Tag Archives: macro

Blue Monday

Well it’s Tuesday actually but I thought I’d shoehorn a New Order reference in thereto link to more abstract shots that are…..based on the colour blue!

The second one should probably give you a clue as to what I was shooting. I’ve also realised that I never actually talk about what I’ve done or how I did it- this is normally because I’m just experimenting and seeing what happens in terms of how the shots come out.

I’ve always been interested in macro but can’t stretch to a macro lens in terms of cost, so I bought some close up filters for £20 a while back. I keep them just to use on my kit lens, and this time I went the whole hog and stacked all 4 on the lens- a+10,+4,+2 and a +1. That creates a pretty shallow depth of field! It did give me some interesting shots though.

I used a table lamp to sidelight it on my kitchen table, with some blue card underneath it so that I could try and keep the colour constant. Then I used my limited Photoshop knowledge to increase the saturation and tint a bit.

Let me know what you think! ( And also what you think it is!)

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It’s a small world…

Not much opportunity to use my camera this week but I did get a free gift (ie one of my friends was having a clear-out) and she gave me a 7MP point and shoot camera that she thought I might find useful.

I’m hoping to put it to good use on trying some macro shots in the near future, as a macro lens is way out of my budget, although I do have some close up filters that I bought a while -ago for £20 to use with my kit lens. My other lenses are an EFS 17-55 2.8 and a EF 70-300 3.5-5.6 which I’ve tried to use for close up but with very limited success!

I did use the close-up filters a few weeks back and thought I’d share some of the best of the bunch with you. The main bugbear was the massively shallow depth of field. This definitely isn’t helped by the filter quality either (hey how much do you want when you get 4 filters for £20?!) but even with using a tripod it was hard work to get the focus point exactly where I wanted.

 I’ll try again with the “new” camera soon and see how they compare.

Enjoy!

PS budget constraints meant silk flowers not real roses…

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Shooting modes on Canon SLR

I’m back- that was a much longer gap since my last post than I anticipated! I wanted my next post to be about the shots I’ve been taking for my photo course though, and had to wait 1) to have some free time and 2) for it to stop raining ( in the UK that’s not an easy job).

Anyway- the course I’m doing wanted me to use the different shooting modes on my camera. I have a Canon 550D ( which I think is known as a Rebel T2i in the US?) and although I moved out of just using Auto setting a while back, it’s good to take things back to basics sometimes as it makes you think through the process step-by-step.

I went to a local park using my EFS 17-55 lens to get a few shots, on a very changeable day (basically it wasn’t raining so I got out there) and played around for a while with the shooting modes.

The first one I experimented with was Close-up mode. This is a macro mode which will focus on your subject and produce background blur to separate the subject from its background. In other terms it produces a shallow depth-of-field ( otherwise known as DoF).

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You can see that the flowers are in focus but the background is blurred- in this mode, the camera has adjusted the f-stop automatically to make it smaller, which widens the aperture and creates this effect.

I took another close-up shot which shows the effect well-

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Here’s a shot using the Landscape mode-

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Here everything is in focus, even the car sneaking past under the trees! In landscape mode the camera has increased the f-stop which narrows the aperture and brings near and far objects into focus. If you’re shooting a landscape then generally speaking everything is of interest so you’d want to capture it all.

Finally the course required me to use the Sports shooting mode. The camera then picks a fast shutter speed automatically to capture any fast moving object, and might increase the ISO in low light as the pop-up flash won’t be much help in this instance.

But what to shoot? I found a flock of starlings that were quite jumpy every time I moved in their direction, but they have a pretty unpredictable flight and I knew I’d never catch them. However there was a jackdaw that seemed less bothered by my being there. I walked up slowly towards him, as he continued his pecking around in the grass. He eventually stopped and looked me in the eye. I stopped and looked back. There was a pause and then, almost as if he felt sorry for me, he took off-I managed to catch this as he left-

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Again the camera has done a good job of automatically selecting a fast shutter speed, you can see the blur on the bird’s wingtips meaning it wasn’t quite fast enough, but I like the effect, as it shows that he is actually moving and not just spread-eagled on the ground.

Hope you’ve found some of the points I’ve mentioned interesting. Maybe I should do another post on how shutter speed, f-stop and ISO come together?