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Posts Tagged ‘macro’

I was going through my color negatives a few weeks ago and came across this image.

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I have no idea what this is but the young leaves and colors of spring attracted me so I thought I’d share this one.

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I dug through the old to find something new. I found a Fuji Reala color negative from a roll of film that I shot way back in the Spring of 2001. This was when I first got back into photography after a long hiatus, but before I began using color transparency film exclusively for my macro shots.

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This is a shot of a single branch from a barberry bush we once had in our side yard. I always liked this image but had forgotten about it until today when I went through my old color negative archives.

I scanned the neg with my Minolta Scan Dual III powered by VueScan software (highly recommended). Then I switched to my editor, Picture Window Pro (PWP).  I cropped the left and right edges of the image from 4 x 6 to a 4 x 5 proportion, boosted the saturation about 10% and applied two rounds of USM sharpening. The first was a local contrast enhancement using a small amount (20%), radius = 40 and zero threshold. The second was 50% with a radius of 2 and zero threshold.

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Just for kicks I decided to do a B&W conversion. I like it. I used the monochrome transformation with a green filter in Picture Window Pro, then I tweaked the contrast using curves and gave the image another sharpening with USM (not too much). The green filter darkened the berries nicely.

Which version is better? I like both.

I took this picture before I got my F3. I used a Nikon FG, probably my 100mm lens (I don’t remember now) and a cheap tripod. The FG is a nice little camera but not suited for serious macro work because you can’t stop down the lens to preview depth of field and the mirror has no lock up either.

The frustrations I went through early on led to my decision to buy a used Nikon F3HP on eBay. I got a good one at a good price not long after I took this picture. I’ve never once regretted the purchase.

I’m going to dig into my old color negatives again over the next few weeks to see what goodies I can find. I shot so much color negative film back then (in the beginning) that I don’t remember what I have. It will be fun.

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I was in the mood for color so I raided my archives again and found a pair of images I took about eight years ago. I remember it was Mother’s Day and my wife received a beautiful miniature red rose bush in a pot. I set the scene on my front lawn and shot these two macros.

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I prefer this first image. I think I got the colors right. I was using my first scanner, not the best equipment, but it did the job and I learned a lot from using it.

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What do you think? I like this image too.

I have no idea which film I used but I do know it was color slide film because that’s all I was using for my macros back then. I have no idea which lens I used either. One of these days I’ll have enough discipline to take notes. Then again, some day I might buy a dSLR and I’ll have the EXIF data.

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I stopped on the bridge where Heritage Road crosses over Edwards Run the other day to snap a few photos. The details of the wood railing cried out “take my picture, no mine, no mine…”

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After parking my bike, I crossed to the other side of the bridge to check out the light. The top of one of the heavy wood support posts caught my eye. The softer portions of the wood grain had weathered away leaving a three dimensional etching. I got as close as possible with my 35mm lens hand held. The textures and tones come out so well in B&W.

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Here’s a close in shot I took a few weeks ago and published for monochrome weekend. It’s the large bolt head and surrounding wood on the hefty horizontal members. I show this again to preview the next shot.

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I leaned out over the end of the railing for this one. Not to worry, I had my camera strap around my neck. This is a close-up of the other end of one of the large bolts showing the nut and washer. This is another hand held shot with my 35mm lens.

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This image puts it all in perspective and gives you an idea of context. I took this picture several weeks ago and published it for Weekend Reflections on June 11. As you can see, I had plenty of room to park my bike and not worry about getting run over.

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One day last month I took my F3 and my new toys (gorillapod and right angle viewer) out in the yard for some fun and testing. The early spring, late afternoon light was perfect and I wanted to finish off my roll of Provia slide film and get it off to the lab for processing.

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Because it is so flexible, the gorillapod can be a bit tricky to set up. This was my first time and I managed this macro. The foliage and flowers are small and low to the ground so my right angle finder was essential and worked a charm. I used my 85mm lens with a two element close up attachment lens for this shot. I liked the side lighting and the way portions of the leaves were backlit.

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I moved a bit closer for this shot. I did have a hard time getting and holding the composition I wanted. Not bad, but I like the first shot better.

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Enough of the gorillapod — I went in the house and got my ‘real’ tripod out for this shot. I was playing with the light here. This is a close up among the young leaves of our river birch tree. Much easier to use a good solid tripod. Once I locked in my composition, I metered manually through the lens then locked up my mirror for the shot.

I have another roll of color film in my F3 that I’m working on. This time it’s Ektar color print film. I’ve been playing with my string pod, my right angle attachment and my 35mm lens in the field. I’m only a third of the way through the 36 exposures. With a little luck and some time, I’d like to finish up the roll this week (next week at the latest).

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My finished color transparencies came back from the lab the other day. I finally had the time to scan after dinner on Sunday. These were all taken in the Ceres Nature Preserve.

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This is a handheld shot of young ferns just beginning to open. I took this photo with my 85mm lens as close as I could get without using my close up attachment lens. I didn’t have my tripod and I wanted to preserve some context.

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I turned about 90 degrees and moved back a little (I couldn’t move too far because I was standing on a little bridge). The ferns in the lower right corner are the same ones I shot close up. Both of these photos were taken almost four weeks ago.

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I came back about a week later. I had the car that morning so I brought my tripod. I set up as low as it would go on the little bridge for a wide angle shot using my 24mm lens. This gives you a much better idea of the context. I didn’t hang around long because the mosquitoes were out already.

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More context. This is a side trail just off the main trail. It was my last shot of the day taken on the way out of the park. I used my tripod and my normal (50mm) lens for this one. If you have a tripod, use it. I was able to stop down for nice depth of field for this photo and I had no worries about camera shake either.

I was using my Nikon F3HP on full manual. Once I had my composition and exposure, I locked the mirror up and tripped the shutter with a cable release.

I discovered that carrying my tripod wasn’t so bad after all. I purchased a nice carrying strap (less than $15) so I can sling the pod over my shoulder. I think lightweight tripods are an oxymoron. You need all the mass you can get. My pod weights about 7 1/2 pounds and it’s a decent one. Of course I had the car (clever eh?) so I didn’t have to schlep the load back and forth from home, a mile each way.

One of these days, I will try walking and carrying the tripod because I want to play with B&W and the tripod is one of the most valuable tools for nature photography.

Be sure to visit Lisa’s Chaos for more Macro Monday photos. Thank you Lisa. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to share.

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PS — Here’s my first flower of Spring. I took this one in my back yard (using my tripod of course). This is from the same roll of trannys.

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I have some new macros that should be good ones. The roll of color transparency film is sitting on my desk waiting for me to take it to the post office and mail it off to the lab for processing. Meanwhile, let’s see what I found in my archives…

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Ah. one of my all time favorite flowers — a beautiful rose that’s just opening — when the flowers are fresh and young and the critters haven’t gotten to them yet.

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Here’s another shot of the same rosebud. I changed the angle by about 90 degrees. I gave this less exposure so the colors are more intense and the background is much darker.

I don’t remember when I took these photos. I think it was 6, maybe 7 years ago. Both shots are from the same roll of color transparency film. I used my F3 with my usual 75-150 zoom and 2 element closeup lens and of course my tripod.

Be sure to visit Lisa’s Chaos for more Macro Monday photos. Thank you Lisa. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to share.

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A tap into my archives and a change of pace with some color. A bit of green is appropriate for the beginning of spring and a wee bit late for St. Patrick’s Day.

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I made this whimsical image a few years ago while looking for interesting subjects in my back yard. The image was scanned from a color transparency.

I like the colors, textures and the composition. Making the image was fun. I see things but I won’t give anything away. Enjoy.

Be sure to visit Lisa’s Chaos for more Macro Monday photos. Thank you Lisa. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to share.

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I once worked with a guy who made me smile every year about this time (or maybe a bit later) when he would say: “Spring has sprung, the grass has riz. I wonder where the flowers is?” Well, the grass hasn’t “riz” yet but most of the snow is gone and we can see where the grass will be when it pops.

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Want a taste? Sure you do. Here comes the yellow, the green, the new growth and a taste of things to come. Soon I hope because I’m almost ready. I’ll be ready when the flowers is.

I ordered a couple rolls of Kodak Ektar color print film today. I have two rolls of color transparency film in the fridge. My tripod is ready to go. My F3 is getting itchy to shoot some color macros and I am too.

I’ve been using my 75-150 zoom exclusively for macro photos for years. This year I’m going to try something different — my 85mm prime lens together with the 3T/4T close up attachment lenses instead.

Why? Because I’m venturing out of my yard and I want to keep my kit simple and light. I’m still not sure about my tripod. It weighs a bit over seven pounds, easy to take out into the yard but an anchor when hiking for miles.

I found this neat You Tube video the other day. $1 Image Stabilizer For Any Camera – Lose The Tripod/Monopod. I made one and it works. At least it works dry shooting with no film in the camera. I’m going to try it out in the field this week. The idea should work great for wide angle and normal lenses. Macro is another story. Still need firm support. I ordered a carry strap for my tripod. Will that be enough? Will I be willing to lug the big guy for miles?

I’m willing to try. Stay tuned. Meanwhile you gotta try the string stabilizer. It’s such a neat idea. I found all the parts I needed among my collection of odd nuts and bolts.

Be sure to visit Lisa’s Chaos for more Macro Monday photos. Thank you Lisa. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to share.

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Feet tapping, squirming in our chairs…waiting…and waiting…and waiting for Spring. Sick of winter, longing for the fresh air, the new growth and the wonderful colors of spring, we remember past seasons.

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Bam! The colors of this begonia knock me out. One fine spring morning a few years ago, my wife and I took the day off from work so we could pack the car with colorful flowers for our spring planting. This begonia, one of the loveliest I’d ever seen, begged to have it’s portrait taken.

Fresh plants, still in the pots, are a great photo opportunity because you can choose the best location and lighting. I did just that and I have to say this shot is one of my best flower shots ever. Everything came out as I envisioned it.

I used color transparency film and my usual rig of my F3, 75-150mm zoom with a two element diopter close up attachment, my trusty tripod and a good cable release. I probably used my hand held incident light meter as a check on the TTL meter and bracketed my exposures as further insurance. I keep the slides with the best exposures and toss the rest.

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Here’s a B&W conversion of this beauty. This is the same image that I sepia toned and featured in last week’s Sepia Scenes. I prefer the sepia version over the B&W version because the sepia is warmer and more appropriate to the subject. Both monochrome versions change the nature of the image. Without the color, the form, the texture and the light dominate.

I choose the color version for the breathtaking colors and the mono versions for the beauty of the forms. I’m in the mood for color today and I’m betting you are as well. Enjoy the memory of this begonia and anticipate the return of Spring — soon.

Be sure to visit Lisa’s Chaos for more Macro Monday photos. Thank you Lisa. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to share.

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