Up Close and Petzval-y

So, I said previously that I’d experiment with using extension tubes with the Petzval 55 MK II lense. I was slightly disappointed to find that the swirling bokeh associated with this lense is mostly lost in macro. That said, the bokeh itself is so soft and silky, irrespective of swirl and that it’s a joy to use. Even shooting at f/1.7, in macro, there’s a nice crispness to the areas that are in focus.

While it may not always be my first stop for macro work, it’ll definitely be in my arsenal for the future!

A succulent, my first experiment with extension tubes on the Petzval lense
Another succulent.
A Euphorbia
My Haworthia, covered in spider webs.
A slightly more abstract shot of my Haworthia, again with spider webs on it.
d20. Taken for macro Monday on flickr, for the theme of red.

Petzval, Petzval and more Petzval

So, I’m really loving this Petzval lense. The more I use it, the more I get a feel for it. It’s barely left my camera. Just a few more shots from the past few days. I’ll be looking to try the lense with some extension tubes in the next day or two, to see how it performs.

My wife and our spaniel. I was really enamoured of the bokeh I got on the sweeping tree branches.
I liked the way this leaf stood out against the background and the petzval lense gave it some extra interest with the swirlyness.
I wasn’t sure if I liked this image to start off with, but it has grown on me. The focus is in just the right place, I think.
A Peony that’s died back. Again, loving the bokeh.

Getting a bit Petzval

So I spent out on a new lense, the Petzval 55mm f/1.7 MK II from lomogrpahy. I have to say, it’s a beautiful lense, which gives interesting, swirling bokeh effects and is a nice prime lense too. The way it renders colours is interesting, giving a distinct look. You can turn the bokeh effect down, but why you’d do this I don’t know!

Here are a few shots I’ve captured with it over the past few days.

Swirly Quince
Purple Berries
Sleepy Spaniel
MODS

Back in the saddle again…

So, it’s been a while since I wrote a blog post. I hit a bit of a rut and wasn’t taking many photos. Even now, I’ve not been in my darkroom for ages. But still, I’ve finally started taking more photos and I’ve started another 365 project, which is pushing me a bit. It turns out I was missing the need to take photos every day. It gets the old creative juices flowing!

Skimia Japonica
Primrose Flower
Some berries, sliced with the Edge 35 Optic.
The centre of a gerbera
A slice of autumn, with the Edge 35 Optic.
A glowing rose
The stigma of a hemerocallis, or day lilly.
And finally, a hairy little spider.

Up close, with a phone

So, I bought another set of MPOW clip-on lenses for my phone, having lost the last set. I decided to take them camping with me, rather than taking a camera. This was a bit hit and miss, especially when trying to capture the sunset. However, I got several good photos with the 20x Macro Lense, all taken whilst just messing about. All edited in Exposure X4.5.

365 (or how to stave off photographic boredom)

Well I’ve finally reached the end of my 365 project. What is it? You take a photo every day and upload it to your site of preference. Being motivated to take a “good” photo every day is difficult. There are days when you don’t know what to photograph and days where you don’t want to photograph anything.

As a photographer, I get bored very easily. Not of photography itself, but of lenses, cameras, subjects, format etc. I’ll shoot with Lensbabies for a few days, then switch to my Tamron macro lense, then something else. I might change to a film camera for a bit, or shoot exclusively macro. It all depends.

So anyway, here are some things I’ve found helpful for doing a 365 project, which may help stave off the boredom:

  1. Go for walks with your camera, even if it’s just round the block (or wherever). Keep your eyes open and get in the zone.
  2. When you go out, pick up crap. Really. It’s amazing what you can find to photograph, especially if you’re in to macro photography. Get closer and explore objects!
  3. Scour your home for everyday objects and try to find new ways of looking at them. Admittedly, this can get old… fast.
  4. Enter competitions and do themed photo challenges. Find something to get your creative juices flowing.
  5. Look at other people’s work. It doesn’t even have to be in a style you like. Just looking through flickr tags can give you some inspiration.
  6. On those days when you don’t even want to look through a viewfinder, all I can say is to push yourself. You never know, you might surprise yourself!