Group Shoot - Small World

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Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:05 pm

Once upon a time, we tried to start up a somewhat periodic/regular routine of forum members collectively shooting the same "Assignment" over a period of time and sharing the results in a thread. A fun idea, but it just petered out rather rapidly for whatever reason. Maybe we just came up with a subject that didn't interest enough people or something, but perhaps it's time to try again.

For residents of temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere, fall is in the air. It's a great time to get outside and shoot a bit, and one of my favorite times to be out and outdoors, period.

With that in mind, yet recalling that not everyone shares in the season, I think it's an excellent time to try to restart a bit of collective shooting with a theme that may be particularly relevant to those of us experiencing autumn yet applicable to anyone anywhere. I propose a group shoot for the next month with the theme of "Small World". Basically I'm looking for detail shots, macro photography, any photos of small stuff. Anything from a modest point and shoot to a pimped out macro shooting SLR setup should suffice as far as equipment's concerned. It's just gotta be used well. Take some time, go for a walk, look around at the small details that you might overlook when passing by - their small-scale beauty might not be as grand as a forest in full fall bloom but they're certainly no slouches.

For those of you elsewhere, there's undoubtedly still loads of interesting small subjects around you, you just might need to work a bit harder.

Maybe we can start something that runs a bit longer than one or two iterations this time. Then again, maybe we won't even get past the starting gate.

Share photos, share suggestions, share technical details. Hopefully we can all learn a bit.

Of course I get this idea/urge right after I post the picks from my recent macro playtime in the general thread. Oh well, I'll dig a bit deeper here. I've been playing around with some somewhat unorthodox macro setups lately

First, one from my 300 f/4 w/ tubes
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Tech details for the interested:
Nikon D70
Nikkor 300 f/4 ED-IF lens w/ 68mm extension provided by kenko tubes
Wide open at f/4
1/250 exposure
ISO 200

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I'm cheating here, I posted a different crop in the other thread.
Nikon D70
Nikkor 18-70 @29mm w/ 12mm extension (hooray for having the plane of focus practically touch the lens!)
f/5.6
1/200
ISO 200

and something with a boring ol' budget macro lens in the traditional ~100mm focal length
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Nikon D70
Phoenix 100mm f/3.5 macro
f/5
1/60
ISO 200
Flash fill
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mattsteg
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:34 pm

Well I sold my macro to buy the ultra-wide...but I will see what I can do.

Great shots BTW, and hopefully people will get into this. I know that danny e. usually has some great macro shots.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:09 pm

I take macro shots like this all the time with a cheapie little Canon SD400. All are straight out of the camera.

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Last edited by torax on Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:13 pm

I particularly like 6 and 14.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:19 pm

mattsteg wrote:I particularly like 6 and 14.

Thank you. #6 is from last fall in the Cumberland Gap National Park. #14 is last month in the BWCA - baby pine trees about two inches tall.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:56 pm

It's been a while since I did much in the way of close-up photography so I'll refrain from posting anything too old. I really need to get out there and shoot some more.

Image
Fuji F30
38mm eq. uncropped
f/2.8
1/350s
ISO 200
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:07 am

Cool, great idea Mattsteg. I'll see if I can't find some time to get out and shoot some stuff. We aren't anywhere close to fall here in Florida though.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:32 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:Cool, great idea Mattsteg. I'll see if I can't find some time to get out and shoot some stuff. We aren't anywhere close to fall here in Florida though.
Yeah, you guys really miss out on the whole dramatic season change thing. I figured this topic would give a chance for interesting photos anywhere, although I was certainly inspired by the season here.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:54 am

mattsteg wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:Cool, great idea Mattsteg. I'll see if I can't find some time to get out and shoot some stuff. We aren't anywhere close to fall here in Florida though.
Yeah, you guys really miss out on the whole dramatic season change thing. I figured this topic would give a chance for interesting photos anywhere, although I was certainly inspired by the season here.

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to find something.
I just had an idea for a cheap macro-flash. I wonder if anyone has such a system: a simple clip that screws into the screw-threads on the camera body that will hold a flashlight. I'm thinking an LED light should be more than good enough to provide just that little bit of extra fill-lighting for some macro work. Should be pretty simple. Maybe I'll try running to Home Depot and pick up a bolt and see if I can't come up with a simple wood+bolt+velcro straps to accomplish the same.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:19 pm

Interesting. I'm not sure how well it'd work - strengths and weaknesses, no doubt. Remember that a lot of the time you'll want to stop down a bit if you're not looking for a razor thin DoF, so it might take a bit more than you'd think. Also, a single LED might end up a bit harsh. You don't need much power, but you do need some. I wonder if clamping on a reflector/diffuser and using the pop-up might actually provide more pleasing light.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:31 pm

Something like this diffuser ring looks really clever, but the price scares me away, since it's not a whole lot less than this ring flash.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:15 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:Something like this diffuser ring looks really clever, but the price scares me away, since it's not a whole lot less than this ring flash.

Exactly. Those are way out of my budget, which is why I was thinking alot cheaper.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:37 am

Usacomp2k3
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:10 pm

Found this (extremely) little guy on a beach on Kauai. You can''t see these guys at all unless they move.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:23 pm

torax wins.

Those are some awesome shots, torax! The red-eyed bug, ants carrying leaf bits, and mini pine forest are my favorites.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:50 am

Details of an installation project for my studio:

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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:20 pm

My camera doesn't have the closest focusing distance so none of my pics are uber-macro.

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f/2.8 | 1/450s | ISO 200

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f/2.8 | 1/170s | ISO 200

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f/2.8 | 1/100s | ISO 400
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:21 am

These are all some great shots. I have found that with my camera, I get the best results by using ISO 50 in burst mode. I'll take five or six shots of the same subject on burst mode, and then at least one will turn out with out any camera shake. If I can find something on which to rest the camera, even better.

I think ultra-compacts are the best for these kinds of shots. Their tiny size allows them to tuck into tiny spaces and rest on the ground to grab some interesting angles of especially small subjects.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:30 am

torax wrote:These are all some great shots. I have found that with my camera, I get the best results by using ISO 50 in burst mode. I'll take five or six shots of the same subject on burst mode, and then at least one will turn out with out any camera shake. If I can find something on which to rest the camera, even better.

I think ultra-compacts are the best for these kinds of shots. Their tiny size allows them to tuck into tiny spaces and rest on the ground to grab some interesting angles of especially small subjects.

For still subjects, sure. The only downside is the lag, so if you are trying to take a picture of something mobile, having the faster AF in the dSLR's and the minimal shutter lag are pretty much required. (ever tried to take a picture of a bee flying around some flowers on a P&S? I have, it didn't work very well at all. Especially in Macro mode, the focus took quite awhile on my Canon a620)
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:46 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
torax wrote:These are all some great shots. I have found that with my camera, I get the best results by using ISO 50 in burst mode. I'll take five or six shots of the same subject on burst mode, and then at least one will turn out with out any camera shake. If I can find something on which to rest the camera, even better.

I think ultra-compacts are the best for these kinds of shots. Their tiny size allows them to tuck into tiny spaces and rest on the ground to grab some interesting angles of especially small subjects.

For still subjects, sure. The only downside is the lag, so if you are trying to take a picture of something mobile, having the faster AF in the dSLR's and the minimal shutter lag are pretty much required. (ever tried to take a picture of a bee flying around some flowers on a P&S? I have, it didn't work very well at all. Especially in Macro mode, the focus took quite awhile on my Canon a620)

True, but in burst mode the camera only focuses once. Each exposure in the burst has the same focus.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:07 pm

The lack of manual focus in most p&s cameras is what really makes macro photography annoying. In marginal light conditions it can take up to three seconds for my F30 to lock focus in macro mode. In good light it still takes about two seconds.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:10 pm

I was quite surprised to see this old SGI motherboard sitting out in a corner of the undergrad wind tunnel lab during my lab section this morning.
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another shot:
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and 100% crop:
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:28 pm

Still don't have a mounting plate to put my new camera on a tripod, but I did play around with some handheld flash-lit stuff.

Nori:
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f/16, ISO 100, backlit w/ sb600, frontlit with on-camera flash. TTL for both, I don't recall the ratio I set but this was my first shot and I think I had no compensation set.
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f/11, ISO 100, same configuration, manual power. Backlight at 1/32, on-camera @ 1/128 I think.
Phoenix 100mm f/3.5 macro at close focus on 68mm extension for both shots.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:39 pm

@ Usa, torax, crazybus: Another advantage to P&S cameras is that they have a much larger deeper focal range than larger cameras with larger lenses. Most of the time you can get much more in focus with a P&S than you can with even the best lens on an SLR. Of course, all bests are off if the AF decides not to focus on your intended subject.

@ mattsteg: Is that an anthill on the mobo? It's making my skin crawl just looking at it. Yuck! The last group of pictures is pretty cool, though. What is that?
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:46 pm

FireGryphon wrote:@ Usa, torax, crazybus: Another advantage to P&S cameras is that they have a much larger deeper focal range than larger cameras with larger lenses. Most of the time you can get much more in focus with a P&S than you can with even the best lens on an SLR. Of course, all bests are off if the AF decides not to focus on your intended subject.
Yeah, this is definitely an area where P&S cameras have some real advantages vs. DSLRs. Short of mounting a (quite pricey) T/S or PC lens a lot of torax's shots would be extremely difficult to replicate.
FireGryphon wrote:@ mattsteg: Is that an anthill on the mobo? It's making my skin crawl just looking at it. Yuck!
It's an insect home of some sort. My thought was wasps. Some species build mud dwellings like that. Whatever it was they were long gone.
FireGryphon wrote:The last group of pictures is pretty cool, though. What is that?
It's Nori. I keep some around to feed some of my fish with and thought that it might be an interesting subject to play around with shooting backlit. I played around with some bread as well but that just didn't give enough contrast.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:40 am

I took quite a few shots Saturday, I'll try and see if I can't post them this week.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:52 pm

Just some fooling around:
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Yeah, I'm using one of those really cheap close-up lenses (like these), so the borders can get really ugly in some shots. Aw well, I got what I payed for :p. Maybe I'll try those extension tubes sometime.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:16 pm

Took a few mushroom shots with my cheapo macro when visiting my parents this weekend.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:35 pm

Here's a shot I took a little while ago.

Oh, and, uh, hello everyone--there are some really nice shots here.
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Re: Group Shoot - Small World

Postposted on Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:36 pm

CMRPhoto wrote:Here's a shot I took a little while ago.

Oh, and, uh, hello everyone--there are some really nice shots here.
http://www.cmrphoto.com/img/v0/p719134785-4.jpg

Is that natural lighting?
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