So we had some really neat chunky snow flakes the other day. I ran out early in the morning and nabbed a few macro photos while the wind was low. The trusty 105mm Nikkor and the stalwart Nikon D800 were the weapons of choice for this hunt – maximum resolution and resolving power!
It’s incredible to see the intricacies of frozen water up close like this. I have included a square cropped image here of the larger picture to see more of the detail.
It’s pretty wild stuff to see!
The “ball” images above here are frozen chokecherries. They are almost the same image, the only difference is lighting. On the darker blue image I lit the chokecherry with a flashlight in close and feathered a bit to give the image some shape and specular highlights – which we didn’t get with the flat cloudy ambient light. #Sparkle 🤩
In this block of images you can see the crops of the above. The creative genius of God on display for our viewing pleasure! 😎👍🙏
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. Still such a versatile combination. 😎 Just meandering along, looking for light, colour & texture. Very therapeutic!
The kids wanted to go looking for crocuses yesterday. So did I. 🙂 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. 😉 I’ve seen more crocuses than tiger-lilies, I’ll put it to you that way. heehehe…..
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. It worked great. 😎 The macro detail that the D800 can capture is really tremendous! Here’s a 100% crop and the full shot beneath.
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! 😯
Regan’s birthday present finally arrived! She wanted some new bling and bling she got. To go along with it, I decided I’d take snapshots of everyone listed on the necklace . . . in black and white. 😎 It’s timeless and awesome.
This post could be called D800 Snugs part 2. I took full advantage of Teresa’s camera while she was here. Ironically, I have been wanting to get a macro shot of a peacock feather for a long, long time. However, since the D800 came out, I’ve been waiting to use it to capitalize on the megapixels and get blown away by the sheer awesomeness of the detail. It didn’t disappoint. The 105mm micro lens is unreal sharp. I used it on the feather but also for the ad hoc portrait of Talitha . . . who’s last name is Peacock. Go figure. Serendipity? 😎 Talitha is a super rad girl and, she’s a harpist which makes me cool and couth by association. Check out her music here: http://peacocksmusic.com. I was blown away by the portrait. Goes without saying that Talitha is beautiful, but the quality of the file is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The D800 really brings it! 😎 The feather image is going huge on my wall. I’ll see how 36×48 looks! 🙂
A friend of ours was on her way through the hood and was able to stop by for a couple days visit. It was super fun to have Teresa and her (and our new) friend Talitha stop by. We haven’t hung out for many moons as Teresa and her husband have been living in New Zealand for a couple of years. Great to have them back in Canada! And, it was a grand occasion for me additionally because I got to play with the Nikon D800! Teresa is an awesome photographer now based out of Calgary, AB. Check her out at http://teresarehmann.com. We traded some photography as she needed some updated portraits and we needed a family photo that has all of us in it! bwahahhaah… 😎 And, I got to test the D800 extensively. And test I did, plugging all my lenses onto it and running it through it’s paces. I know the sensor is good. But I didn’t know it was THAT good. It is unbelievable. I’m really not exaggerating here. The image quality, the sharpness, the detail, the contrast, the colour, it’s nearly beyond description. And for what I do, portraits, landscapes and macro stuff, it’s a match made in heaven. HOWEVER. And it’s a big however, the files are so huge that they are unruly. We shot everything in RAW pretty much and editing them on my 3.06 iMac with 8 GB of RAM was painful. Slow. Excruciatingly so – packed in the whole Mac and needed a reset once. But it’s worth it! The images are unbelievable, especially with my 105mm macro lens. “Wicked sharp” has a whole new meaning to me! There’s just sooo much detail and nothing hides from that sensor. Probably need a new computer though . . . 😀
I posted some weird photos of a moth last night on Facebook. After I saw this strange thing, I thought it was a hummingbird! But it turned out to be a form of a hummingbird moth. Which makes sense. Because it looked both like a moth and a hummingbird. heheheehh….. 😉 I was out in the yard last night trying to get a macro photo of a Monarch Butterfly that has been hanging around our place for the last few days. Our lilac bushes are in full bloom and they are drawing all manner of creepy crawly. So I waited and waited and waited and finally the Monarch showed up. But they were very finicky and flighty. It proved very tricky to creep up close and nab a shot. But I was happy to be able to get one at all. I was using my 150mm macro lens and even on my DX format body, it’s reach almost isn’t enough. I think that Sigma’s 150mm would be just that much nicer, in terms of reach, for going after the creepy crawlies. I also nabbed a bumble bee shot. You can’t tell from the photo but that bee was so huge that she had her own area code! heheheh… 😎
Challenge of the Day: Love.
Production Note: I had seen this kind of wedding photo before and I love how the shadow of the ring makes a heart in the spine of the book. A nice subtle touch for extra lovey-doveyness. 😛
One of the most challenging macro shots is the venerable bumble bee. They are constantly moving. It’s almost impossible to nab a head shot of one, even with long glass. My 105 f/2.8 isn’t long enough. I’m not sure even a 200 would be adequate unless you happen to luck out and be in the right place at the right time (which applies to all photography in general). But it’s a super fun challenge nonetheless. I was out on Sunday afternoon with my big silver reflector trying to get the holy grail of bumble bee shots in Fonstad’s apple blossoms. I had great full sunlight which was really nice when reflected. But picture me holding my D300s & 105mm lens in one hand and the big reflector in the other trying to nab macro shots! heheheeh… not a pretty sight. 😉 It’s impossible to use a tripod as the bees move way too much way too fast, so everything had to be handheld. I had to shoot in Aperture priority mode because my light changed constantly as I ran around the shady side of the trees or lit them up with the reflector. I just had to pray the camera would pick a shutter speed fast enough to nab the little buggers. hehhhehe… All in all it was a fun way to grab some sunshine for an hour. The holy grail shot is still out there somewhere!