"Sometimes imagination is no more than randomness applied." —Piet Francke

Photography DiscussionTiny Things: A Learn-and-Share Activity Thread = Join In!

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minniev
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Tiny Things: A Learn-and-Share Activity Thread = Join In!

Post by minniev » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:41 am

Introducing a New Activity
First, I want to introduce a new kind of challenge project here on pM - Learn-And-Share threads. Some of you may be familiar with them as Linda and I have led these kinds of threads elsewhere and some of you have started similar threads here. In Learn-And-Shares, we will launch a topic on a particular genre, a technique for shooting or processing, or a special subject matter. The thread leaders will offer their own tips, link some high-quality information about the topic for your own study, post some sample images, and invite you to share your own images, tips, and favorite links. You get feedback on your images and give feedback to others as usual, but this is more a share topic than a critique topic, so if you want in-depth critique you’ll need to say so. Now, here goes our first “official” Learn-And-Share!

Our First Learn-and-Share - TINY THINGS

Some of us are intrigued by the tiny creatures and natural objects that share our world and of course as photographers want to capture them. For me this is not as easy as it might seem. Getting the near eye of a dragonfly or chameleon in sharp focus is even harder than locking on the near eye of my two year old grandson. So I’ve partnered here with Piet Francke who does very interesting images of these little critters, and is going to share hints and techniques way out of my reach.

We ask you to share your own photos and your suggestions about capturing the Tiny Things, and welcome editing tips as well. Also, here’s some links to help you get started if you’re up to experimenting.

My tips, which are guaranteed to be less helpful and expert than Piet’s:
-If you have a way to enlarge your focus area (Magnify on a mirrorless camera, or live view on DSLR), give it a try.
-If you have touchscreen shooting, try that too!
-I shoot with AF+MF, where I can let the camera do the initial focusing and I tweak it
-I try for the head first, then the eye
-I like to use a long lens, extended about 3/4 its range, giving me distance, and good background separation
-Get on their level or below instead of shooting down.
-Use a fast enough shutter to stop the motion of whichever critter you’re after. A garden spider is gonna sit pretty still for you, but a butterfly will not. A frog will be still longer than a skink.
-Look for some environmental context to show the photo wasn’t taken in a cardboard box in your kitchen, but don’t overwhelm a tiny critter with clutter like I often do.

Some Inspiration
http://sandgrains.com/
http://microsculpture.net/

Some resources for you
http://www.diyphotography.net/the-comlete-guide-for-photographing-live-insects-at-home/
http://www.exposureguide.com/photographing-insects.htm
http://www.runwildtv.com/how-we-do-it/portraits-of-the-little-things-an-introduction-to-photographing-amphibians-and-reptiles/

And since I posted this, I'll go first, while admitting that my shots are not anything special, but samples. A pair of fuzzy caterpillars in Maine, a tiny shard of ice not much bigger than my thumbnail from Iceland, and a fly on a dogwood bloom along the Natchez Trace. As you can see mine are certainly not micro or even macro captures, but more just tiny things with context, which fits my style. Show us yours, share your suggestions, and join in the discussion!
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fly (1 of 1)-2.jpg
ice (1 of 1).jpg
fly (1 of 1).jpg
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Psjunkie
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Post by Psjunkie » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:04 am

Way over my head but applaud your efforts...will be watching in the wings.

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minniev
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Post by minniev » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:01 pm

Psjunkie wrote:Way over my head but applaud your efforts...will be watching in the wings.

Aw Come On Frank! Show us something! I bet there's plenty of little stuff in your beach portfolios.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by LindaShorey » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:58 pm

Minnie, I'm very glad you showed the woolies and mentioned "tiny things in context" as that is more my style, too!

I admire and enjoy true macro, especially adorable jumping spiders, but I don't have the gear or patience. My technique for the below water strider insect (with sunlight reflecting off its legs) was mostly spray and pray. Fast-moving insects in low light and close to zero contrast for auto-focus - oy. But digital film being cheap, and the delight of the moment being high on my list of reasons to pick up a camera to begin with, I was happy :)

I've bookmarked this topic, Minnie, and will go out searching for appropriate subjects this week. I hope the thread can keep going for a long while!

Thanks so much for stirring the creative juices once again!
Attachments
sm 674876-3_p7010007_fm_dng.jpg
sm 674876-3_p7010007_fm_dng.jpg (406.39 KiB) Viewed 1318 times
"What's important in a photograph and what isn't." http://photographylife.com/whats-import ... -what-isnt

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Post by PietFrancke » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:39 pm

I am seeing some great images!

Some definitions and examples using the same subject - 1X defined as physical size of subject = to camera's sensor size. Typically close = less than 1X, macro = 1X through 5X, and Micro beyond.

1x on 6D (full frame sensor) using MP-E 65 Lens 1 frame
5x using MP-E 65 -- 30 frames stack
10x using Nikon objective on 200 mm lens -- 27 frames stack
20x using Nikon objective on 400 mm lens -- 30 frame stack

1x2000.jpg
1X reduced to 2000 pixels

1xCrop.jpg
1X cropped showing full pixels

5x2000.jpg
5X reduced to 2000 pixels

5xCrop.jpg
5X cropped showing full pixels

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Post by PietFrancke » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:08 pm

at each level different problems surface -- and shooting through amber creates additional issues - but at least the subject stays clean.
In this case, 20X did not offer much improvement, but I have learned things that I wish to try later, to see if I can do 20X proper.

10Xat 1800.jpg
10X at 1800 pixels

10xCrop.jpg
10X cropped

20Xat1800.jpg
20X at 1800 pixels

20xCrop.jpg
20X cropped

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Post by PietFrancke » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:56 pm

one thing I like about macro is that you see things that you have never seen before. Now I know what the face of a maggot looks like for instance. They move too much to stack, so they have to die. With a maggot... I'm OK with that.

magot.jpg

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Post by PietFrancke » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:00 pm

but.. not everything is ugly, and not everything needs to be killed. This one has been dead for eons. Diffused lighting is most important.
throughVeil.jpg

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Post by PietFrancke » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:46 pm

subjects are not difficult to find. These can be found under the pillows of little girls. They are worth one dollar each!!

tooth1600.jpg

toothcrop.jpg
crop

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Post by LindaShorey » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:01 pm

Piet, your work is awesome and absolutely fascinating!!
"What's important in a photograph and what isn't." http://photographylife.com/whats-import ... -what-isnt

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