Going small

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Going small

Postby macnmotion » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:29 am

Hi everyone,

I'm having fun playing with a Canon 100L IS Macro lens. Its real purpose is to shoot product photos for our clients, but hey, it's Saturday. Time to play. I've never shot macros before. It's incredibly difficult to hold focus taking handheld shots. As my body moves, so does the image's focus! Here are a few of the first light photos:

Andy

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Re: Going small

Postby Kelly » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:33 am

Those are just fabulous, Andy! If you were still in NY, you'd be armed and ready to shoot snowflakes! Keep those pictures coming!!
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Re: Going small

Postby macnmotion » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:50 am

Hi Kelly,

I saw your snowflake shots this morning, they are incredible. I don't think I'll be planning a winter trip home just to do that though!! I'll stick with jungle bugs.
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Re: Going small

Postby Kelly » Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:29 am

In your situation, I'd feel the same. Can't wait to see more. What aperture were you using on those shots? The IS must make a world of difference! You've made me want to look into that lens.......do you find it heavy?
I am strong, because I've been weak.
I am fearless, because I've been afraid.
I am wise, because I've been foolish.

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Re: Going small

Postby macnmotion » Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:53 pm

The lens, even though an L, is mostly plastic, so not heavy at all. I was shooting at f16 and f20, at full 1:1 magnification. I chose those apertures to maximize DOF, however obviously that's not the lens' sweet spot. Last night I was doing a lot of reading on a technique I had never heard of called focus stacking. It's essentially the same as HDR but for focus instead of exposure. You take a series of photos at wider aperture, slightly different focus, then use software to stack the in-focus portions. I'll try it today in the new studio. I don't see how this can work for insects in the wild, but people say that it does and I've seen videos of people able to shoot up to 12 shots without the bug moving. Apparently, the camera/tripod is set up on a specific flower or leaf, and the photographer patiently waits for a bug to land precisely where the lens is pointed. I'm not that patient.

So I think that I'll use the narrow aperture for in-the-wild, but if I am able to figure out the focus stacking I can use that for dead insects or flowers or other small items in the studio.

By the way, it was very cloudy, even misty rain at times, when I shot these yesterday. I had to use an ISO of 2000 to get about 1/100 second at f16-f20, so I had a bit of noise. I removed noise in Photoshop but that most certainly had a toll on fine detail -- another argument for focus stacking on a tripod, where you can either use artificial light or take longer exposures and keep the ISO way down. With the macros, the background is very flat which makes the ISO noise very noticeable.

Let me know if you have more questions about all this -- I'll be learning as I go along. Andy
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Re: Going small

Postby Matt » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:52 pm

Those are excellent!
We will have to do a Bug Off next month to give us all an excuse to break out our macro lenses.
I don't think I'll be able to match those though. wow
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Re: Going small

Postby macnmotion » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:26 pm

Hi Matt. I'm ready for a bug off!!

Captured this yesterday -- my dog's nemesis! Ticks are very prevalent in Thailand, much more so than in the USA.

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Re: Going small

Postby L_G_D » Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:49 am

I know every creature serves a purpose (or so they say) but dang, is that ugly. Nice shot too. Might have to break out the macro myself and try to capture something cool. Problem is, usually when I see a cool bug I have no camera with me.
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Re: Going small

Postby Matt » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:54 am

Wow... that's amazing!!!!
Ok... September bug-off for sure.
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Re: Going small

Postby macnmotion » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:51 am

I just ordered some extension tubes to go even tighter, as well as a ring light to help light these things up and get shorter exposures. Realizing that this part of the hobby could become expensive!
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Re: Going small

Postby macnmotion » Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:37 pm

Here are some bugs from here in Pittsford (I'm on vacation). I haven't gotten the extension tubes yet . . . this is just with the 100mm macro.

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Re: Going small

Postby macnmotion » Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:06 pm

A few more:

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