Saturday, 11 May 2013

Reflections With The XZ-1

The more I use the XZ-1 the more I appreciate its' low weight and small size.  Being small the camera doesn't draw attention to itself and you see little reaction from people in the street.  The XZ-1 produces files that are a little noisy but the noise is easily removed leaving files little different from the E-PL1.  In a few years time, this type of camera will fill the needs of most photographers though doubtless not their desires!

With so much glass in Perth buildings, the field is rich with reflections.  The less flat varieties of glass produce some wonderful distortions while the flat type are mirror like.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Using A Wide Angle Lens

My natural preference is to use longer focal lengths but having bought a wide angle zoom quite a while ago I feel the need to use it!  I find the wide angle the most difficult of lenses to use because it "sees" so much.  At its widest my lens is 9mm so 18mm FF equivalent or 100 degrees field of view.  It is quite shocking how far 100 degrees lets you see and it becomes vital to get close to your subject and then scan the corners of the frame to see all the items in view that you wish weren't there.  Composition tends to take a while and small changes in position make large changes to the picture.

So here are few of my efforts from a walk in Perth.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Spider Wrapping Lunch

My resident orb weaver spider was busy today when I went to see him, so I grabbed the camera and took a few shots.  I am a bit out of practise so a lot of the pics where a bit blurred, some due to poor technique and others due to not using flash.  A spiders web moves quite a bit with even the slightest breath of wind but flash will freeze the motion.

Technically this is not a great picture but looks ok downsized for the web!!!


Sunday, 21 April 2013

High Magnification Macro Bench Rig

Here is a picture of my basic macro bench rig.  It's home made from adapted parts at minimal cost.

To the left is the adjustment mechanism from a microscope and this allows movement of the subject in two micrometer steps.  The circular stage can be removed and other sample holding means used (when I get around to making them!).  To the right is a Pentax M42 bellows unit with an Olympus E-510 attached.  The lens is a Nikon 50mm enlarger lens which provides a magnification of x5, depending on the extension of the bellows.

Next time I set up the whole unit I will post a picture.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Flower Focus Stack

This flower is about 20mm diameter and needs the maximum magnification my macro lens can provide.  The smallest aperture that can be used before diffraction softening sets in is f8 leaving a depth of field of 1.5mm.  A single shot will leave most of the flower soft or completely out of focus so seven shots are stacked to extend the depth of field.  The finest detail of the flower can still not be resolved by my camera system, the detail found in flowers is truly amazing.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Spider Visiting

My garden has provided a rich source of macro subjects, both flowers and insects.  From time to time one of the larger spiders comes for a visit, in this case I think it is a young Orb Weaver.  These grow to a good size and tend to hang around for a while so you can have a few attempts at photographing them.

The web is stretched between a bush and some other plants and there is strong back light.  To tame the back light, the camera is set in manual exposure to darken the background and then my twin head macro flash is set to illuminate the subject.  In this way the web detail is raised as well as illuminating the subject correctly.

Friday, 29 March 2013


Moreton Bay figs tend to have interesting root system above the surface of the ground.  Most of the time there is no apparent order to the shape of the roots but occasionally it is possible to isolate area of root that have graphic possibilities.