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My First Macro Forum Post
  
 
Camperjim
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · My First Macro Forum Post


I rarely look at this forum. I have not done focusing stacking. I don't have much interest in super macro shots of insects. I don't shoot in a highly technical fashion. In fact I don't even use a tripod for my closeup/macro images. (Mainly because tripods are not allowed where I have been shooting.) For the past few months, I have been shooting almost exclusively with a macro lens, but I don't consider myself to be a macro photographer.

So I happened to look at this forum and saw the thread by Tom asking for something different. I guess I have different interests than the typical photographer posting on this forum so I decided to post a couple of images.

I would like to receive critique and comments. I know this is a common request but most posters are really just asking for positive comments. I do indeed welcome negative and if necessary brutally blunt comments. If you want to see more of my work, please visit my webpage. The opening slideshow is almost entirely recent macro/closeup images.

Thanks, Jim aka camperjim

















Oct 19, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Tom Hicks
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · My First Macro Forum Post


Jim , welcome to Fred's. You sir have hit the nail on the head , these are perfect example . you have taken us to the inside of the flower world . Pistols and stamen are fine but with these they give the feel of stepping into a cavern never seen before .

Jim it's hard for me to critique because I haven't seen images of this sort before , so for me these are the standard . I love the backlighting , for me that give you the feel of being inside of the subject even the one taken from the backside.

For me at this time , Excellent .

thanks for joining us here

Tom



Oct 19, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · My First Macro Forum Post


Tom, you described exactly my goal in making these images. A few months ago I started to take pictures of flowers. By their nature flowers are beautiful. It is very easy to make a pretty flower picture. Instead of just taking pretty pictures, I wanted to try to make the viewer feel that they had entered the special world of the flower. Sometimes I think I am moving towards that goal. Most of the time I just end up with another pretty flower image.

BTW, I am not new to Fred's forums. I posted on the Landscape forum for a couple of years but then found that the current trends in landscape photography did not fit my interests.



Oct 19, 2013 at 03:12 PM
12monkeys
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · My First Macro Forum Post


Being hypercritical (because otherwise I'd just say that these are wonderful images and I hope you'll post lots more), I find the top right of the second photo just a little too dark and #s 2 & 3 could maybe benefit from a touch of noise reduction, but that's personal taste.



Oct 19, 2013 at 06:20 PM
12monkeys
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · My First Macro Forum Post


I looked through your website and as much as I like these, I don't think they represent your best work. There are some pictures that I love. A recurring theme in some of the ones that I'm less keen on, though, is that I think you could boost the exposure and/or shadows a touch and then darken the blacks slightly.


Oct 19, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Tom Hicks
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · My First Macro Forum Post


Jim after looking at your web site I tend to agree with the Monkey, I like your back lite stuff best , and agree to opening up the exposure some and the shadows, but not so much as to take the depth or feeling of being actually inside the flower so to speak.

Great landscape , I now recognize some of the images.



Oct 19, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Dalantech
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · My First Macro Forum Post


The second image just doesn't do it for me -maybe because of the harsh transition between what's lit and what's in shadow. The first and last really pop though -rarely do I find myself liking a dandelion shot because they've been done to death, but your take on that subject is unique

You certainly look like a macro photographer to me

Edit: P.S. You're not the only one who doesn't focus stack or use a tripod around here



Oct 19, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · My First Macro Forum Post


Thanks for all the comments.

12monkeys - Thanks for the comment on the noise. I have been seeing a lot of graininess when I shoot flower petals closeup. I am not sure if it is graininess due to the flower structure or true noise or both. In any case I need to pay more attention to this. When noise reduction fails to help, I have tried Topaz Simplify to remove the small graininess and noise.

12monkeys, Tom and Dalantech: thanks for the comments on exposure. As I understand it, I have too much harshness in some of the images and I need to achieve more even tones. Thanks for the help on this. I will need to do some experimenting to see what I need to do. A great many of my images are very minimally processed. Seems I enjoy shooting more than processing. I also have another excuse of sorts. I spent 2 years traveling in a truck camper and all my processing was on a laptop. I now have a calibrated desktop monitor and that should help.

It seems the images I posted are not those with the most appeal. If anyone takes another look at my webpage, I would like to know the images numbers of a few that are more appealing. Thanks.



Oct 20, 2013 at 12:07 AM
12monkeys
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · My First Macro Forum Post


Camperjim wrote:
If anyone takes another look at my webpage, I would like to know the images numbers of a few that are more appealing. Thanks.


#s based on "Recent Gallery 1"
35 (669)
53 (1026)
54 (1046, my favourite)
55 (1082)

There are lots more that I like but these are the ones that appeal the most.



Oct 20, 2013 at 06:58 AM
12monkeys
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · My First Macro Forum Post


The first picture that you posted above is great too


Oct 20, 2013 at 06:59 AM
 

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plsand
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · My First Macro Forum Post


Hi -
Thanks for these - They are great - You give me a new target in shooting -
Thanks again -
Paul



Oct 20, 2013 at 11:45 AM
danski0224
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · My First Macro Forum Post


I like them. The second one has a lot of depth.

How is the backlighting achieved? Natural?

Care to share any other technical details, like lens and f stop?



Oct 20, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · My First Macro Forum Post


12monkeys wrote:
#s based on "Recent Gallery 1"
35 (669)
53 (1026)
54 (1046, my favourite)
55 (1082)

There are lots more that I like but these are the ones that appeal the most.

Thanks for taking the time to pick out these. I am surprised at the choices you made and that is great because it gives me a lot to think about.



Oct 20, 2013 at 01:39 PM
birdied
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · My First Macro Forum Post


These are very nice. I really like the first and the last. Love the lighting. Your web site has so many wonderful images. I did especially enjoy "clocks" under the flower gallery.

Birdie



Oct 20, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · My First Macro Forum Post


Paul, thanks for the positive comments.

Danski,
I will be happy to share my technical approach, but I should mention that I think the technical aspects have not been important to me.

I decided to shoot with a goal in mind. As stated by Tom at the beginning of this post, my goal was to bring the viewer into the world of the flowers or at least to convey the impression of that world that I saw. I got this idea from BH event space videos. Many photography teachers recommend working on a self-imposed project. Concentrating attention in a narrow specific area will help one to improve. At this point I am getting ready to end my project and start a different one. After a while any project starts to become stagnant.

Beyond that my gear and technique are about as simple as possible. I have a Canon Rebel T3i, a 60 macro, and a 430II flash. I shoot Av and usually about f/20 for macro. The AF on my Rebel sucks so I generally manually focus and then rock back and forth for the final focus. Metering is center weighted and I manually adjust exposure compensation as needed. All of my shots are made in the field and hand held. I do prefer natural lighting especially because I am lazy and often do not have my flash.

As an example of my crude technique, for the first image I held a bunch of dandelion clocks in one hand, pointed toward the sun and shot with the camera in the other hand. I got the green background from reflected light off of foliage. For other shots I held the clocks above my head and got a blue sky background. Anyway my gear and technique are pretty simple. I get by shooting closeup but I would need a major jump in gear and technique to shoot true macro.



Oct 20, 2013 at 02:35 PM
danski0224
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · My First Macro Forum Post


Well, I'll have to try some of your technique. I hadn't really considered primary use of backlighting, although I have dabbled a few times.

Isn't the 60 EF-S a true macro? And a nice one too.

Should be roughly equal, at least in focal length, to the 100mm macro on a full frame.

Lots of nice images on the website, 1488 sticks out for me upon first glance.




Oct 20, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · My First Macro Forum Post


Yes the 60 macro will shoot true 1:1 macro. I also own a set of Kenko tubes and could shoot even closer. My technique and skill are the limitations.


Oct 20, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Dalantech
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · My First Macro Forum Post


Camperjim wrote:
Yes the 60 macro will shoot true 1:1 macro. I also own a set of Kenko tubes and could shoot even closer. My technique and skill are the limitations.


FYI: Like all macro lenses that have internal focusing (lenses that do not extend when you turn the focus ring) the EF-S 60mm loses focal length at life size, becoming about a 37mm macro lens. So it only takes 37mm of extension to get to 2x.



Oct 20, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · My First Macro Forum Post


Dalantech, I have no idea what you are saying. "37mm"??


Oct 20, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Tom Hicks
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · My First Macro Forum Post


Jim, what John is saying is ( for example ) A canon 100mm macro is not really 100mm but more like 70 plus . And the 60 mm , is really more like a 37mm.

Try to follow , some things are easier explained by phone.

A regular 100mm lens none macro will shoot 1to1 if you add 100mm of extension to it .
50mm lens add 50mm of extension, 200mm lens you have to add 200mm of extension, all will go 1to1.

A macro lens like the 100mm that does not grow in length , or have built in extension is typically shorter in actual focal length say 70mm so it would only take 70mm of extension to go from 1to1 which it already shoots to 2 to1. Add another 70mm to get to 3to1

So John is saying your 60mm macro because it doesn't extend while focusing it really only 37mm, so if you want to go to 2 to1 you would not need to use 60mm of extension only 37mm or just the 36mm tube in your kenko set.

hope this helps



Oct 20, 2013 at 06:02 PM
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