Author Archives: offgridcabin

About offgridcabin

I'm now a full-time resident of Upper Michigan. Unlike many up here I did not grow up in the U.P. or move here from down state. I associate the U.P. as being a bit more North of Wisconsin (my home state) instead of belonging of Lower Michigan. Definitely feels like it's own state... I have a day job and visit the cabin when I can. Dad, retired, spends about 1/3 of the year at the cabin. Mom's presence has been growing as more and more of his projects reach completion. I have a wife gifted with an abundance of wisdom and patience. I'm kept busy by my two kids, love for the outdoors and insistence that we camp as a family as much as possible, hobbies of photography and woodworking, and don't do nearly enough archery hunting and target shooting.

bug walk photo 3

Twelve Spotted Skimmer, Libellula pulchella 

7-3-2011, 2:52 p.m.

exposure: 1/400 sec

f/stop: 8

focal length: 200 mm (with 68mm of extension tubes)

ISO: 800

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bug walk photo 1

When looking for bugs (OK, technically insects and arachnids) flower gardens present an unparalleled photo opportunity. After a while butterflies begin to tolerate your presence – a flower banquet is easily worth a human with a camera.

Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui

7-3-2011, 2:36 p.m.

exposure: 1/249 sec

f/stop: 9

focal length: 190 mm (with 68mm of extension tubes)

ISO: 800

7-3-2011, 2:34 p.m.

exposure: 1/600 sec

f/stop: 9

focal length: 300 mm (with 68mm of extension tubes)

ISO: 800

Daddy Longlegs

I am continuing to experiment with macro photography by using extension tubes, a medium JOBY GorillaPod with a Monfrotto ball head, and careful manual focusing using the zoom on my lenses as opposed to the focus ring. When using extension tubes it is easiest to set the focus ring and then zoom to focus. The reason for it is simple – if the focus ring is used then the camera has be a very specific distance from the subject, but if the zoom is used to focus then the camera can be positioned over a broader range of distance from the subject, which equals flexibility.

Another interesting thing about macro photography with extension tubes is that the subject is roughly the same size no matter if the camera lens is at 270 mm or 70 mm – the only variable is how far away the front of the lens is from the subject. The extension tubes determine how much of the frame the bug or spider is going to occupy and the lens determines how close or far away you need to be from the bug or spider: more ext. tube = greater magnification, longer lens = farther distance from subject.

I absolutely love this picture. I suppose another interesting picture would be if Sarah had photographed me taking it – lying prone on ground stretched out behind a camera/tripod/cabled remote shutter while donning a bucket hat and a grin.

And at 100% crop:

6-26-2011, 4:22 p.m.

exposure: 1/80 sec

f/stop: 10

focal length: 110 mm (with 68mm of extension tubes)

ISO: 800

tiny beetle

Another insect from yesterday’s trek through Lake Wissota State park. Click the picture to zoom in and see all of the tiny details.

6-25-2011, 1:18 p.m.

exposure: 1/60 sec

f/stop: 6.3

focal length: 150 mm

ISO: 800

how close is too close?

This spider was captured on film my camera’s CMOS sensor at Lake Wissota State park on the Beaver Meadow nature trail. The black flies/gnats were particularly bad today, and hell-bent on committing suicide by flying into human eye balls. I find it ironic that the smallest animals are the most troublesome. There might be one bear attack in all of Wisconsin each year, but nearly every single person who ventures out their front door and passes by a wetland will catch a gnat with their eye or get a red bump from a mosquito/deer fly/horse fly bite.

Other than that the 1 mile walk was good.

A bit about the photo. This spider was found criss-crossing its web (which was invisible) when I discovered it. The first photo is the original resized to 1920 x 1280. The second photo is only 900 x 600, but is 100% crop (meaning 1 pixel = 1 pixel, but since it is resized to 640 x 426 to fit in the post it is more like 1 pixel = 2 pixels – unless you click on the photo to enlarge to 900 x 600; to contrast, the top photo as viewed within the post is 1 pixel = 44.7 pixels of the full size image, but if you click on it then 1 pixel = 5 pixels).

6-25-2011, 1:38 p.m.

exposure: 1/50 sec

f/stop: 7.1

focal length: 140 mm

ISO: 800

you still there?

Another Eastern Hognose. This one was near two-and-half feet long. This guy was quick to play dead, I didn’t even get to see the rattle snake routine and he only flashed his cobra frill for a few seconds before going belly up and writhing.

I left him on an outdoor bench and after a while he began to get curious to whether or not he was still being watched.

6-19-2011, 1:23 p.m.

exposure: 1/160 sec

f/stop: 6.3

focal length: 165 mm

ISO: 800