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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:19 pm 
Today I was walking the dog and as most of the time when I take him for a walk since I purchased my new Fuji S8000fd nearly four weeks ago I took the camera with me. Still experimenting with it to learn how to get the best possible images from this little box of tricks.

The dog and/or I incurred the wrath of a couple of birds who probably have a nest in one of the trees we walked by and they very noisily tried to scare us away. I took some pictures of them. Maybe I'll post them later. Very tricky to catch moving birds up close.

I took some nice pictures of a flowering Digitalis plant (a.k.a. Foxglove).

Image
1/200 - F 3.50 - ISO 64

All three photos:
Quality - FINE
Sharpness - Hard
White Balance - Auto
Macro - On
Focus mode - Auto
Picture Mode - Program AE
Blur warning - No
Focus warning - No (Focus OK)
AE warning - No (AE good)

I wasn't the only one with an interest in this flower.
Image
100% crop of above

I'm not sure what caused it's interest.
Image
1/320 - F 4.0 - ISO 64

Maybe the white granules are nourishing.
Image
100% crop of above.

Or the same stuff the neighbour was after.
Image
1/140 - F 3.50 - ISO 64

The trouble with ants is they make lousy models. Look! He moved!
Image
100% crop of above.

Although it wasn't really necessary I let Neat Image do its tricks on the very little noise that there was and also let it do some sharpening to compensate for the slight softening effect of the NR. The difference with the original is minimal and hardly noticeable. You have to look closely at 100% zoom level to see it.

Comments are welcome of course.

Ben


Last edited by Cam-I-Am on Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:11 pm 
I did some more macro shooting today. So I changed the name of the topic and stuck them in this thread. No need to make a new one. Was inspired by something to make an 'action' shot but the little critters weren't very helpful. Maybe another time. While I had set up my camera for this I wanted to see what kind of IQ I could expect so I took some photos anyway of the non-action type just to be able to see the result. I had turned the ISO up a bit to 200 and had set the shutter speed in Shutter Priority at 1/400.

And all the while the dog waited patiently.

Here are two little monsters I shot.

At 200 ISO the noise at 100% viewing becomes more pronounced so NR was needed to keep that down a bit.

Image
F 5.6 - Exposure: -2/3

Image
100% crop.


And another one.
Image
F 5 - Exposure: -2/3

This one had to be brightened up a little. It's tricky though. You get both over- and under exposure warnings on different parts of the insect. I could use a viable method to increase the dynamic range. Any suggestions?

Image
100% crop.

Ben.

[Edit] After having done PP on quite a bit more photos since I took these and not being entirely satisfied with the original results of especially the second one I redid the PP and replaced the old ones for the new. In the first one it is not very noticeable but the second is much better now.


Last edited by Cam-I-Am on Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:47 am 
Wow, loved the shot of the fly. Amazing


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:30 pm 
Three days ago I took these photos of a bumblebee. It was sitting on a leaf and was grooming himself without taking too much notice of me shoving my lens in its face. I could get really close and had difficulty not to cast a shadow over him with my lens as the early evening sun was right behind me. You can see the big curved shadow of my lens on the photos.

Here it is grooming his left antenna with his middle left leg. You can get a good view of his general anatomy.
You can see his 'waist' where its thorax segment is connected to the abdomen.
Image
1/300 - F 5 - ISO 200

Here a 2000x1500 crop reduced to 1024x768
Image

It had turned around, possibly as a result of the camera's presence, now grooming his eye with his front leg.
Image
1/320 - F 4.5 - ISO 200

Again a reduced crop.
Image

And here a 100% crop
Image
Showing some nice details like the segmented antenna and its forked toe quite well.

Here it appears to use both front legs to groom his right antenna.
Image
1/400 - F 4.5 - ISO 200

Again a reduced crop.
Image

And a 100% crop of its wing.
Image
Showing the delicate structure of the wing with the veins that run through it.

All photos were underexposed by 1/3 The last one needed brightening up a bit. On all three I did some NR and applied a 'Salt and Pepper' filter to get rid of the many small bright reflections of the low sun that were scattered all over its body. They were a bit distracting and the images look nicer without them.

I can feel myself wanting even more detail and I guess a good DSLR will be able to get a better result.
The hairs are only about 6 to 8 pixels in width though and there is only so much detail you can get from such few pixels.

If I only had a camera with a Kodak 39 Megapixel sensor. :)

Ben.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:45 am 
Today I walked past a garden down the street.

There was an insect feeding on a flower.

Image


Closer up you could see he was grazing something off the surface of the stamina with his proboscis. I guess it was nectar.
Could be something else. Perhaps pollen. I'm no expert in that field.

Image

Although I stuffed my lens right into the flower to get the close shots the little fella didn't pay me a blind bit of notice and went happily about his business.

I then tried something new with my camera. I combined the macro mode with the burst capability and shot a few sequences of fifteen 4Mp frames at 7fps.

I decided to make an animated GIF from them like I had done before with bursts shot of ducks. It was a bit shaky because I had been standing bent down, looking through the viewfinder. In such a situation you're not only standing in an awkward position but you are also missing the visual ques you usually get when you are normally viewing your surroundings and which your brain uses as part of the sensory input with which it keeps your balance. So I chose two reference points in the photos to position slightly smaller crops of all fifteen images that nicely aligned. Because of the original movement you now see the remaining rotation but the result is quite nice.

You can see him tapping away and hoovering up whatever it was it was feeding on.

Image

Suddenly it looks kinda cute.

I think I'll try this more often.


Ben


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:10 am 
That camera sure does some pretty good Macro work!

Thanks for sharing mate


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:46 am 
Yesterday afternoon I had been working in the back garden and I had noticed a butterfly sitting in the middle of the terrace a couple of times as I had noticed it doing also the previous day(s). One or two times when I was standing there it had also landed on me and happily sat on my chest. All in all reason enough to get my camera to see whether I could make a few nice shots.

I had used a small plate with some sugar and water to attract it and although that kind of worked the shots were not very close. I had been sitting on a little stool but when I stood up suddenly it landed on my right arm. I managed a few shots with my camera held in an awkward position in my left hand. When it took off again I decided to stick out my left arm to invite it to land there.... which it did. I was wearing a blue denim shirt. Are butterflies attracted to blue or was it my pure animal magnetism that was at work here?

Just call me Dr. Doolittle. :D

I could take some nice macro shots with my camera in my right hand. A good thing this camera is small and light enough to be handled with one hand.

The first one shows it with its wings folded. It is a Red Admiral (Vanessa Atalanta). The pattern on the underside of its wing suggests it uses mimicry to impersonate a smaller moth-like insect. I assume such moths have less appeal to its predators.
Image


In this 100% crop (I made this and the next crop in a square format to show more of the details) you can see the individual scales on its wing. I realised that by means of these scales butterflies use pixels too to create an image. In this and the next crop you can also see how it holds on to my shirt with its tiny claws and the hairs on its legs.
Image


Here it had partially unfolded its wings and you look along the underside of its right wing.
Image


In this 100% crop you can see quite well how the underside of the leading edge of its wing is concave.
Image


Here it had landed on my hand. Its wings are quite furry near its body. I wonder whether that is to keep it warm when its wings are folded or whether it has some aerodynamic function. Or perhaps something else. If someone here knows about these things I'd be interested to learn more.
Image


A 100% crop showing more detail.
Image

Wikipedia has an interesting article on butterflies.

Ben


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:10 pm 
Nice macros Cam-I-Am!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:03 am
Posts: 1898
Location: Southern California
whoooooooooooooooooohooooooooooooooooooooooo! You guys are something, I am telling you...I love that little bee moving around in the flowers...lol...great macro shots...fascinating to look at...great work...and you KNOW, Cam, a quackable macro would be somethin...that would be way hard to do tho...

love these..love the big ol' bee.

wonderful stuff.

patti

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:08 am 
Last weekend I walked the dog during a short sunny spell in between rain showers and shot some nice macros.

Wet tree:
Image
1/45 - f 3.50 AP - ISO 64 - EV 0.33


Wet flower:
Image
1/140 - f 5.00 AP - ISO 64 - EV -0.33


Really wet flower:
Image
1/180 - f 5.00 AP - ISO 64 - EV -0.33


Closer view (resized crop - not 100%) of really wet flower.
Image
1/180 - f 5.00 AP - ISO 64 - EV -0.33

Because of the low ISO there is little noise and any NR also affected the look of the delicate surface of the flower so no NR. Basically just resized.

Ben


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:33 am 
Two weeks ago I walked past this stranger. Can't remember having seen his kind before. Managed to get one shot. Then he opened his shields so I quickly tried to capture it with its wings unfolded but the shutter lag due to focusing resulted in a nice close-up shot of an empty leaf. :( Oh well....

Image
1/250 - f/4 - ISO 200

Yesterday I caught this nicely colour matched fly. I wonder whether the fact that the colour of his eyes is so strikingly similar to that of the plant is a coincidence or that it somehow influenced it to choose that spot to land..

Image
1/105 - f/3.5 - ISO 200

I also ran into this busy bee. Draining these lovely little flowers of their nectar.

Image
1/110 - f/3.5 - ISO 200

Its head doesn't look like a regular bee's head though. If anyone can identify these little critters more precisely I'd be interested to hear of it.

Image
1/80 seconds - f/3.5 - ISO 200

PP: NR+crop/resizing.

Ben


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9828
Location: UK
.
What a great thread and what a great camera. Purely personal, of course, but that first image in your last post seems to have been over-sharpened a bit for my taste, or was it just the lighting giving that effect? But that's nit-picking, not that you have taken any photos of nits. :lol:

Inspirational stuff and enough to give pause for thought to us DSLR owners.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:13 pm 
Thanks. Glad you like it. And I'm certainly getting a lot of mileage out of this little gizmo. I can tell you the superzoom concept is a great one. I can shoot macros like these at a distance of 1 cm and a few seconds later I can shoot a photo at 486mm full tele or anything in between. My previous camera was a 4Mp 3x optical zoom camera and over a period of almost 6 years I had just passed the 7000 photo mark. Today, a little under three months with this camera, the counter is at 4676.

But you are quite right about the beetle pic. The problem is both with the original lighting and with the sharpening. When I was preparing to post the photos I had made yesterday I remembered I had the one of the beetle that I could use too. I had done some PP on it after I shot it but it wasn't really quite right yet. I hadn't taken the trouble to give it that final touch and just squeezed it in.

The photo was shot with a low early evening sun behind me. I had experienced the same lighting conditions with the bumble bee. The low sun creates lots of very small but very bright reflections. I guess they are a sort of blown out micro highlights and they are particularly enhanced by sharpening or similar manipulations. I have now done on the beetle pic what I had also done on the bumble bee photos which is a 'Salt & Pepper' filter that detects these little highlights and tones them down a bit. It not only reduces the effect of the sharpening but also removes the harsh reflections that are in the original photo.

I have posted a lossless crop of the original photo to compare against and the Salt & Peppered one with the one I originally posted in between for easier comparison. The original is slightly larger because I used a 2000x1500 crop sized down to 1024x768 for the others.

In the original with still all the noise you can see there are some pretty harsh reflections on the head, legs and smaller ones on the shield and on the hairs on the leaf. Especially these small ones are most noticeably enhanced by the sharpening parts of the PP. The S&P filter does a pretty decent job I think. Another approach would require a very delicate use of any PP with a sharpening effect. I may give that approach a try too but the improvement over the last one will be small if any I expect. If it generates a noteworthy result I will post that too.

The lossless crop of the original.
Image

The one I posted earlier.
Image

The previous one treated with the S&P filter.
Image

There'll be more...

Ben
_________________
When in doubt..... Press the shutter.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:10 am 
nice macro's.....love them


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:30 am 
Great work!


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