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e6filmuser
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p.3 #1 · We can do better.


MarkB1 wrote:
Post a few pix

This is the best I can do right now. It gives a taste of my style and subject interest:

OK. I dip my toe in. I don’t have the time, due to social commitments, to post directly so I am providing links.

I have experimented with using OM T-series flash and an OM slide copier to get my trannies digitised, many from Kodachrome 25. Others are from other fine-grain film. I think all were uncropped from the trannies. These are close-ups rather than macro but were what I did most of before getting deep into macro.

The copying setup:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17846


They were shot as RAW files but converted to JPEGs and then re-sized., as my version of PS doesn’t read RAW files.

I would describe these as flower portraits.

Austrocephalocereus dybowskii cephalium with flower

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=108233#108233

Tradescantia navicularis

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=108262#108262

“A thing of Beauty “ (“Cooperi” a night-flowering hybrid)

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16948

Echinopsis Species Lau 470 from Kodachrome 25

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=16968

More succulent flowers:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=108313#108313


Into the digital age:

Here is a digitally shot image which represents my style for flowers:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12901

This is some tripod work which has limitations for creativity (?):

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15198

Bee-fly A digital insect field shot:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=106350#106350

Black-Veined White

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=110749#110749


A backlit moss, a variant on my slide-copying technique:

Moss, backlit

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=107626#107626

Mulleins, recent shots:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20762

(I can just hear all those the keyboards clicking away!).

Harold



Sep 08, 2013 at 07:51 AM
Steven Everitt
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p.3 #2 · We can do better.


12monkeys wrote:
I don't really post here any more because I'm bored of all the mediocrity and back-slapping. There are two things that upset me. One is when beginners post god-awful photos and people compliment them without having the kindness to point them in the right direction. The other is when some of the most talented macro photographers around mix their stunningly beautiful photographs with dross, just for the sake of posting something.

I don't think the "post your set-up" thread helps. There's an implication that macro requires lots of complicated gear to get as close to an insect as possible, with a
...Show more

Spot on to the above!!



Sep 09, 2013 at 01:13 PM
MarkB1
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p.3 #3 · We can do better.


e6filmuser wrote:
(I can just hear all those the keyboards clicking away!).

Harold


Posting links to your pix in another forum and out of the main forum here where everybody else posts their pix seems sure to attract little attention ...



Sep 10, 2013 at 04:29 AM
MarkB1
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p.3 #4 · We can do better.


Steven Everitt wrote:
Spot on to the above!!


I don't think so. I find it interesting what people use and what they get with it. And the lighting setups help match the theory and effects of apparent light size - http://strobist.blogspot.com.au/2007/07/lighting-102-unit-21-apparent-light.html - to the physical design - very useful for anyone who hasn't got it right with flash yet. ... amongst other things.

Not all are expensive rigs either. Mine cost less than $400 all up, and it would be nice to experiment with other gear but I'm not pushed.




Sep 10, 2013 at 04:44 AM
e6filmuser
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p.3 #5 · We can do better.


MarkB1 wrote:
Posting links to your pix in another forum and out of the main forum here where everybody else posts their pix seems sure to attract little attention ...


Interesting: In a discussion about how images should look, nobody can spare one second per link to take a look at a selection!

Harold



Sep 10, 2013 at 06:47 AM
MarkB1
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p.3 #6 · We can do better.


e6filmuser wrote:
Interesting: In a discussion about how images should look, nobody can spare one second per link to take a look at a selection!

Harold


I think it's a thread about the function of the forum and how to realise it - with a couple sidetracks/OT posts And the main forum below the sticky's is for CC or feedback?

It isn't quite accurate to suggest it takes only one second of a contributors time per link (of twelve) if the point was to get feedback ... One second to click, at least, then however long it takes to examine and compose a response x 12.

I believe the consensus is if you want to contribute and attract attention for comment the fundamental requirement is to at least post the image and not just a link (to another forum). That's my POV anyway, it has never occurred to me to post a link to my pix to be viewed elsewhere for comment here.



Sep 10, 2013 at 07:38 AM
12monkeys
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p.3 #7 · We can do better.


MarkB1 wrote:
I don't think so. I find it interesting what people use and what they get with it. And the lighting setups help match the theory and effects of apparent light size - http://strobist.blogspot.com.au/2007/07/lighting-102-unit-21-apparent-light.html - to the physical design - very useful for anyone who hasn't got it right with flash yet. ... amongst other things.

Not all are expensive rigs either. Mine cost less than $400 all up, and it would be nice to experiment with other gear but I'm not pushed.



I could probably have explained myself better. I do think that the "post your set-up thread" is immensely helpful in its own right. I have referred quite a few people to it in the past, people that have never posted on here and never will, but have found it an excellent resource. Anyone wanting to do macro photography with a flash should definitely make that thread their first port of call.

What I find unfortunate is the perhaps inadvertent implication from that thread, which appears constantly at the top of the board, that a flash set-up is necessary for macro photography. It may be the ideal solution if you can master the whole shebang, but if you're an enthusiastic amateur, as most people are, and want some artistic rather than documentary pictures, then I think a greater emphasis on natural light photography would be beneficial. There's never really been much encouragement on this board for newbies to just go out and take some pictures without buying new gear, however much that may cost.



Sep 10, 2013 at 08:18 AM
MarkB1
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p.3 #8 · We can do better.


12monkeys wrote:
I could probably have explained myself better. I do think that the "post your set-up thread" is immensely helpful in its own right. I have referred quite a few people to it in the past, people that have never posted on here and never will, but have found it an excellent resource. Anyone wanting to do macro photography with a flash should definitely make that thread their first port of call.

What I find unfortunate is the perhaps inadvertent implication from that thread, which appears constantly at the top of the board, that a flash set-up is necessary for macro photography.
...Show more

I would suggest if you perceive a deficiency that disturbs you do something and see what happens? A NL thread to explore your subject might be revealing, talk to Tom if you want to make a sticky for while to give it a chance, or ..?



Sep 10, 2013 at 09:23 AM
e6filmuser
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p.3 #9 · We can do better.


MarkB1 wrote:
I think it's a thread about the function of the forum and how to realise it - with a couple sidetracks/OT posts And the main forum below the sticky's is for CC or feedback?

It isn't quite accurate to suggest it takes only one second of a contributors time per link (of twelve) if the point was to get feedback ... One second to click, at least, then however long it takes to examine and compose a response x 12.

I believe the consensus is if you want to contribute and attract attention for comment the fundamental requirement is to at least
...Show more

Yes, but this is just to see if my images, overall, are about right (not image by image, pixel by pixel critique) for the ongoing forum. If so, I will post in new threads (not the Shooting With Tubes one either) and invite comment. If not, why would I bother?

Regarding hardware: My main lens is a Kiron, obtained after having seen what a member of this forum had done with his, and I am currently fielld testing a Summar 12cm (+/- a Raynox MSN-202), based on John Hallmen's (morfa) recommendation.

Harold



Sep 10, 2013 at 11:30 AM
kwoodard
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p.3 #10 · We can do better.


Since most of the people that are responding to this thread appear to be either accomplished macro photographers and forum regulars (who also offer very nice work... birdied, I think you are far from a novice) that I thought it would be good to hear from someone like me, a complete novice. I have been "taking pictures" off and on for 30 years. I never really got serious with my snapshots until I came across this forum about a year ago. (The manual focus Nikon thread is what brought me in). My true interest is in the extremes, 1:1 or higher macro and astrophotography. Everything in the middle doesn't get my juices flowing like the others do.

A few days after joining this forum I discovered Macro World. I thought I died and went to heaven! So many amazing things to see. I learned about focus stacking and high magnification, two things I always wondered "How did they do that?!" But over time, as the newness wore off, I started to see what many of you are talking about... Not a lot of C&C, mostly ego boosting. I know I am guilty of it, but mostly I think it comes from my inexperience in this world. I am one of those people that would like some honest C&C for the little I post here (most of my shots are posted in the shooting with tubes thread, I only recently got some more dedicated macro gear). Sure, the ego boosting is nice, but when I look at some of my stuff I wonder what I can do to make it better and I rarely get anything. Its frustrating and because of it, I don't visit this area that often anymore. Perhaps I will now, take a chance again...

One other thing. Although I think stacked images are "cool", I get bored with them very easily. I don't know why, but I seem to be able to spot a stacked image from a mile away and judge it lower than an artistic shot of the same subject. If I am doing something like a lab image or something for a textbook, sure give me stacks. But as an art form, stacks lose it for me. Just my opinion, take it with a grain of salt.

From what I have gleaned from threads here, I think this is one of my most successful shots. I don't know if I posted this on this forum or not, but here it is. If I posted this, I would love some C&C on it. My setup was very simple, my gear not top end, and I have sold about 10 prints of it to people that have seen it and liked it (even won a contest with it).


_DSC9662 by Kevin.Woodard, on Flickr



Sep 12, 2013 at 01:04 AM
 

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Julian Nell
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p.3 #11 · We can do better.


Quick question,

If the person doesn't state in there post that they would like to be critiqued but, also, doesn't state that they would not like to be critiqued, is it fine to critique them?

Julian



Sep 12, 2013 at 04:07 AM
Dalantech
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p.3 #12 · We can do better.


12monkeys wrote:
What I find unfortunate is the perhaps inadvertent implication from that thread, which appears constantly at the top of the board, that a flash set-up is necessary for macro photography. It may be the ideal solution if you can master the whole shebang, but if you're an enthusiastic amateur, as most people are, and want some artistic rather than documentary pictures, then I think a greater emphasis on natural light photography would be beneficial. There's never really been much encouragement on this board for newbies to just go out and take some pictures without buying new gear, however much that
...Show more

One of the problems with shooting at life size and higher magnifications is the light -there's just never enough. To shoot using natural light requires that you either open a lens up and lose all depth or increase the ISO and lose detail to sensor noise. The only other option is to decrease your shutter speed, and then you'll quickly reach a point where shooting hand held is impossible. So now you have to get a tripod, and possibly a focusing rail, and life just got complicated

A flash adds it's own problems, but it also solves a lot of issues for the beginner. You now have enough light to get the shot, and the flash can help to freeze motion making a tripod / focusing rail unnecessary. You have the freedom of shooting no matter what the natural light conditions are -the only thing that will stop you is the rain.

Last, but not least, I take exception to the idea that you have to use natural light for artistic shots, and flash is just for documentation...



















There's no natural light in any of those images (in fact I have very few photos that don't have some flash light in them). The tricky part is finding a way to produce well diffused light from a flash, and to find a setup that fits the way you want to take photos. I think there is enough expertise on this site to get the newbies up to speed. Mastering a flash is not only invaluable for a photographer, but it's a lot easier than wrapping your head around all the gear necessary to get good natural light. You can't just go out and shoot at any time of the day and get good light quality from the sun, but you can get consistently good light from a flash...



Sep 12, 2013 at 05:24 AM
e6filmuser
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p.3 #13 · We can do better.


Dalantech wrote:
One of the problems with shooting at life size and higher magnifications is the light -there's just never enough. To shoot using natural light requires that you either open a lens up and lose all depth or increase the ISO and lose detail to sensor noise.


At life size? I have only recently started using flash regulary and much of that is to see what resolution various lenses give at, say, f8 to f16 (on the lens) at low ISO in field conditions. Using those apertures and ISO of 100 to 400, occasionally 800, there is a lot you can do hand-held in sunlight.

I would say that x3 is starting to push it. It is vital to accept that, with daylight or flash, the subject may move (we rarely have still air in the UK and most subjects are, or are on, vegetation), or pressing the shutter release button may alter framing. Flash may "freeze motion" but it won't guarantee framing or focus. You have to accept that the reject rate may have to be high. The beauty of digital is that you can review images at the time of shooting and delete/reshoot (the latter only if the subject is still in position).

Patience and persistence are vital in field macro: waiting for the breeze to drop or for an insect to face the right way (not many like looking towards the sun) and developing steady arms and hands all contribute.

Harold



Sep 12, 2013 at 06:48 AM
Dalantech
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p.3 #14 · We can do better.


Harold I think you're a politician -you really didn't address any of the points I raised and pretty much cherry picked what you wanted to question

How is a flash only for documentary images and not art?...



Sep 12, 2013 at 07:45 AM
e6filmuser
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p.3 #15 · We can do better.


Dalantech wrote:
Harold I think you're a politician -you really didn't address any of the points I raised and pretty much cherry picked what you wanted to question

How is a flash only for documentary images and not art?...


I have been called all sorts of things but never a politician!

I am simply denying that you need flash to get into macro, which was the opening query. Also, I would not want a beginner to invest in flash units as well as a macro lens before deciding that macro is for them. (This may be my instinct for having to sometimes wait decades before being able to afford the exact hardware I wanted). Besides, there is a danger, once into flash, that they might never see a natural light macro of their own.(I actually went of a photographic to the French Alps, a couple of years ago, with my macro flash in my bag and never used it but shot hundreds of images. I did have a tripod but I suspect I didn't use that either).

Harold



Sep 12, 2013 at 08:14 AM
MarkB1
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p.3 #16 · We can do better.


Julian Nell wrote:
Quick question,

If the person doesn't state in there post that they would like to be critiqued but, also, doesn't state that they would not like to be critiqued, is it fine to critique them?

Julian


Short answer? Yes -

But it is a bigger issue than appears from your question. If someone posts an image in a public forum then they have no control over what responses they may get and shouldn't be surprised or offended when someone says something that isn't expected or liked.

Thing is though people do get offended, make it personal, when their image/s attract less than flattering comment. I see it as part of the learning curve, where that is so, to learn not to be emotional about such things, and learn from it. Too, some critics don't like it when it is pointed out they are wrong ... because not every critic knows what they are talking about.

This is why, if posters are going to get CC from experienced shooters, it needs to be established in a forums culture or purpose - which is what I believe is behind this thread. If it's not the emotional tends to rule or stand and experienced people no longer offer CC. Why would they?

That doesn't mean every comment made has to be CC, it can be a word of encouragement because that is what is seen to be needed or appropriate. I, for one, only learn/ed one thing at a time, in its time - as my taste or capacity evolves.

Until CC is an unremarkable part of a/the forums culture I would say it is a good idea to ask for CC if you specifically want it - one picture at a time - IMO. It is possible you would get it when you don't ask for it, but less likely.

Make sense?



Sep 12, 2013 at 09:00 AM
e6filmuser
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p.3 #17 · We can do better.


There have been a number of refrences to C&C, also a suggestion of some guidelines. I feel strongly that an image should be reviewed as posted. Any zooming in to pixel level, or anywhere in between, belongs in a hardware forum, unless the author is claiming the image shows some particular qualities about the resolving power of the lens/sensor. Some guidance on thiis might help to avert avoidable disputes.

Do I put my life on the line by suggesting that the cause of creativity might allow some softness or motion blur when it makes a positive contribution?

Harold



Sep 12, 2013 at 09:55 AM
12monkeys
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p.3 #18 · We can do better.


Dalantech wrote:
A flash adds it's own problems, but it also solves a lot of issues for the beginner. You now have enough light to get the shot, and the flash can help to freeze motion making a tripod / focusing rail unnecessary. You have the freedom of shooting no matter what the natural light conditions are -the only thing that will stop you is the rain.


Maybe when most of the people on this forum were using rebels and 20D's, scared of pushing the camera past 400 ISO this was true. And obviously there are lot of shots that you just can't get without a flash. But a lot of the pictures on here are not extreme macro; they're just poorly diffused shots of large insects against a clustered background, and could have been much better if the photographer had just opened up the lens a bit, upped the ISO and turned off the flash.


Dalantech wrote:
Last, but not least, I take exception to the idea that you have to use natural light for artistic shots, and flash is just for documentation...


That wasn't quite what I meant. However, I do think there's an implication on this board that all photos have to be taken with flash from extremely close distances, and that generally leads to beginners concentrating all of their efforts on getting the insect in focus without any thought for pose or background.

Dalantech wrote:
There's no natural light in any of those images (in fact I have very few photos that don't have some flash light in them). The tricky part is finding a way to produce well diffused light from a flash, and to find a setup that fits the way you want to take photos. I think there is enough expertise on this site to get the newbies up to speed. Mastering a flash is not only invaluable for a photographer, but it's a lot easier than wrapping your head around all the gear necessary to get good natural light. You can't
...Show more

I don't really like being critical of you as I think some of your photos are brilliant and I respect the work you've put in to this forum and your blog, which I've read on a number of occasions in the past and found interesting. However, I don't think the second of your pictures above, in particular, shows mastery of flash or even evidence that flash is necessary. It's a great pose, sure, but I don't see what you've achieved by getting that close. You're not revealing any body parts that wouldn't have been visible if you'd been further back. You have a lot of overcooked highlights and if you're getting that with several years of experience, as one of the more talented members of the forum, then why point beginners down that road?

I don't think your last point is any more relevant to a macro photographer than a landscape photographer. Just go out when the light's good.



Sep 12, 2013 at 10:15 AM
e6filmuser
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p.3 #19 · We can do better.


12monkeys wrote:
It's a great pose, sure, but I don't see what you've achieved by getting that close. You're not revealing any body parts that wouldn't have been visible if you'd been further back.


I disagree. That is excellent framing. Of course, there is a place for environmental portraits, which show more of the habitat but those often split the centre of interest if the surroundings are not dealt with suitably e.g by selective focus.

harold



Sep 12, 2013 at 11:25 AM
12monkeys
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p.3 #20 · We can do better.


e6filmuser wrote:
I disagree. That is excellent framing. Of course, there is a place for environmental portraits, which show more of the habitat but those often split the centre of interest if the surroundings are not dealt with suitably e.g by selective focus.

harold


I think it would be excellent framing as a focus stack.



Sep 12, 2013 at 11:46 AM
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