Dewdrops, Continued

Hi!

My last post was full of dewdrops macro photos. It was also not a first time. Drops of dew make a wonderful photo subjects and there can never be too many of them. But this one is I think one of my best.

Have a great day.

Stanley

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Dewdrops

Hello there!

So, Now that all my 2015 photos are already shared, I finally get to share some more recent ones with you ;). The winter is a pretty warm one this year. Ever since I started to realize the world around me, I was more and more happy about the place I live in. It’s in an altitude of about 400 meters and is just beneath one of the mid-height mountain ranges of our country. This means we have snow in winter and can go skiing. But we also have sub-tropical temperatures in summer and have a couple of lakes scattered around for swimming or we can take a mountain hike. As I say, just perfect.

As said, this winter is a VERY warm one! The skiing conditions are reeally bad…it was only about two weeks of perfect conditions and now all we have is heavy and wet technical snow. But this yo-yo weather gives me a quite frequent opportunity to take photos of dewdrops on the plants. For this job, I love my Tokina 75-260 f4.5 in macro mode. It focuses from about 40 cm, so it’s even comfortable (despite weighing a whopping kilogram!). The second one I use is Canon 35-105 f3.5 in macro. And I can’t forget the I think best combo I just love to use – couple of macro rings with Industar 28mm f2.8. To process the photos, I rely most on RawTherapee’s Wavelet decompose – this thing works wonders but it’s almost impossible for me to come up with some universal “default” setting. Also, I just love the film emulation made by Pat David (thanks Pat!).

Well, hare you go and have fun!

Stanley

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(Macro) experiment

Hello everyone,

Because I havenť got much time to write new posts, but I shoot a lot of new photos, I´ve decided to add new photos without any comment. I hope you understand it and sorry for my recent inactivity.

Jana

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Animality

Hi!

Alright..I may have forgotten to post yesterday…sorry about that :D. So today I’ll go with animal theme. The first one is a cat (as you might have guessed by it’s facial expression) and the second one is something a bit more unpleasant. My titles for these photos are pretty straightforward: “Cat Stare” and “What makes you tick”.

That’s all folks

Stanley

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Struggle of Ants

Hi!

Macro shots of ants have proven quite popular for me in the recent past…so here is another one! When these two started fighting (I presume that’s what they were doing…), they were both…ehm…complete. The photo captures a mid-state. In the end, the weaker ant ended up a curled ball of legs and antennas. This time, I did not use my usual macro setup (the one described in previous post), but my 135 mm F/2.8 Sears lens paired with a half-stack of extension rings. The focusing distance is about 30 centimetres, but the depth of field remains so insanely shallow at about 2 milimetres, so it’s a bit difficult to focus. Still, it works very well!

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Another Ant

Hi!

You might remember my “ant” post over a week ago. I also tried to take some of the ant in their homes. That was but more difficult, as they tend to move a lot and the macro usually has really shallow depth of field. In the end, I ended up with this.

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Anted

Hello!

A week ago, I got a brand new old lens – the Industar-69 28 mm f/2.8. For a nice review, I’d like to redirect you to www.onemorelens.com. The lens itself has a few quirks…well, a lot of quirks. I got it as defective for about 7 USD. I bought it off a guy who claimed to be not very crafty (otherwise he would repair it himself 😀 ). When I got back home, I opened the lens and found the problem immediatelly. The lens itself is really simple in design.just one thread and that’s it. After being alive for about 40 years or so (I don’t know the exact year of production), the screws pressing focusing ring to the actual piece of optical elements have loosened and scratched the barrel pretty heavily. The metal dust produced set in the thread and effectively rendered the lens useless. It took a lot of force and accidentally cutting two of my fingers on the thread to disassemble it. Being of Russian make, it felt appropriate to clean and degrease the thread with vodka and it worked very well. I then re-greased it with a small bit of cosmetic vaseline (I had nothing better at hand) and removed the stopper screws. That allowed me to reduce the minimal focusing distance from 80 cm to about 25 (before I actually unscrew the optics from the lens :D). However, I still can not focus to infinity with it, as that will take a little bit more of manually destroying the lens – it’s a knows issue with this lens. BUT HEY, now I have a bright 28 mm lens that let me focus on thing up to about 5 meters away. It is definately not an ideal walk-around lens, but it has some nice characteristics. Also, even with the L39-NEX adapter, it is quite flat and paired with the nex, it makes a very powerful, yet compact combo.

Yesterday, I also finally got a set of macro rings. I¨ve experimented with them a bit and found the rings paired with the Industar-69 to be very decent for macro work on a budget. So I went outside today with this combination, using just the largest one of the rings and the lens and I stumbled upon an ant hill. Right next to it was a small tree stump on which 3 of the ants played. I did not have a tripod with me at the time and I was not really in the mood to lie down next to the ant hill to try to hold the camera steady, as the depth of field and shutter speed are quite a big issues for macro shots. I just flipped the nex screed up, tried to frame the ants and hoped for a good focus. All things considered, I believe to be the result quite nice.

Oh and one more thing! We participated in the sun-eclipse-madness and we managed to get away with a couple nice pictures! For anyone interested: we used Jana’s Canon 500D with 55-250 mm kit lens at it’s long end. We then stacked ND16, ND8 and ND4 filters in front of the lens, set the camera on a tripod and fired up the magic lantern firmware. If there’s one big advantage of Canon cameras, it’s the availlability to use this kind of tricks ;). We set the intervalometer to take a shot every second and we occasionally checked the camera to make sure the sun was still in the frame. I believe the setup was as easy and as cheap as it could and it yielded very nice results. However, the 250 mm telephoto is not nearly enough…not even on a crop sensor! The sun itself in the photos was about 500 px wide…but for the web, it’s sufficient. Oh and one more thing: If you’re shooting a timelapse like this, don’t forget to run the magic lantern on a fast card. The one we used was class 4 and it got stuck after first ten images and the intervals then increased to about 5 seconds. But it turned out to be sufficient (imagine the horror of having to align 3600 photos!). Anyway, here is the result:

Have a nice day

Stanley16-Anted

Ripped

Happy Wednesday,

photo for this week is macro. It was taken while I was looking for some photography inspiration and this small piece of paper lied on my bed (my favourite evening activity: I draw or write in my notebook). Hope you like it 🙂

Jana

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Lively Yellows

Hi!

In the last post, I said something about deciding what lens to get. In the end, I went with Samyang 12 mm f/2.0. So far,I only have one issue with it…and that issue is more or less in my head and hands. I was always using AF to shoot wide angle with the kit lens and I only did manual focusing on Jana’s telephoto lens adapted on my NEX. It took me just a little white to find out the focusing on a focal length this short is quite different. But I really enjoy the fact I’m being pushed out of my comfort zone…I can not autofocus and I can not zoom. It really pushes the photo processing part of the brain to a whole new level – it makes me think about the shot more. I got this lens for it’s incredible low light performance, so it’s a shame I have not yet had the luck to stumble upon the shot I was sooo looking forward to taking while deciding for this lens. Hopefully I’ll be able to share the first outcomes by the end of this week! But I have not yet ruled out the possibility I’ll be returning the lens and getting the 85 mm f/1.4 instead…but I guess that’s just cause I haven’t had time yet to really get to grips with this 12 mm baby.

Meanwhile, here’s a photo from abut a week ago taken with the telephoto lens. A rare occasion of sunlight called for something nature-y, so here it is…

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