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Old Jun 2, 2006, 3:44 PM   #1
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Before I post some pictures I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the forum for their posts from which I learned a lot and especially callmebali for taking time out of his weekend to answer a few macro questions I mailed him, without his help I'd still be struggling with these.

I am really just starting my macro adventures, I had a few previous to this but they were awful but I'm slowly starting to get the hang of this and hopefully with some more practice I'll get it dialed in even more. All of these were taken with the FZ30 and a Nikon 4t filter.

Spiders seem to be the bug of choice for pictures around here and the spiders I found were very co-operative and waited patiently for me to take a few (sorta) good pictures.








The first two were taken using the flash on the camera the third one I didn't use a flash on.

A colorful fly.



And finally my dripping gutter.



So anyways I know these aren't great, but for me they mark a huge improvement over what I was getting previously. I have a raynox dcr-250 on order and since it will take another month (!!) to get here I hope to have enough experience to manage with it when it arrives. I'd just like to close this post out with a couple questions:

1) In macros the pro's post here they have such a nice soft, even light across the picture are you guys mostly using the on-board flash or an external flash? Is a diffuser what is giving the soft, even look to it? What is my best bet for a diffuser? I think I read somewhere that people use a sheet of printer paper in front of the flash, is that the standard in these forums?

2) If I go with an external flash like the sunpak 383 is it fine sitting on the shoe of the camera or do you use an adapter/bracket to bring the flash over to the side of the camera? Is the sunpak 383 an appropriate flash for macro photography?

3) I used manual mode for some of the pictures and aperture priority mode for some others and it seemed A-priority was a bit easier to use since I didn't have to worry about setting shutter speed, is it fine to let the camera determine the shutter speed or is that something I should be adjusting on my own in full manual mode?

Anyways please consider these pictures my 'first effort' and if anyone has the answers to these questions or any suggestions on what might make my pictures better please let me know, I'm anxious to improve.

Thanks
T
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Old Jun 2, 2006, 4:39 PM   #2
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Those are some really good macros for a first try. You must have really read
up on your camera before taking the shots or maybe you have experience with
another camera before this one. Looks like the focus and lighting were right on the
money.

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Old Jun 2, 2006, 8:11 PM   #3
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very nice start to a world of macro's



keep up the good work.....:G
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Old Jun 4, 2006, 11:04 AM   #4
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Twitch1977 wrote:
Quote:
So anyways I know these aren't great, but for me they mark a huge improvement over what I was getting previously. I have a raynox dcr-250 on order and since it will take another month (!!) to get here I hope to have enough experience to manage with it when it arrives. I'd just like to close this post out with a couple questions:

1) In macros the pro's post here they have such a nice soft, even light across the picture are you guys mostly using the on-board flash or an external flash? Is a diffuser what is giving the soft, even look to it? What is my best bet for a diffuser? I think I read somewhere that people use a sheet of printer paper in front of the flash, is that the standard in these forums?

2) If I go with an external flash like the sunpak 383 is it fine sitting on the shoe of the camera or do you use an adapter/bracket to bring the flash over to the side of the camera? Is the sunpak 383 an appropriate flash for macro photography?

3) I used manual mode for some of the pictures and aperture priority mode for some others and it seemed A-priority was a bit easier to use since I didn't have to worry about setting shutter speed, is it fine to let the camera determine the shutter speed or is that something I should be adjusting on my own in full manual mode?

Anyways please consider these pictures my 'first effort' and if anyone has the answers to these questions or any suggestions on what might make my pictures better please let me know, I'm anxious to improve.

Thanks
T
A good first try for macros. First impt step is to get the eyes in focus and you are abt there. Once you get that, than learn how to compose the pic, watch for the background,be wary of burn out portions, lighting control etc

To answer your pts:
1) It does not matter if its on board or ext, as long as you can get a light source to illuminate the scene, thats whats impt. Seemolf have constructed some very good diffusers for his onboard flash. Some pp put a white transluscent plastic card at the lens edge for the onboard flash to strike on, and so cause it to have a diffuse effect.
Of course, for ext flash, its easier to construct a diffuser. A straight white card of a stofen omnibounce diffuser will diffuse the flash.

2) A good flash is one with manual control on the power setting. Furthermore, you need not have a all powerful flash as the distance are near. That said, the 383 is a good all round flash and should be good for macro. Its fine placing it on the hotshoe, that means that the light will always come from that direction. Nothing wrong with that and with most shots, that should be fine. Getting an offshoe sync cord just gives one the flexibility to place the flash at other alternate positions.

3) We are talking abt digital photography here, so whatever mode that gets the shot use it. I use M mode most of the time because of the faster response, and I get to better control the shutter speed. I use A mode when the darkening EVF issue is so bad that I cannot even see anything. I will than switch to A mode....which gives satisfactory results too....only issue is the 1/60s default speed.

So hope the answers helped




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Old Jun 4, 2006, 12:23 PM   #5
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Those answers do help a lot, thanks for the info! I'll check the back posts and see if I can find the ones about the diffusers for the on board flash.

Thanks again!
T
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Old Jun 4, 2006, 8:45 PM   #6
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Thought I'd add a couple more pictures I took today, it was pretty windy so it was hard to get many good pictures, the bugs kept moving around and when I could find one standing still whatever they were on was shaking in the wind. Anyways I found a couple dragon flies that were willing to sit still while I hand held the branch they were on. I went to a local park for these, it's nice to have a background that isn't the side of my garage like most of my previous macros.





T
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