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Old Apr 12, 2008, 5:43 AM   #1
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Hey,
after days of rain we got a sunny morning and my wife showed me water droplets that showed off at some small flowers because she knew I was trying for macro shots. This is one picture of the series which is kind of magical to me for some reason... I could watch at it and daydream...



I'll post more later, but have housework to do for now, so this should work like a little teaser - all you water droplets fans: don't miss it!

@mtngal
You have to share some tips of using flash on these (pretty please)... I failed badly using the in-camera flash, so I did everything with available (sun-) light.

Best regards,
Th.

P.S. No crop on that, RAW developed with PPL andonly minor adjustments, then resized for forum use to 900x600.
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Old Apr 12, 2008, 7:21 AM   #2
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First update:

#1



#2



#3



Sorry for the grain, but I needed ISO1600 and ISO3200 to get a decent f-stop. The big problem was - the sun came almost directly from behind and with the wider lenses I had my own shadow on the droplets. I almost went nuts... 50+ tries and it looked awful, then I tried the onboard flash and it looked even worse.

Last try before throwing the camera away - my Kiron-M 80-200/4 lense attached to a Vivitar 2x macro focusing teleconverter (since I couldn't get my hands on a "true" macro lens, I went for that solution). And it worked! Now the distance was big enough so I could see the droplets from a small angle without having my shadow on them.

I had a hard time focussing, almost never went over f/8 (talk about shallow DOF) and we had wind blowing the whole time. :?With the high ISO I was able to get shutter speed to 1/200..1/800 depending on subject which finally did the job.

More to come - how do you like them so far?

Th.
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Old Apr 12, 2008, 8:26 AM   #3
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Nice job. I've tinkered with this type of shot before but quickly gave up. Sounds like you put some time and effort into these,I commend you for your persistence.
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Old Apr 12, 2008, 9:27 AM   #4
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Thank you!

Here's another update before I have to work in the garden again (still sunny here, yay!)

Mini series of a huge droplet:

#4 - the droplet "front focussed": see the reflection of the surroundings on it's surface!



#5 - same droplet used as "lens" to see some small debris inside



I'd just wish I get such a chance again with less wind... just imagine how these would look with ISO 400 or 200...

But then... let's not start a "the glass is half empty" discussion... it's still pretty amazing what you can see if you get real close to those droplets.

While I (very) slightly cropped on the 2nd series, these are uncropped again and just postprocessed for forum use. I am absolutely unsure about composition on those, will play around later in the evening.

Best regards,
Th.

P.S. Thanks mtngal for the inspiration, I think without your photos I would have never considered to take water droplet pictures.
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Old Apr 12, 2008, 11:58 AM   #5
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Next update: Rape series (teaser was grass, others columbine)

#6 - see the magnifier-effect!



#7 - another angle



#8 - a little shy



Well - what do you think? I got more... but a lot of them suffer from the high ISO and I think I already posted enough droplet photos for now anyway.

Enjoy the show!

Best regards,
Th.


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Old Apr 12, 2008, 1:40 PM   #6
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Good set of pictures, especially considering the conditions (given your situation, I couldn't have done any better and the #1 of the first update is really outstanding). I've had the advantage of no wind when I've been taking mine.

Part of your problem with the on-board flash is that your lens combination would end up being way too long for the flash - you need a flash gun to get the extra clearance. I really like having the flash off-camera completely, operated wirelessly. If that's not an option, then try putting something over the flash to tone it down some (I haven't perfected that yet, it sometimes helps and sometimes doesn't provide enough light). Also, did you try running the high ISO pictures through a noise reduction program? At least one of these looks like it would make a good difference (and not turn it into a blurry mass, which can also happen). I'd probably try that with copies of your noisy pictures to see what happens.

Are you using a tripod or some other type of support to help you stay steady? That helpsquite a bit with camera shake (thank you, Roy, for that suggestion) so you can use a smaller aperture (makes a huge difference). I also think this is where I appreciate SR a great deal.

This is one of the types of photos where I really appreciate extra mp. The first series I took were with the K100, and I really wanted to have more pixels to crop closer than I could. The K10's pictures allowed me to "get closer" when I really wasn't, and while the one that made Steve's POD was taken with the on-board flash, I find having the wireless flash off-camera allows a lot more flexibility.

Your last one is one of my favorites, just because it's one of those pictures that say "fun" to me (but don't ask me why). These are such fun, aren't they?
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Old Apr 12, 2008, 3:58 PM   #7
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mtngal wrote:
Quote:
Good set of pictures, especially considering the conditions (given your situation, I couldn't have done any better and the #1 of the first update is really outstanding). I've had the advantage of no wind when I've been taking mine.

Part of your problem with the on-board flash is that your lens combination would end up being way too long for the flash - you need a flash gun to get the extra clearance. I really like having the flash off-camera completely, operated wirelessly. If that's not an option, then try putting something over the flash to tone it down some (I haven't perfected that yet, it sometimes helps and sometimes doesn't provide enough light). Also, did you try running the high ISO pictures through a noise reduction program? At least one of these looks like it would make a good difference (and not turn it into a blurry mass, which can also happen). I'd probably try that with copies of your noisy pictures to see what happens.

Are you using a tripod or some other type of support to help you stay steady? That helpsquite a bit with camera shake (thank you, Roy, for that suggestion) so you can use a smaller aperture (makes a huge difference). I also think this is where I appreciate SR a great deal.

This is one of the types of photos where I really appreciate extra mp. The first series I took were with the K100, and I really wanted to have more pixels to crop closer than I could. The K10's pictures allowed me to "get closer" when I really wasn't, and while the one that made Steve's POD was taken with the on-board flash, I find having the wireless flash off-camera allows a lot more flexibility.

Your last one is one of my favorites, just because it's one of those pictures that say "fun" to me (but don't ask me why). These are such fun, aren't they?
Hey and thanks for the advises.

I am not very happy with the performance of noise removal programs, they can't cure the real problems and every other photo is good enough without them. I'll have a go with GREYCstoration the other day, maybe it can cure something without loosing too much detail.

No - I didn't used a tripod - because of the wind it wouldn't have made a difference (at least I thought so). Also the flowers were mostly near the ground and this is quite hard when you try to be on "eye-level" AND use a tripod. Another problem was to find the right angle and spot to get a view on the droplets through the surrounding leafs... all that summed up and I choosed just to crank up ISO and go for a good shutter speed.

As for the flash - I really should craft my own bouncer or diffusor... I am not happy with most of my flash pics anyway. The droplets looked "washed out", much too light and terribly "flat" when I used the flash...

I am still using my *ist DL2 thus I am stuck with 6mp and no SR which doesn't really help here - I know. Sometimes I wish for better equipment, but on the other hand it's just a hobby and doesn't pay my bills (to say so) - I'll try to make the best with the things I got. My lens collection is already too big for this hobby-thingie but that's another story.

And yes - these were fun and I went "oh" and "ah" when I saw the better pictures on my screen, all those reflections and magnifying effects and stuff - it's a strange world you see through the lens when you get in that close range.

Best regards,
Th.


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Old Apr 12, 2008, 5:05 PM   #8
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To tell you the truth, I don't have a tripod that would work for stuff like this. I do use a pole, I use a trekking pole but anything will work (broomstick, etc.) to add stability - you just hold it in one hand and the camera in both hands, it adds another "leg" for stability. You just slide your hand up or down thepoleuntil you are at the spot you want. Makes a huge difference if you are squatting down rather than sitting on the ground, and it doesn't take any set-up or tear-down time like a tripod does, and since you aren't fixing the camera to the pole like you would with a monopod, it's easy to change positions.

I know what you mean about noise reduction software. I've had mixed success with Neat Image - sometimes it does a fantastic job and other times it looks like a smeary mess. Whenever I have a picture with too much noise, I'll see what it does - then decide whether its worth it or not.
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Old Apr 13, 2008, 3:05 AM   #9
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mtngal wrote:
Quote:
To tell you the truth, I don't have a tripod that would work for stuff like this. I do use a pole, I use a trekking pole but anything will work (broomstick, etc.) to add stability - you just hold it in one hand and the camera in both hands, it adds another "leg" for stability. You just slide your hand up or down thepoleuntil you are at the spot you want. Makes a huge difference if you are squatting down rather than sitting on the ground, and it doesn't take any set-up or tear-down time like a tripod does, and since you aren't fixing the camera to the pole like you would with a monopod, it's easy to change positions.

I know what you mean about noise reduction software. I've had mixed success with Neat Image - sometimes it does a fantastic job and other times it looks like a smeary mess. Whenever I have a picture with too much noise, I'll see what it does - then decide whether its worth it or not.
A simple pole? Now that's a great idea! I have to test this (darnit - it's such a dead easy approach, narf)! Yay!

I had some sport pictures where Noiseware did a decent job, but the best success I had with GREYCstoration so far. I posted a small tutorial in another forum and have the demo photos there as well... maybe if people are interested I can convince myself to translate to english and post here as well. It's a time consumingprocess butmight(!) help (no guarantee) when other things fail. Do you think people would be interested or rather use "ready made" software like noise ninja, neat image or the like?

Other than that I have my own noise reduction / clearing / detail sharpen / refocus approach because I don't like how noise removal software takes away details and I also don't like the halos standard sharpening tools add to images.

Have a nice weekend!
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Old Apr 13, 2008, 9:31 AM   #10
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thkn777 wrote:
Quote:
mtngal wrote:
Quote:
To tell you the truth, I don't have a tripod that would work for stuff like this. I do use a pole, I use a trekking pole but anything will work (broomstick, etc.) to add stability - you just hold it in one hand and the camera in both hands, it adds another "leg" for stability. You just slide your hand up or down thepoleuntil you are at the spot you want. Makes a huge difference if you are squatting down rather than sitting on the ground, and it doesn't take any set-up or tear-down time like a tripod does, and since you aren't fixing the camera to the pole like you would with a monopod, it's easy to change positions.

I know what you mean about noise reduction software. I've had mixed success with Neat Image - sometimes it does a fantastic job and other times it looks like a smeary mess. Whenever I have a picture with too much noise, I'll see what it does - then decide whether its worth it or not.
A simple pole? Now that's a great idea! I have to test this (darnit - it's such a dead easy approach, narf)! Yay!

I had some sport pictures where Noiseware did a decent job, but the best success I had with GREYCstoration so far. I posted a small tutorial in another forum and have the demo photos there as well... maybe if people are interested I can convince myself to translate to english and post here as well. It's a time consumingprocess butmight(!) help (no guarantee) when other things fail. Do you think people would be interested or rather use "ready made" software like noise ninja, neat image or the like?

Other than that I have my own noise reduction / clearing / detail sharpen / refocus approach because I don't like how noise removal software takes away details and I also don't like the halos standard sharpening tools add to images.

Have a nice weekend!
Post it please...I for one would like to see it!

Dawg

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