Posts Tagged ‘macro’

I was rummaging through my archives on my old external hard drive when I found some nice pics of flowers.

2red glads(BW)

The original of this photo was scanned from a color transparency. I remember taking a series of pictures using a black cloth for a background. I don’t remember the steps I took to get this black and white version, but I like it so here it is again. Looking at the image refreshed my memory. I converted the color image to black and white then reversed the image. What you are looking at is actually a negative. Works for me.

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I bought two rolls of Kodak Ektar color film in early spring with the idea that I would dust off my tripod and capture lots of macro images of flowers and other lovely things. Other stuff has a way of intruding on life so I didn’t get lots of images this year but I did get one.


Click anywhere on the image to enlarge.

Nice to know that I can still do color and if I can only manage one image all spring and summer, that one image had better be good and this one makes me happy.

Back in the olden times when film was king and I was still working, I worked with color almost exclusively. I used Fuji color transparency exclusively because I had access to a great lab where I worked. I don’t use color much these days because I prefer B&W for a number of reasons. Decent color labs are all but gone now so, when I do use color I use Ektar color print film.

Today’s Ektar is a modern implementation that’s optimized for scanning. Color negative film can be a bitch to get the colors right but I used a neat trick when I scanned using VueScan.

You know that piece of unexposed film on the end of the roll of negatives? Yes that one. Load it into your scanner and preview the frame. Click on input then scroll down and check off lock film exposure. Run preview again, scroll down again, this time to lock film base color.

Now VueScan knows how to expose the rest of the roll but more importantly renders colors correctly.

Ektar is cheaper than color transparency film and I get the film processed by Mpix for $6.65. And I send the film in the mail using free mailers provided by Mpix. Ektar is great color film and I have another roll. The first roll took half a year. I wonder how long it might take me to shoot the second roll?

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I haven’t processed any new images in the past few weeks. The films are still in the cameras unfinished. I was poking around in my archives looking for an image for this week that wasn’t trees, water, rocks or fog. I found a nice one.

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I shot this photo a few years ago when I was shooting color transparency film almost exclusively. Yes, this macro of a rosebud was converted manually from a scan of a color slide. I like the B&W version. It captures the essence of rose without the distraction of color.

This photo would have been taken using my usual macro rig: Nikon f3HP, Nikon 75-150 zoom with nikon 3T two element close-up lens and of course mounted on a tripod. The film was either Fuji Provia or Astia.

If you’re curious, here’s the link to the original color version (second image).

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The first and only time I got a decent shot of a hawk was on a cloudy Sunday afternoon about 7 or 8 years ago. My wife was all excited. She ran upstairs to tell me there was a hawk in the yard and I should grab my camera. I happened to have a roll of ISO 400 B&W film in my F3HP so I snatched the camera and my longest lens, went out and took the following series of shots.

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This small Cooper’s hawk sat there on the branch unconcerned that there were humans prowling about. There was no time to get my tripod and no good place to set it up anyway so I shot handheld and hoped for the best.

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The sound of the shutter from my first shot must have caught the hawk’s attention because the bird is looking right at me here. This photo is nearly identical to the first except for the hawk’s head. The tree branches are sharper here because I probably stopped the lens down a bit.

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This image is my favorite. I worked my way behind the hawk and got much closer. I was on the edge of the slope leading down to the small creek braced against the trunk of a tree that leaned out over the edge. Whew! I managed to get a decent shot without a tripod and without falling into the creek.

I had a 200mm Nikkor lens and a Nikkor 2X tele-extender on my camera so the effective focal length was 400mm. I have no idea of shutter speeds or aperture because I didn’t take notes. The extra two stops from the ISO 400 film helped a lot.

This wasn’t the first time we had a hawk in the yard. Unlike the red-tailed hawks that have landed in the yard on occasion, the smaller Cooper’s hawk preys on small birds and isn’t spooked when people are around.

I missed a great shot of a red-tailed hawk one day because I had the wrong camera. I was in the yard with my tripod mounted 4 X 5 Speed Graphic on the other side of the yard when a red-tailed hawk landed in the middle of the yard with an unfortunate pigeon in his talons.

I’m grateful I had the right type of film in the right camera when the Cooper’s Hawk showed up to have it’s picture taken on that Sunday afternoon.

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I love to play so I thought I’d engage in a bit of whimsy this week, hence the strange, Hungry Tree title. When I visited the Ceres Park Nature Preserve one day in mid-May, I carried two cameras with the notion of taking photos that struck my fancy.

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This image was taken with my 50/1.4 SMC tak (lens). I was playing with selective focus. Notice how the hungry tree is slightly out of focus, the new growth beyond in sharp focus and the background generally blurred. When I processed my film I was delighted. The photo reminds me of a young bird waiting to be fed by mother.

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Move in and switch cameras. A closer shot was taken with my Nikon 85/2.0 lens. This time the tree is in sharp focus while the background is merely suggestive.

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Same Nikon lens for the closest view yet. The background is nearly gone along with context. The focus is on the texture and forms of a small part of the hungry tree.

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Here’s a wide angle (28mm tak) photo for context. I took this one on an earlier visit to Ceres at the end of April. This tree fascinates me. Each time I pass it I take another photo.

Two visits, two cameras, three different lenses and three B&W 35mm film types. The first image was shot with Ilford FP4+, the next two with LP400 (aka Fuji Neopan 400) and the last with Kodak Tri-X.

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I had no idea what I would photograph when I visited Ceres Nature Preserve last week. I knew I wanted to get closer so I carried one camera with a 75-150 zoom and another with a close focusing 35mm lens, both loaded with B&W film.

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The personality of the forest changes from season to season, hour to hour and even minute by minute. With the trees heavy with foliage and the ground in deep shade, the life of the forest reveals itself in small, magical sunlit patches.

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No thing in the forest is ordinary when seen and felt closely. Is this a vine covered tree stump? or a rough skinned creature of the woods poking through the foliage? Or shall we simply enjoy the image without naming?

I came across the works of the late John Daido Loori a few weeks ago. He was an accomplished nature photographer, Zen priest, and abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery in New York. I have two of his books now — “Making Love With Light: Contemplating Nature with Words and Photographs” and “The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life.” Both books highly recommended. They are helping me enrich my life and photography.

Life is a creative journey. It’s delicious.

Addendum: Here’s a link to Zen Photography, a uTube video with John Daido Loori.

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Mom has a beautiful rose bush in her garden near the front door. The small red roses are in bloom now so I took my F3HP, tripod and macro gear over to her house yesterday afternoon. I figured it was about time I got serious about macro photography again.

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This is a red rose — honest. I think I managed to capture the “roseness” of this beauty without the distraction of color. The image was shot on Fuji Acros B&W film with a red contrast filter. The only post scan processing was crop to 4 x 5, tonal adjustments and sharpening — all done with Picture Window Pro.

Without the filter, the film would have seen the red rose and the green foliage as the same (or very similar) tones. The red filter lightened the red rose and darkened the green foliage to give me the contrast I needed for a convincing image. I also tried a green filter but that idea bombed. No matter, I’m happy with one good photo out of the series.

I used my Nikon F3HP and 75-150 series e zoom lens with a two element Nikon close up lens (3T) — my favorite macro phototography setup (mounted on my tripod of course). This was fun so I’ll be doing more B&W macro photography. Stay tuned.

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