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Old Jun 24, 2011, 9:49 AM   #1
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Default Signs of Summer - Dandelion

Dandelions and related plants with similar seed heads appear throughout the summer and always say "summer" to me.

Decided to try my luck taking pictures of one that appeared in my yard yesterday. I carefully picked it and carried it inside, putting it in a water bottle. The only trouble with that was that it was hot and I had the windows open. Even moving the dandelion out of the direct breeze, there was still enough air movement to make focusing difficult. This was taken with a 1:1 macro lens with a 50mm lens reversed in front of it. I have no idea what the magnification is of this combination.


The depth of field at this point is incredibly small and I took a series of pictures, deleting most of them.

It was great fun until I happened to notice that the dandelion had brought along something else (taken with the macro lens alone and less than 1:1 magnification):



At that point I packed up my flash, put the rear cap on the reversed lens and even more carefully than I had brought it in, took the seed head outside.
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Old Jun 24, 2011, 3:00 PM   #2
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MtnGal,
That second shot reminded me of a bad silver wig with cooties crawling around.
Aside from that, I can easily understand the difficulties in photographing these darned things. I've had several attempts look like my grandkids taking random shots of the hair on my head.
The second one does have an interesting story.
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Old Jun 24, 2011, 3:53 PM   #3
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Speaking of focusing, have you seen the announcement that some company has developed a camera that allows you to focus AFTER the shot is taken? I saw it reported on Digital Photography Review's site together with some examples. Quite amazing!
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Old Jun 24, 2011, 9:37 PM   #4
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I had thought of the bad hair comparison with the second one, when I saw it. The funny thing is that I was actually trying to get a totally different lighting effect than this one - I had the flash below and behind the seed head. While it didn't work out the way I wanted it to, I thought it was still nice.

It would be nice to be able to get a deeper dof than I've managed at this type of magnification with the equipment I have at the moment. Maybe next time I'll try harder to get the critters, but I'll make sure I put paper under it. I didn't even realize they were there until I started taking pictures and putting them up on the computer right away.
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Old Jun 25, 2011, 7:02 AM   #5
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MtnGal,

It's ironic that with our high level DSLR equipment DOF concerns in macro shots becomes a serious issue.
Use of a point and shoot tends to reduce the DOF issue somewhat significantly because of the relatively large DOF of their small lenses.
Somewhat akin to the almost infinite DOF of pinhole cameras.
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Old Jun 25, 2011, 1:01 PM   #6
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These are spectacular!
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Old Jun 25, 2011, 4:44 PM   #7
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I love the first one. I think getting so close that the flower is abstracted and almost unrecognizable is a neat way to view nature.
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Old Jun 25, 2011, 9:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter C View Post
Speaking of focusing, have you seen the announcement that some company has developed a camera that allows you to focus AFTER the shot is taken? I saw it reported on Digital Photography Review's site together with some examples. Quite amazing!
I saw a report with a demonstration on TV a couple nights ago. I am anxious to hear more about it. I suspect it takes multiple images with different focus points, records the coordinates of the focus point and then the software selects the image with the focus point closest to where the mouse pointer. I don't know that that is how it works but it seems logical to me.

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Old Jun 25, 2011, 10:47 PM   #9
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I think I read that it's possible to make a pinhole camera using a dSLR, but I don't really understand it enough to try it. I really should look up how to do it, it might be interesting to try something like that.

I've been fighting the whole dof issue recently, so something like a pinhole camera (or a high quality small sensor camera) sounds good right now.

I've got my doubts about how this new camera will work - it could be fascinating, but I wonder just how much leeway you have with it. How much detail will it capture? While it talks about changing the focus point, what about changing the depth of field?

For a comparison with the first one, here's a shot that was taken with the macro lens set to 1:1. Both pictures are full frame, no cropping at all. The first one really isn't sharp enough to crop, it works all right resized here, but the original shows a certain amount of blur (don't know if it's because the seed head was moving a bit and the shutter speed was too slow to compensate or because the focus wasn't quite right). This 1:1 picture is much sharper.

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Old Jun 26, 2011, 10:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter C View Post
Speaking of focusing, have you seen the announcement that some company has developed a camera that allows you to focus AFTER the shot is taken? I saw it reported on Digital Photography Review's site together with some examples. Quite amazing!
See this from the New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/22/te...ines&emc=tha26

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