very relaxing (in a Shaolin Monk balancing on one finger kind of way). It’s a very precise art form. ย It varies considerably from taking photos of people. There is a similarity in the patience and preparation needed to get a great shot. My Mom gave us a bleeding heart plant and we put it in our front garden. Every year it comes back and blooms these beautiful little flowers. I’ve been meaning to photograph it for a few years now and never got around to it. So last night I went for broke and got these two shots I was happy with.

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Here’s a behind the scenes iPhone photo of how I made the images. I was using a speed light in an orbis ring flash for the main light. For a kicker on the top image I used an OLight S1 Baton. That little extra bit of light really adds to the 3D quality of the image. The bottom image was just the orbis from above instead of on axis to give the shot a more “studio” quality light feel.

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Crocuses!

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Springtime is officially sprung in Saskatchewan when the Crocuses are blooming and the wood ticks are crawling! Both of which are true now! Oh well, we can still be excited about the Crocuses! ๐Ÿ˜Ž


Happy Valentine’s!

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Nikon 1 V3 + FT-1 Adaptor with 105mm f/18 1/250 ISO 200

 

The Nikon 1 series of cameras are really suited for close up macro/micro work. That small CX sensor is the bomb for getting loads of the image in focus. Normally you might not want that, for portraits and such. But for close up stuff, it’s just what the doctor ordered. I stole my Valentine’s ring for some close up shots and I was impressed. The image quality is great and there is a tonne of detail available. I was lighting these images with a ring flash mod on an SB-900 that I had to cheat a bit to make work. It’s a shame that the R2-D2 pop up flash on the V3 doesn’t allow for Nikon CLS control. That would be sweet sassy molassy and could be added in a future firmware update.

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Nikon 1 V3 + FT-1 Adaptor with 105mm f/18 1/250 ISO 200

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Nikon 1 V3 + FT-1 Adaptor with 105mm f/11 1/250 ISO 200

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Nikon 1 V3 + FT-1 Adaptor with 105mm f/11 1/250 ISO 200

Macro ring shots are something that I do at every wedding we shoot. So the extra detail that this smaller sensor can capture is great, especially when coupled with an FT-1 adaptor and Nikon’s 105mm micro lens. In all truth, it’s too long for this kind of work. Probably Nikon’s sleeper 60mm micro 2.8 would be just the ticket for working with the FT-1 adaptor.

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Nikon 1 V3 + FT-1 Adaptor with 105mm f/8 1/4 ISO 200

With the same setup I shot this peacock feather. The detail is very goodย with the 18MP sensor. Also diffraction sets in super fast with the 105. Probably f/8 is more than enough to capture detail and still have a sharp image.

Again, the image quality and capability of the V3 camera is stellar. The possibilities for creativity with it are only limited by one’s imagination! ๐Ÿ˜Ž


PhotoWalk

 

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Enjoyed a little photo walk for an hour late this afternoon. Gorgeous weather for a stroll in the ol’ ravine behind our place. One camera, one lens: D800 & 105mm macro. ย Still such a versatile combination. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Just meandering along, looking for light, colour & texture. Very therapeutic!


Relaxing Macro

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Every once and while it is just awesome to kick back and relax with some macro photography. So much of the time we’re used to seeing the big, landscape madness photo. But if we slow down and crouch down, the tiny world is an amazing place.ย I was using my DIY Scrim and Orbis Ring Flash ย to control the light and reshape it. It still requires quite a bit of work, but I find it to be super relaxing. It’s kinda like Shaolin Monks when they are at rest:

๐Ÿ˜Ž My good friend and gardener of the century Carol Tetzlaff had us out at her place to check out the Lilies that were in bloom. The weather was ideal and there wasn’t a breath of wind. Which also meant that the mosquitos had me for their bonanza. It was worth every bite. ๐Ÿ™‚


Crocuses

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The kids wanted to go looking for crocuses yesterday. So did I. ๐Ÿ™‚ So we went out back and found a few little bunches. I’m not sure if they are just starting to come up or are nearly done. Normally they’ve come up even through a light snow. But this year the weather has been wonky so say the least. I feel a special attachment to crocuses as they are “Saskatchewan’s Flower” at least anecdotally. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve seen more crocuses than tiger-lilies, I’ll put it to you that way. heehehe…..

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About the technique for nabbing these photos. I went out with a collapsible reflector/diffuser to block the harsh sunlight that was pouring in. I had my D800 & 105mm macro for this detail-rich gig. I was shooting at apertures of f/16 or f/32 so I needed more light reach this at ISO 100 and 1/250. I used my Orbis ring flash and SB-900 synced with an SC-29 cord. I basically was able to set the Orbis on edge on the ground, which doubled as a rest, and shoot right through it.ย  It worked great. ๐Ÿ˜Ž The macro detail that the D800 can capture is really tremendous! ย Here’s a 100% crop and the full shot beneath.

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Fun with Fiber Optics

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The kids got some super rad fiber optic tree things for Christmas. They look cool and have provided hours of entertainment already. So I decided to cash in on the coolness with my macro lens. Just like mini fire works! ๐Ÿ˜€

FYI: Just as an aside, I tweeted to Sasktel about when the Oxbow area will be getting Fiber for internet. . . . 2017. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ


Itsy Bitsy Spider

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It’s been a long stretch with no bloggin’ so today I decided to catch up a bit. I have been รผber busy as of late with Grad shoots and funerals, plus and impromptu road trip with my boy. So I haven’t been doing much recreational shooting. But this morning after another glorious rain, conditions were perfect to do some raindrop chasing. The D800. For as much as I LOVE my X100s, I won’t soon part from the full frame glory of 36 glorious mega pixels. The color and quality of the images is really superb. Whilst wandering around the yard, I noticed a nearly microscopic spider. And thankfully, she (we’ll call her Charlotte :D) cooperated and I was able to nab a couple of images. There was a slight breeze which really sucks for macro photographers. I was already at IS0 3200 trying to keep a high enough shutter speed to freeze the motion. Tricky business. But super fun! Gotta love Macro. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Bonus Video! BTS of the complete and utter gong show Macro Photography can be in the wind. Or breeze. heheheheh… ๐Ÿ˜†


Welcome to Mars

 

20130206LichenCrop2I watched a documentary one time about Shaolin Monks. In the documentary, it showed them all doing super human things like balancing on one toe with 3 other monks on their shoulders, laying on a bed of nails without getting hurt, etc. And for recreation, they all balanced standing on each other in positions that would make Cirque du soleil jealous! To relax these people did this! Incredible! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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I think of Macro Photography in much the same light. For me, it’s a very nice, relaxing, fun kind of photography – that takes the utmost concentration! I’ve noticed it get even more challenging since I got the D800. The slightest movements of the subject render the shot out of focus, even at f/16. I think using DX for macro for so long I got used to the DX look of the photos. It appeared that more was in focus than with a full frame camera, but it’s not true. It’s that there is more photo there with a greater angle of view throwing more out of focus on the edges that simply isn’t there in DX. I put the D800 into DX crop mode and tried it out. Sure enough, both an FX frame and the DX crop frame had the same stuff in focus in the frame. It’s just that there was more in the D800 file to be out of focus. If that makes sense. ๐Ÿ˜€ Shoalin Camera Monk time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The name of the game today on this dark and dreary cesspool of flat light was macro lichen. It’s the little mosses that grow on trees. And no, they don’t only grow on the north side! ๐Ÿ˜‰ heheehhee…… To me, these images look like an alien landscape, especially when you crop way in to 100%!


Her Majesty

In Canada, we change our money designs like most normal people change their clothes. Our brand spankin’ new 20s are out and as I looked them over, I couldn’t help but notice that Her Majesty looks, well, rather chapped. Mildly annoyed. Like when she saw prince Harry’s party pics from Vegas. They showed her that and took her picture and now, it’s on the 20 dollar bill! And the more you look at it, the scarier and more intimidating it is. Like she’s peering right into your soul and knows what you did! uhuhuhu… shudder! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

What’s worse? The Queen staring at you for 10 hours, or Liam Neeson starting at you for 10 hours? ๐Ÿ˜‰