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Ford Grille

A quick shot with a 70-200mm f2.8 with a Canon (shudder!) 500d Macro lens threaded on the end. This has become one of my favorite ways to do quick macro shots without having to set up a tripod, extension tubes, etc. Its a real pain-in-da-butt though to ensure focus is tack sharp and where you wanna be… I’ve learned my feet are the best method of focusing- slight step in, slight step out… carefully watch the subject and see if I got focus. Then rip some frames and cross your fingers that one or two are tack sharp.

I also have to offer a tip-of-the-ole hat to the guys that dedicate themselves to restoring these machines. I think like any passion its more a labor of love to breath new life into these cars.

Iconic Mustang

Always liked that Ford Mustang Logo.  And when its raining, your attention turns to small details, often overlooked.

Loved how the rain drops puddled around the words… and added a bit of drama to the overall image. Used a Canon 500D Macro lens affixed to a 70-200mm f2.8 lens. Simple shot, no tripod required.

A Perfect Rose

Was on facebook and my good Aussie friend Daniel Bust posted some Valentine’s Day images of a rose shot. Been wanting to do a macro of a “perfect” rose for awhile, so Daniel’s post was a swift kick in the pants (sorta-speak) which promptly had me gathering a bunch of equipment setting up a pseudo studio in the living room. 3 Kenko extension tube, 1 70-200mm lens, 1 Canon 500D macro lens, 1 SU-800 Commander Unit, 1 SB-900 flash, and 1 Lastolite Ezybox, and a Nikon D3…

…and of course 1 red rose.

Alot of stuff against one poor little flower. 🙂

But then again capturing the perfection, texture, color, softness that only nature can provide… it’s all worth it.

…Special Shoutout to Daniel, I owe you a Big Thank you for finally dragging my butt off the couch and taking this shot.

Going Macro!

Its tough to walk around Yosemite National Park and not want to just shoot the “BIG” stuff. The grandeur of Bridalveil Falls, the massive granite of El Capitan or the instantly recognizable shape of Half Dome.

But there is another side to the beauty of the area. The smaller side. The side that you walk past, step on, and forget exists. Its the leaves, the rocks, and moss that you walk on. And within that smaller realm is a story to be told.

When we hit the Bridalveil Falls area I took the “postcard” snapshot of the falls so I would have it. Once that was out of my system, I focused on a project I typically don’t consider when shooting… the smaller world around me. The macro world.

Using a 70-200mm f2.8 lens and my Canon 500D Macro lens I set up “shop” around a big oak tree. The ground around its base was littered with pieces of rock and granite, some covered in green moss, others covered in the ice of winter. When shooting Macro, I have found it best to switch to manual focus and use your eyes to compose the scene. The 500D simply screws onto the front threads of the 70-200mm lens. When it’s in place, you have an incredibly powerful macro tool in your hands.

The toughest part is composing an image with your eyes. You need to have a sense of what will look “good” close up… try it, its much, much harder than it seems because your eyes often betray you… what looks good with both eyes, turns out to skunk you when you focus down on it through the lens. Spent a good hour or more on my butt, looking for interesting compositions. More misses than hits I must say, but a few turned out to be keepers. This was one of them…

A simple shot of a piece of granite with a patch of ice on it. Love the frozen bubbles… the contour of the ice-shape across the rock’s surface, and the rich texture of the speckled rock underneath. Seems to scream ‘WINTER” to me. Also makes a neat abstract image that takes a moment to figure out what’s going on. Thats a component of a photogrpah I always strive to achieve, but seldom capture… the ability to make a viewer’s mind consider what its looking at, and come to an “ah-ha” moment. One last thing to consider when shooting macro is the depth of field of an object, even at f22 you have to make sure your focus is tack sharp and you are shooting your object as close to parallel to the sensor plane as possible, this will keep the subject sharp edge to edge… and deviation will result in a bit of fall off (which you, as the photographer may actually want, depends on your vision, and what you want the final image to look like…)


Yummy & Delicious!

I’m not a food photographer. Never had the urge to shoot something cooked or baked until tonight. These cupcakes were just begging me to break out some lights and lenses and get to work.

These are toffee/caramel buttercream cupcakes (OMG!). Not sure what the calorie count adds up to, but really who cares? These are worth every minute on the treadmill.  They were whipped up by the Three Sisters Cupcake Company of East Setauket for a birthday party… and they tasted as good as they looked 🙂

Shot them a few different ways – Nikon D3, 70-200mm zoom, 50mm 1.4 (shot wide open at 1.4-1/8), and I also added the Canon 500D Macro lens and a Gitzo tripod into the mix for some close up shots. Lighting was one SB-900 shot through a Lastolite Ezybox controlled by an SU800- mostly dialed into -1.3EV on the flash.

It’s a shame I can’t share these with you bloggers… if ony Nikon could create a teleportation device 🙂


New Toys

So I just received the Kenko Extension tubes (set of 3, including the 12mm, 20mm, and 36mm), and the Really Right Stuff foot for my 70-200mm (the L10 I think its called) lens. All of these should make for some interesting macro work in the upcoming weeks. Flowers, bugs, just neat stuff like that. Of course I ahd to immediately play, so I ventured into my 7 year olds room and asked him to pony up some subjects- plenty of Club Penguin figures, cars, planes, puffles, and the like- so I hastened to set up a very “non-professional” set just to experiment for about 15 minutes prior to bath-time (the kids, not me!).

this is Rockhopper- he stands about an inch high (maybe), and this old beat up seaplane (his getaway vehicle, I understand he’s a rascal in Club Penguin land)… 2 quick snaps that taught me a few things already… 1) absolutely need a shutter release cable, any motion equals crappy image. 2) lighting will be required- these extra tubes, plus the Canon 500M Macro lens on the front element just sucks up the light like a black hole leaving nothing for your sensor to find, cranked up the ISO to 1600 for these tests, obviously for a flower that is going to be blown up, this just won’t due (here come the strobes!) and finally… move the subject not the camera~ your depth of field becomes virtually nil at these macro levels, gotta shoot stopped down f16-f22.

Can’t wait to really start shooting with this gadgetry, see where it takes us…