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Everything posted by morpheme

  1. why just Canon? - manual adapters are cheap.. I think my FujiX to Nikon one was less than $3... It basically lives on the lens I bought it for (an 80's vintage 55 micro nikkor that is tack sharp and only cost me $50). Find some excellent old glass and get the adapter you need for it.
  2. Yeah - this would never work with a quick or busy insect - ants, bees, darkling beetles, jumping spiders - things that just never quit moving aren't viable subjects, even working with a hand held camera
  3. Since my little weevil has generated some interest I thought I'd start a topic and show some other examples of handheld stacking. My tips - your subject does have to be relatively cooperative - at least enough to stay pretty still for 5 or 6 to a dozen shots. You don't have to use every image you shoot in your stack and it's always better to have more than less, so over shoot rather than undershoot. The technique you use will vary with the equipment you are using - but your stacking software shouldn't care. If you use a tripod you'll have to readjust your focus to create your images. Handheld - move the camera. Tripod with a rail - move the camera. If you hand hold try to be as steady has possible it will work out best if you only move in one plane- tiny variations up/down side/side won't hurt you too badly, but changes in perspective (tilting the camera) will make for some strange artifacts. Post processing - I've only used Photoshop for this, so can't comment on other software packages. Put your images into layers in a single file - choose the layers you want to blend. In the "edit" menu use the "auto-align layers" function then "auto-blend layers" (choosing stacking in the options) Be prepared to go in and do some hand adjustments to the masking - and save your stack file as invariably (as you'll see below) you'll find some little glitch you missed the first time through. I'll try to answer any other questions that you might have. This crane fly was one of the first stacks that I tried. There are some spots on the legs on the that I definitely could have adjusted better.. The other two are fairly old - so I'd have to go onto my backup hard drive to dig up the info on how many shots I took to make the stack, but this one is pretty recent. There are 5 shots in the final stack and 3 I didn't use. I can recall taking a bit of time to correct the antenna though looking at it now, I can totally see a few glitchy bits in the grass I could use to fix.
  4. Very nice - it's a Tiger Swallowtail though - monarch butterflies are orange
  5. They were all taken with my 1980's vintage Nikon 55mm macro. Aperture... since I have a dumb (non-electronic) nikon to X adapter, I'm afraid that information doesn't get recorded.. they all say F0.. and I've never been in the habit of writing down my exposure details. I'm sure it varies with the lighting conditions - as much depth as I could get for the light. I've never worried much about losing clarity by using the "wrong" f-stop with this lens as it is described as "...hellaciously sharp at every aperture and distance", though I will admit I do try to avoid f32 just out of practice as usually the far end of a lens does lose some definition - though it's not like I need to worry too much - lighting conditions that would even allow me to shoot at an f stop that high are rare.. f 8-11 or so is usually as high as I can get in the full sun and wider open is certainly more common, when hand holding and using a shutter speed no lower than 1/125th - unless I can really brace well, I can't hand hold a macro shot without obvious camera shake under that and often enough I'm so contorted or stretched to get to where the critter is that I need 1/250th. I've never tried using burst mode - truth be told it makes me startle and jerk the camera... I might be better off getting used to it and using it with birds and the like though. For these tiny things, I don't know, but can't imagine that it would work all that great - I'm usually visually fine tuning the focus as I go to be sure I get all of the features I really want sharp in good focus in at least one frame- legs, antenna, eyes. The DOF is generally very, very shallow in each individual image. If you left it to chance by just moving the camera a bit during a burst, I can't see that it would much more than very lucky to get the right "slices". One reason I don't use a rail system - most of my images are made on long hikes 10-16 miles in a day, often with a good amount of elevation gain and usually in pretty remote areas - I don't necessarily go out looking for anything in particular. I go out to walk and I record what I find. I chose an X camera in the first place to keep my gear weight down.. (being about 1/3rd of the weight of my Nikon gear..) My backpack and gear without water weighs in at 18lbs, my lightweight tripod that I don't always carry (I always have a Joby Gorilla pod - but it's only a foot tall and so limited to low subjects) adds 3 more, and water around 3 more, until I've drunk it at least.. so I'm already up to 24lbs.. which may not sound extreme, but I'm only 5' tall and weigh not much over 100 lbs... so I'm about at my gear carrying tolerance limit - usually the longer and more strenuous the hike the less camera gear (and more survival gear...) goes in the pack too. I don't know that not using a tripod (for me at least) means more adjustments in post - usually the things that I find I am fine tuning are not because of my movement, but because the subject has shifted a leg or a antenna or perhaps a bit of stem or grass has moved in the breeze - this would all happen regardless of having the camera in a fixed position. I does mean that in the end I get less depth than I would with 10's or 100's of images, but I doubt most of the subjects that I've used this technique on would have stayed put long enough to do that anyway...
  6. hand held short stack (4 or 5 images stacked)
  7. Lol- it's amazing how forgiving digital can be... but that does sound haphazard. Perhaps he meant collage and not composite? I will say - while you *can* do this without mounting the camera on a tripod, you do need a steady hand and an idea of the concept... just snapping away won't yield good results unless you are really lucky...
  8. thanks Golden mantled marmot is a synonym, it seems mostly used at Yellowstone. They can also be called rock chucks, but they are all Marmota flaviventris We've got a couple of other types out here too - hoary marmots and Olympic marmots, the latter living only in the Olympic mountains and hoary marmots, which at least around here, tend to occur higher up in the mountains - above the tree line, while the Yellow bellies stay lower.
  9. I've only ever done it (digitally) by hand with live subjects in their natural environment. You can get a rail rig and create hundreds images, some even come with a little computer controller, but it comes with same caveats as the old analog method - the subject cannot be allowed to move during the process, so most any insect you see done with 100's of images is by necessity dead - flowers etc moved to a wind free environment... I usually take around 4-6 images, hand holding the camera - focus fixed to it's closest range and move the camera by small amounts to create the different "slices" that get combined into the final image. As long as you are fairly steady and only move on one axis - don't tilt the camera between shots, Photoshop can match them up quite nicely.
  10. If you aren't remembering the color of the dumpster wrong that is truly wacky - the only thing that I can think of is that the paint that is on it somehow reflects a ton of UV - rusty red mixed with a lot of blue coming back at you would probably make some sort of purple...
  11. At the risk of sounding like an old fart... the camera that I learned on only needed a battery to run the light meter... The only value I can see in using any automatic exposure function would be when working with something that moves around quickly in rapidly changing light conditions. I think I feel pretty much the same as you do - auto just takes away your control - and depending on what you are pointing it at - can screw up the exposure pretty good. Most people who've never used an old fashioned light meter have never even been introduced to the concept that a light meter really just tries to make what you are pointing it at 18% gray... point it at something other than that and it's not spot on. I've tried to get the docs I work with (who sometimes have to take their own photos, as I don't work full time) to use their exposure compensation dials, as learning anything other than full auto on the camera is beyond the limits of their patience for it... it's starting to sink in a bit, I think. I don't even usually use either aperture or shutter priority modes - I'm a full manual kind of gal. I want control over the whole process - aperture for depth, shutter speed for movement and both in concert along with ISO for proper exposure.
  12. Photoshop makes it totally easy - it does all the masking for you, though you may find that you need to (and can) go in and fine tune small areas. You get all the images into layers in one file, first use the "auto align layers" then "auto blend layers" - there's a little turorial here": The alignment function is super precise - much better than anything I could ever do adjusting by hand. The auto blend is not usually absolutely perfect right off the bat, but it's pretty darn good. Things that move like bug legs or antenna might need some attention in the final stack. This stack was hand held - as long as you are fairly steady it's possible, though it will only be a few images, rather than the 10's-100's that you can achieve with a stationary subject and camera on a tripod/focusing rail rig. When I hand hold stacks I usually get 4 or 5 shots in the stack. As an interesting side note... long ago, I learned a similar technique with real film. The difference was that you created a thin band of light and used a moving stage to pass your subject through it in front of your film.. digital makes it far easier and possible to use in natural settings/lighting and with live subjects, unlike the film way, which required a totally dark room and a subject that couldn't move. At the time it was a pretty freaky technique though - the original for this one is on 4x5 E-6.
  13. Unless there's been a drastic change, you should be able to get a completely free Dropbox account, that you do not need to provide credit card info for... there's a limit to your storage/transfer space, but it's quite large, so unless you are using it for a business the free account should be more than sufficient.
  14. They aren't particularly large - I downsize to 4x6 300dpi when I post to the web and jpg keeps them around 1mb or so.... They seem to be working for me (using Firefox for Mac) - if I click other sizes I get all the options and can open a bigger image.
  15. I've never cared too much about the bells and whistles on a camera body, so I'd go for the one with more glass myself. As far as not having weather sealing goes - unless you intend to go out regularly in downpours I wouldn't fuss to much about it. I took my XE-1 hiking all over the place until I busted the diopter adjustment and handed it down to my husband, who doesn't care. Now I take my XE-2. Neither has had any problems. The only thing that ever worried me was being on a dune with blowing sand. I did stick the camera under my jacket until we got away from there, and I certainly didn't attempt to change the lens under those conditions - but weather sealing wouldn't help if the lens was off anyway.
  16. The CMYK printing process is actually quite a bit more limited than your screen is, as far as dynamic range and number of colors that can actually be reproduced goes. Using the proofing setup tools in your editing software can help, but only if your screen is well calibrated. You can still use them in a limited way without investing in a piece of professional calibration equipment - but you'll need to go into it with an understanding that your results won't be as finely tuned as they could be, and realize that the prints won't look exactly like your screen image so adjust your mental image accordingly when making changes (like know that your prints always run a hint magenta and adjust for it even if the screen image looks fine).... I probably wouldn't be any better at explaining the step by step process than the hundreds of tutorials already out there... so I won't go into specifics, but you can find tons of information already on the web about how to prepare an image for printing.
  17. There are a number of things that this could be... try taking the lens off and reseating it. If the camera thinks there is no lens mounted (and it's not set to "shoot without lens") it won't fire but this is only the first thing that comes to mind.. you could also take the battery out or reset all the settings to default and see what happens
  18. Lol.. perhaps I should have worded that differently - I totally agree with you and my old prof - just sitting around patting one another on the back has little point and I still "suffer" from his influence, as I choose to not engage in it. If I see something that I really, truly like and truly impresses me, I will comment, but in general I don't say anything because I don't want to engage in superficiality and know that critique is generally unwelcome. And really that's fine - not everyone needs to want critique - if you are just taking photos to make yourself happy and they do that's reasonable and what I or anyone else thinks is completely superfluous. Ah but then - if you go out of your way to solicit comments and then blow up if they are not all simply oozing and fawning over your PRIZE WINNING PHOTO, that is a totally different story. To the OP - if you are still around, I was one of the people who looked at your post when it was first up and yes, I did not comment, mainly because the subject matter holds little interest for me. Cars and car racing simply isn't a particularly interesting subject to me, but the performance of the lens and camera combination can apply to other things that move, so I did indeed browse through your post. You want to know my honest opinion? Your photos seemed fine, but nothing in there made me, a person who has no interest or expertise in cars, go oh wow, that is an awesome photo that I might want to hang on my wall, kind of thing, but I have no idea, a car person might like to and further more you did say that it was a shoot for pay - I also work as a photographer and while I do always most certainly try to provide my client with the best possible image, it's not like I expect every photograph to win an award or wow anyone. Most of them are pretty mundane to tell you the truth, but they do exactly what they need to, which in my field is to document a medical condition accurately and be of a quality that they can provide actual useful information should they be used for education, research and/or publication. Well.. sometimes they might wow someone who knows what they are looking at... but for other, probably most, people it's more often than not something they'd actually rather not look at... I am also a bit of a mycophile- I have an real interest in mushrooms. I have some pretty cool photos of some of them too, but honestly I don't expect people who have little to no interest in fungi to take any great appreciation of them..
  19. For myself, I'll freely admit that I comment rarely on other people's work. I find that few folks actually want any real critique and to this day I'm still suffering the influence of a professor who wouldn't allow the class to just sit around and say nice but meaningless things about other people's work. One of the few times I did offer some criticism (not here.. on a different site that focuses on nature and skews towards the scientific end of things) I dared to suggest that I preferred unaltered images of animals in the wild when some debate came up about a specific photo. Attacked about why I would say that I explained that the replaced sky was not unnoticeable as it didn't match the subject lighting, the clipping around the subject was less than perfect and the subject had been photographed at a much higher ISO than the background, and so had significantly more noise. I was subjected to insults and personal attacks until the person was booted from the site. Fine done..
  20. I noticed recently and in the past that some people post to sites like the National Geographic "Your Shot" and similar sites. I was looking it over again today and I was reminded that the license agreement has really quite put me off... you hereby grant to National Geographic and our NG Affiliates, licensees, assignees, and authorized users, a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, freely sublicensable and transferable (in whole or in part) right (including any moral rights) and license to use, modify, excerpt, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works.... and it goes on...the ending bit pretty much says they can do it without notifying you as well... to me that is a bit of a road too far and signing away way too much. I like to share, but steer clear from sites that have agreements that are that broad. I even steer clear of most Flickr groups that posting to is an agreement for reuse, except for one of the bird groups that allows them to use images on Cornell's all about birds site. I'm OK with that and the agreement is limited to just them - none of this freely sublicense stuff... How do you all feel about it? Do you submit to many sharing sites, do you read licensing agreements - do you care?
  21. I'm glad I'm not the only one that this bothers. I do think that some of these sites take advantage of amateurs who are eager to share and are looking for affirmation. I would bet that it is not super uncommon that people don't even really know about what rights they have to their own works, so signing them away doesn't even really have much meaning to them.... I think it does bother me even more that it is National Geographic... they are such a household name that it excites people to be able to talk about having their images there... it bothers me too that enticing people who are talented amateurs like that creates a situation wherein these people who in the past might have been offered money for their work and become a professional now think it to be perfectly normal to give their work away for the sake of a lot of "likes".... not to mention undermining the people who already are professionals. I hadn't even thought about the contest angle. I rarely enter them and have certainly never paid to enter anything. That sounds even sneakier... like getting people to pay for the privilege of losing the rights to their own photos...