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
focal length: 110 mm (with 68mm of extension tubes)
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
focal length: 140 mm
This female garden spider is absolutely spectacular (at least I think so). She is big, bright, and just prior to taking this picture there was a male garden spider a few inches away. To get this capture my lens was about one inch from her body. I had to be careful; on previous attempts if a garden spider feelt threatened she will either drop out of the web and ride a single thread of silk down into the grass to hide, or she will pump her eight legs and make the web “bounce” – in which the web will move like a vertical trampoline and she will bounce off the camera lens freaking out the photographer.
8-8-2008, 5:56 p.m.
focal length: 55mm
Little needs to be said about this. Score one for the arachnids!
7-10-2008, 11:40 a.m.
focal length: 55mm
This is a long time favorite of mine. My Canon 450D XSi wasn’t much more than a month old when I took this picture and I attribute how well it turned out to luck and the rule of thumb that if you take a lot of pictures of something, one of them should turn out.
6-28-2008, 8:42 a.m.
exposure: 1/499 sec
focal length: 55mm with magnifying filter