Thursday, August 23, 2012

on Studio-ish Macro and Reflections

Happy accidents!

I've been having trouble with my new stacked macro lens setup. I stacked a Nikkor 50mm 1.8D on top of my Tamron 90mm 2.5 SP Macro lens with a cheap 52mm-52mm coupler ring. I like the resulting 2.5x magnification but the problem is that the spiders keep on jumping on to my lens. It must be the shiny chrome bayonet mount that attracts them to jump up to my lens.

While out shooting near our black Honda sedan, a spider jumped on my lens. I went to the back of the car so I could lean on the trunk and find where the spider was to remove it. I blew it from the lens to the top of the trunk. The Jumping spider just stood still and I took the opportunity to take some shots. The output was totally unexpected.

reflections (2 of 3)

reflections (1 of 3)

reflections (3 of 3)

I accidentally found a nice shooting location that provided something of a studio feel and at the same time added a reflection. And when lit up by my strobe, the dust added some bokeh to the shot as well. I have tried shooting with the other car which had white paint but the shots were prone to sensor flares.

After discovering the studio like effect of the black paint job, I have had a lot of success shooting on top of the trunk lid. I'll some more photos soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

on Lightning and Interval Shooting

I just love it when there is a lightning storm. It's like nature is putting on a light show. I can just sit and watch it for hours.

Better yet, I could shoot it.

There have been lightning storms over the weekend. Since I have been under the weather, I decided that I'd shoot the storm tonight just to keep myself busy. But I did it in the relative safety and comfort of our living room. So, I mounted my camera on a tripod, set the interval shooting mode to shoot one hundred ten second exposures at one second intervals. I had a total of three rounds with the same settings and got these three frames.

typhoon igme (3 of 3)

typhoon igme (2 of 3)

typhoon igme (1 of 3)

It was the first time I tried shooting lightning using the interval mode and it turned out better than I expected. Too bad I didn't have a better angle on the lightning cloud or a wider lens. I hope to do better next time.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

on A Jumper's Story

It's been my mantra that one photo will make my day. But I have always been asked how long it takes me to get that one photo. I don't really know how long it takes me. There are times I get it in the first few clicks or on the last out takes.

For macro photography, I usually spend an hour or more shooting. There are times I shoot over five hundred frames to get around ten keepers; and ten keepers is already a very good haul. Sometimes I shoot until it gets dark, my batteries run out or my memory cards are full.

And there are times when I just sit in the shade observing as insects go about there daily lives. Sometimes I forget that I have to shoot these insects. And there are times that I focus on one subject for hours that I get to construct stories with my shots; that is when I'm lucky that they'd cooperate and I'd get my shots in focus.

Here is one of those times when I got to see a Jumping Spider decide when it would jump to another leaf. This three shot sequence was taken from about 50 consecutive shots (with more than half out of focus because the leaf was swaying with the wind) where the Jumping Spider measures its jump and decides when to go for it. It jumped a distance of probably a foot with a another foot of drop.

You think I should go for it?
spider story (1 of 3)

It looks so high from here... but what the heck... I have a bungee cord.
spider story (2 of 3)

I'm ALIVE!!!
spider story (3 of 3)

Shooting macro stories like these make me appreciate this field a little more. Being there and observing how these little critters go about their business makes me think a lot about my life and how even briefest of moments can make an impact. I think I'll shoot more of this kind of photo stories in the coming months.