Sunday, April 3, 2011

IFLC Day One

Well, it's been a long time since I posted anything here. Life has been very busy. Work is crazier than ever these days and I really have no spare time. I figured the best thing to do would be to devote more time to a hobby I am interested in. Ok, maybe not the smartest timing, but it is something I've been wanting to do for some time now. I signed up for my first photography course. It's called Macro and Close-Up Photography and taught by Robin and Rodney Deutschmann of In Focus Learning Center. I will do my best to keep this page up to date with my progress over the next few weeks. My days and nights are already busy. So adding time to take photos, post them and blog about my progress will be unlikely. I'll do what I can.

On to the first day. I started with my 50mm 1.8 wide open to work on identifying the minimum focus distance. At 1.8, the focus plane is quite shallow and you have to be careful to get your subject in focus. The buttery background is pretty amazing though.

I like this one a lot. The flower really stands out.

This one is pretty boring.

I like the way the purple stands out on the dark green background.

I go back and forth on this one. I think I like it.

Now I add some extension tubes to really reduce the minimum focus distance. With the tubes on, the focus is so incredibly shallow, not much is in focus. On top of that, I missed the mark on every shot. So nothing worthwhile is in focus anyway.

This one had promise. I was hoping to get the water droplet in focus to get a great reflection. With my untrained hand and eye, the wind and the extension tubes on, I missed it.

We were instructed to keep the lens wide open. So getting much in focus was impossible. I was trying to get the center of the flower in focus and I missed again.

Same as the last one, but off even more.

Another missed water droplet.

A cool flower that I really missed.

Umm, not so much. I kept all my shots from class in here. Even this.

I decided to deviate from the instructions and stop down a bit to 4.5. As you can see, much more was in focus. I still missed the mark a bit, but had more flexibility being at 4.5. Stopping down even more (and of course changing the composition a bit) could have made this a pretty nice shot.

Tried to get really close with the extension tubes and forgot to change my exposure from the previous shot. Bummer.

I changed the exposure for this shot, but missed the focus mark yet again. I should have modified my plane just a bit to give me a better show of getting the fly and flower in focus.

After I got home, I put on my 105mm macro lens and took some shots of the flowers around the house. I gave myself the option to not shoot wide open to get some things in focus. I missed the mark on these shots too, but with the closed down aperture, they turned out better.

I suspect that after week 3 of this class, this shot here will turn out really great. The focus and shadows will be much improved. I shot this at f10 and it turned out ok.

I went to f16 on the next 3 shots and got even more in focus.


This had a good composition change, but not sure I went enough. Of course, this needs flash help too, but I'm not there yet.

I moved on to a new type of flower and took a few shots from different distances. I took more than 3 and ditched the ones that really missed the mark or were too identical to what you see here.



I moved on to a calla lily next to the house. It wasn't as bright there so I was more limited in my shutter speed. The wind wasn't blowing as much so it was a bit more forgiving there. I kept the shutter speed to a minimum of 1/200 and played around with the aperture. This was at 7.1.

I moved in a bit closer and went to f11.

Then I got really close, but had to open back up to 8 because of the light. Obviously this would have benefited from a much smaller aperture, but I didn't have any more light to add.

So that's it from day one. I will try to get some photos taken and maybe posted throughout the week. This should be fun.

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