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Old Jun 8, 2009, 11:54 PM   #1
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Some pictures that I've taken recently - I'm wondering if they are boring or interesting. My first reaction when I first saw one or two was that they were boring, though now (a week or two later), I thought they looked fairly interesting. The others were taken Sunday, on a brief walk.

This is really a close-up (105 mm macro with reversed 50mm 1.4):



Talking to each other (actually a very small wildflower/weed that was growing in my front yard):





I would post a picture of the whole flower except I didn't think of taking one before they all got whacked off during our spring yard clearance. I don't know if the two pictures above work or not since there isn't any real reference - I thought they looked more like horse heads or snakes than flowers. It could be they appeal to me but not to anyone else.

Who needs bright sunlight for pictures? And the Viv 105mm macro can take things OTHER than macro, too:



Perfect weather for my favorite type of picture.

Wild Iris leaves:



I have no idea what this is, but it's small and grows low to the ground.



These next two are stacks - I used CS4 to align and stack several frames with different focus points, then blend them to extend the DOF.



This second one was about 12 frames, I think. There's no way I could have managed to get as many leaves in focus as this picture shows. Thanks, Ronny, for reminding me of this feature, it's a lot of fun.

Lupine leaves (I think):



I've been feeling rather frustrated recently, nothing I take quite satisfies me. So I'd be interested in what others think of these. I'm thinking that while its fun and technically challenging to do the super-macro pictures like the two wildflowers above, I'm not sure I've figured out how to make a pleasing picture from them.
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 3:10 AM   #2
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Interesting ?, yes all, Boring ?, maybe some. The first one is very nice and the black and white tree in the fog is beautiful.
The colour of the wild flower is lovely, I love purple, and you always shoot rain drops so well. Actually they are all shot very well, sharp and with good light.

Rodney.
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 3:18 AM   #3
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Harriet, I guess all of us want to do the best we can and are to critical about our own work.
Waiting a few days before throwing them away has saved more than once a shot I didnít think good enough to keep after taking it.

So my 5c about your series.

Nr1, going that close you can expect a lot of abstract looking images and I really like this one.

Nr2, would have love a bit more dof but the composition is great, so like it to.

Nr3, would have liked it more if it had been shown before the previous one. But because it is behind nr2 that I really is less. (maybe an idea to put the images in another order so that those you think the best are last)

Nr4, like the backlighting and fog

Nr5, great picture, itís something I want to try to duplicate but never seem to get to.

Nr6, is competing with 1 and 2 for being the best in the series (imho), one thing I sometimes ask myself, what would happen if you put a flower or anything else behind the image. Iíve seen a lot of those Ďconstructedí shots and I like them. Donít know how difficult it is.

7 & 8, the stacking works perfect only I find them less than those above.
So for me 1,2,6 are great macro shots and certainly not boring. If I have to call, and I mean really have to call any of them boring it would be the last two.

Cheers

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Old Jun 9, 2009, 7:08 AM   #4
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Even if they weren't great photos, it would still be amazing to me how close and how much detail you captures. My favorites are the dandelion (?) seeds, the misty pines and the very wet wild iris. Dandelion because of the great compostion and flow of the picture, pines because of the awesome mood, and iris because of the sharpness and complexity that draw my eye deeper into it... Or maybe the other "full of drops" photo...
The flower parts and the stacked images are also great shots, but not so full of emotion (imho) as the others.
Thanks for sharing all of these!
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 12:15 PM   #5
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I especially liked the 'atmospheric' #4 in which the trees really stand like people! In #5 the drops are amazing...
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 1:56 PM   #6
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Well... I like all of them Harriet.
The last one might be boring if I didn't know and understand the technical aspect of it, in that respect its pretty amazing!
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 2:48 PM   #7
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all look great to me.. hardly boring..
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 3:55 PM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback on these. It's always wonderful to read what others think.

Ronny - your point about putting the third one before the second one because it isn't as good is interesting. I actually wasn't going to post the third one at all because it's not as overall pleasing to me, but I love the shape and wanted to see what others thought of it. I agree it's not as good as the second one. The fact that by putting it BEFORE the better one (so that it's not anti-climactic) would be a better idea for a presentation (I always think of putting the best one first, as in, clobber your audience). I never thought of it that way, so thanks for the suggestion, it's a good one.

Mole - I think you hit the nail on the head with your remark that the two stacked pictures aren't as good as the others because they don't have the same emotion to them. It's the reason why I'll never be a pro photographer - in this case, I got wrapped up with the technical aspects of shooting for a stack, making sure I had the whole range in focus on at least one frame, and so on. So I was shooting for technical merit, not something that touched me as much as the other pictures did.

Ronny - I've got to try putting a flower or something more interesting than pine needles behind the drops. I never think of that and I think that would be fun to at least try. I'm so horrible at still-lifes that I never think of (or try) staging anything - rather I photograph something that catches my eye. I really should try your idea because it could make it much more interesting. And I've never yet resorted to a spray bottle of water (though I have been sorely tempted recently, it's been so dry!) - all of my pictures of water drops are as I've found them.

Everyone's reaction to the fog picture is somewhat surprising to me. Originally I was only going to post the last 4 pictures, with perhaps another one or two that I haven't processed yet, and I was going to use the fog picture as the lead-in. Then I thought that even though I was really happy how it came out, others would think it boring and I should use something else as a lead-in. So it came as a surprise that so many of you remarked about it.

The first one is a dandelion. They are always fun to shoot, it's hard to take a bad picture of one (as long as the focus is right and you don't have camera shake). I was really happy to be able to get so close to the seed on this one.

By the way, I learned something new about the K20 today. I wanted a jpg picture that was as small as possible, quality didn't matter. So I set the file size to 2 mp and quality to 3 stars, not paying attention that the camera was set for raw+. I ended up with a full sized raw photo and a 2 mp jpg - I didn't realize it would work that way, for some reason I thought it wouldn't take a raw picture with the camera set to anything but 14 mp. Not that I expect I'd ever use it that way, but I thought it was interesting.
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 5:11 PM   #9
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By the way, I learned something new about the K20 today. I wanted a jpg picture that was as small as possible, quality didn't matter. So I set the file size to 2 mp and quality to 3 stars, not paying attention that the camera was set for raw+. I ended up with a full sized raw photo and a 2 mp jpg - I didn't realize it would work that way, for some reason I thought it wouldn't take a raw picture with the camera set to anything but 14 mp. Not that I expect I'd ever use it that way, but I thought it was interesting.[/QUOTE]


Yep, you can do that with the K10 also. Some photographers use that method for there catalog files.
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Old Jun 9, 2009, 9:39 PM   #10
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Harriet,

Boring? No way! No's 5 & 6 are my favorites.

Your shots of the Iris leaf with water drops is beautifully done and the one below it even better. The detail and depth of field you achieved is excellent.

Your dandelion picture is a perfect example of catching the light. The different shades of white make a stunning photo. Dandelion pictures are easy only when there is little to no wind blowing.

Other than the color of the purple flowers, I liked them least. However if they were to be used as a figures 1 & 2 in a botany text book they would be great.

The black and white of the pine in the mist was very nice.

Your last post of this type of macro so intrigued me that I did in fact put a 50mm Cannon 1.4 reversed on my Viv 105mm 2.8 and attempt to take photos with it. My subject was a house plant (a white Lilly). I found it very challenging and in fact had my lens so close to the subject that I barley had space to pass my flash through.

The resulting photos I got looked like keyhole shots. The detail was excellent but the subject matter was boring. It looked more like something I would expect to see in a microscope. I will try this again with a more interesting subject next time.

This exercise on my part allows me to appreciate more what you have achieved in these macros both technically and artistically.

Lou
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