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Far Away & Close Up June 29, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in photography.
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Wow, I haven’t updated anything in over a month and in that time I have huploaded 18 pages worth of photos to my flickr account. Eesh! That’s a lot of photo work I’ve been doing to catch up on, so some of this will get a brief drive-by point-to while others may get a little more in-depth discussion.

One of the greatest things about flickr is the kind of feedback you get. On June 16th I hit the 5,000 photostream views milestone! Roughly one in six of my photos receives comments and having people add your photos to their favorites is pretty darn cool. But since becoming a paid user of that website, I have loved the sets feature the most.

All of my photos are put into at least two sets, one geography-based set (all of my photos from around Ottawa are in one set, for instance) and one camera-based set. I know, I could use tags for all this kind of thing but I like the sets function. So all of my Rebel XT photos are in a set, all of my EX-Z30 photos are in a set, polaroids in another, and so on. I have some event-based sets and some theme/style-based ones, too. So that’s something that has had quite a bit of work recently, updating and maintaining all of these sets.

Some recent sets worth checking out are my walk in the Glebe, creatures, wild & otherwise, and flowers.

So this past month the two big things I’ve done quite a bit of work with are using my 75-300mm lens (for some wildlife photography and sports photography) and macro photography (some found-stuff but mostly tried setting things up and doing some work with RAW images).

Telephoto: EF 75-300mm Lens
This is the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 III lens. As the USM model page explains, it is a great lens for sports & wildlife. As it’s spring, of course this means animals everywhere and lots of babies .. so I went to get some pictures late in May of the baby geese. I wouldn’t have been able to get these kinds of up-close-and-personal shots without this kind of lens, it was a lot of fun being able to really get the kind of composition I wanted without disturbing/getting too close to them. The thing I learned here, really, was that depth-of-field makes a huge difference in a shot and that you have to be patient and set your shot up sometimes hoping you’ll catch something. You’re kind of at their mercy, so for some shots patience is key, and others just shoot as much and as quickly as you can ’cause they’ll be gone as fast as they came.

Baby Goose, III Red-Wing Blackbird, IV

 

Essentially the same thing can be said about sports photography. Your settings have to be such that you can take pictures quickly to capture the movement, sometimes you get something great and other times you’re not quite quick enough .. and if you’re lucky, that works out okay too. For the complete set, click here. For now, here are a few previews from The Churchill Cup, Canada vs Scotland @ Twin Elm Rugby Park.

Rugby, XXVI: Line Out Rugby, IV: Kick for Two Rugby, XXVIII: Scrum

 

Macro Photography: Close-Up Filters
Wikipedia, as always, has some useful information on Macro Photography – including the classic definition of macro photography requiring a 1:1 ratio but that commonly it’s anything that appears life-size or larger on standard print. In my macro photography set, you’ll find way-close-up stuff in addition to plenty of images that are in the latter classification.

Having a prime macro lens for these kinds of shot would be brilliant, but being kind of broke lately I make due with close-up lenses or close-up filters (I refer to them as filters). I have +1, +2 & +3 which can be combined to get anything from +1 to +6. These filters work much like a magnifying glass and enable you to focus closer to the subject than you would normally be able to with the lens you are using. Anything I have taken with my SLRs uses these filters. Anything I have taken with my EX-Z30 or other digital point-n-shoot is using the camera’s built-in “macro” function.

Flowers are a great subject, hence the photo-set dedicated to them exlusively. I got to Ottawa’s Tulip Festival too late to actually catch nice looking tulips in bloom, but that didn’t stop me from taking shots of the worn down, droopy from all the heavy rain, open tulips.

Macro Tulip, Purple I

Some shots, like the above, are taken as-is. Come across the subject and shoot. Others, like the following, I took the time to think about how I would want the final image to look and set things up. From a bouquet of flowers I received I decided that instead of whatever wall they sat in front of a much nicer backdrop would be the sky. Outside they came (inviting quite a few bees to hang out with me, not so cool) and I rearranged things to get the shots I wanted. That’s a big thing with macro photography is working hard to get the exact composition you want.

Yellow Roses, IV

That is, of course, the image I have now used in my header 🙂 Have I mentioned yet how much I am loving this custom header thing, getting to use our own images? Fantastic!

With the weather being questionable at best some days over the last little while I continued my set-up-macro experimenting in the house and tried shooting in RAW for the first time. That’s another subject for another post, maybe I’ll get to the whole set-up and post-production thing later this afternoon 🙂

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