Captures Of The Week (Or There Abouts!)

So, I’m still playing about with my Raynox 250 on my Tamron 90mm Macro Lense. While I’ve been doing a fair bit of macro work, I’ve also been swapping in the lensbaby as the mood takes me. Still love the edge 35 optic 🙂

Peeking through the bokeh…
Just the centre of a flower
Hebe flowers
The carcase of a dead ladybird.
A dead fly. This was very small and quite difficult to shoot hand-held.
Some flowers, shot on paper, using the light from a window and tweaked quite a bit in Exposure X4.5

A mixed bag

So, I’ve been in a bit of a Lensbaby mood these past few days. I’ve also done some macro photography, but I’ve definitely been leaning towards the happy distortion a Lensbaby brings…

I’m a bit contrary like that, focusing on one or two lenses then getting bored of them and needing something different to do. This is also due to the 365 project I’m doing, as having to take a “good” photo every day gets a bit tiresome at times. Anyway, some more photos 🙂

I opened an unripe poppy seed head to find little nascent seeds. Taken with my Tamron 90mm Macro Lense and the Raynox 250.
Another shot of the poppy seeds
A Blue/Purple Petunia, Taken with my Tamron 90mm Macro Lense
Sitting by the beach. Taken with Lensbaby Composer, Edge 35 Optic
Fishing by the sea. Taken with Lensbaby Composer, Edge 35 Optic
Fuchsia Sticking Out Of A Bush. Taken with Lensbaby Composer, Edge 35 Optic .

Getting Even Closer!

So, I’ve been experimenting with a Raynox 250, as I said in my previous post. This is essentially a lense that clips on to the front of a lense to get you even closer. When combined with a macro lense, you get even closer. This does have it’s problems though, in that even with steady hands there’s still some shake, requiring high shutter speeds and a bit of luck. A tripod would make life easier when it comes to shake, but also makes life more difficult if you want to freely explore an object.

If I was feeling brave, I could even throw in some extension tubes and get closer still, but there’s only so much you can do whilst retaining your sanity!

I will be keeping the Raynox close to hand as it’s useful, but will need more practice using. Here are a few images I’ve made using it, mostly clipped onto my Tamron 90mm.

The luminous colours of a Dianthus.
The petals of a daisy type flower.
A close up of the centre of the daisy like flower.
A close up of the entrance to a Trailing Petunia
This image was and experiment. It’s actually a curve of bubbles around a glass of coke. I lit it with an LED lamp, with a black background. The focus isn’t perfect, but I think that actually adds to the sparkle.
This little fella is only 1-2mm in size. Had to crop it quite aggressively. It’s quite amazing the detail you can get.
And to end on an orange Viola.

Captures Of The Week (5/6/19)

After a bit of a hiatus from my blog, I’ve decided to upload my favourite photos from the past week. I’ve also been experimenting by using a raynox 250 on my 70-300mm lense, with mixed results. It works well when it wants to!

I realised after posting this that I included photos from my previous captures of the day (doh!). I still think they’re captures of the week too, so they’ll remain.

Someone asked me for some photos of our dog… I didn’t skimp on them!
A shot from Gunwharf Quays. The water in the pool was a very strange colour, which wasn’t fully captured in this image.
Looking out to sea. Taken at Gunwharf Quays.
A very close up shot of a single lupin flower.
Beautiful blue skies, down by the sea.
Another from Gunwharf Quays. I was really interested by the curves of the structures, which I think was accentuated by the 11-16mm lense.
A false colour shot of some lupin flowers.
And finally, a macro of a poppy, just bursting out.

Captures Of The Day (9/5/19)

Just two from today. This snail was very obliging. I almost moved it out of my way and then I thought to go and get my camera to photograph it. Taken with the Tamron 90mm Macro Lense, 12mm Extension Tube and Ring Flash.

I particularly like the ring flash effect on the “eyeball” of the eye stalk. Always fascinating seeing creatures up close.

More posts to follow soon.

Captures of the Day (6/5/19)

Today’s captures, again all taken with Lensbaby Composer and Edge 35 Optic, with a 12mm Extension Tube thrown into the mix in places.

Osteospermum. Was really happy with how the details in the centre came out.
I was really attracted to the contrast between red and green.
Dead hydrangea stems. Really liked the distortion I got with this one.
Little yellow flowers.

How to get up close

A Woodlouse. Taken with Tamron 90mm Macro Lense, 20mm Extension Tube and Ring Flash.

Getting up close to an object and exploring it can be a great way of creating photographs. I’m no expert, but here’s what works for me and how I do it, for the macro-curious.

Dandelion seeds. Taken with Tamron 90mm Lense, 12mm + 20mm +36mm Extension Tubes and Ring Flash.

The first stop is the macro lense. There are lots of macro lenses out there, but I went for the Tamron 90mm. It was cheaper than other brands at the time (many years ago now) but once I got it, I discovered that it has a wonderfully soft bokeh, as I’ve mentioned in another post. This lense can get up to 1:1 , which means objects are the same size on the sensor (or film) of your camera as they are in real life.

The fibres of a jumper. Taken with Tamron 90mm Macro Lense, 12mm + 20mm + 36mm Extension tubes and ring flash.

So, this is a good start, but how can we get closer? Well there are extension tubes, which sit between the lense and the camera. It really is worth spending out on tubes that keep aperture and computer connections between camera and lense. They aren’t too expensive nowadays. You can use any lense with your extension tubes, but one of the downsides of the Tamron is the long barrel, which extends past the optics. This means your lense gets very close to the subject, which, if it’s alive, might scare it off!

You can also get filters/dioptres/diopters that screw into the filter thread of your lense. I’ve had little experience of these, as I find extension tubes less finicky and easier to change in and out. They are however cheaper and less bulky than extension tubes. You can even get clip on ones for your phone.

Reversal rings also need a nod, though I’ve never used them, so can’t give any real advice on whether they are good or not. The closest I’ve come, is to reverse one lense on another and tape them together. This does work, though don’t do it with your expensive lenses!

The bottom of a leather camera case. Taken with Lensbaby Composer, Sweet 35 Optic, 12mm + 20mm Extension Tubes

Lighting is difficult with macro and I don’t profess to be an expert at it. I just use what works. I have a ring flash, which fits on the front of my lense. It was relatively cheap but does the job. It can leave what your photographing seem a bit washed out if you’re up close. This can be fixed when editing, but it’s not ideal. It does, however, help bring out detail and having a higher f/stop and shutter speed is a boon.

My other lighting setup is a normal angle lamp, with an LED bulb in it. I sort out a background, usually some paper of some sort, and move the lamp around until I’m happy. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who would be horrified at this lighting setup!

As for holding the camera, I prefer to hand hold. I like to move around the subject a lot, looking for views that work. I occasionally use a tripod, but don’t like how it holds me back. You can also get focusing rails for your tripod, which allows you to move your camera forward and backwards and side to side in small increments. I’ve never used one but can see how they’d be useful, especially for focus stacking.

A very macro flower. Taken with Lensbaby Composer, Sweet 35 Optic, 12mm + 20mm + 36mm Extension Tubes

While trying not to be a broken record, I’d like to mention Lensbabies again. Using an optic such as the Sweet 35 with extension tubes, you can get very interesting macro photos. It can be great for creating abstract images too. It’s worth looking into at any rate.

I hope explaining how I make macro images is helpful to anyone who is looking to dabble in macro photography.