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New member from North Somerset, England

 
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 50
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 6:47 am    Post subject: New member from North Somerset, England Reply with quote

Hi, when I retired I decided to take up photography again after a gap of 30 years or so. For the past two years I have been using a Canon S3 IS.

For macro work I have been using a Raynox 250 and 150. My wife is a very keen gardener and is working hard on the garden in Somerset that we moved to when I retired. She is a plantswoman and there is a fair (and growing) variety of plants to photograph in the garden, and also some insects and spiders. We live on a low hillside beside the Severn Estuary, which divides South West England from South Wales. It is a notoriously windy location and there is almost always a breeze. Since I very much prefer available light photography this presents some "interesting" issues for macro work.

We get a lot of nice sunsets here and I have done a lot of sunset panos.

Over the past two years I have spent a lot of time actively engaged with the S3 users site, www.s3users.com, (also now covering the S5 and SX1/10), username RobinG, and have become very interested in post processing, for which I use Photoshop CS2.

I am attracted to this site because it appears, like the S3 users site, to be a very friendly place, and it focuses on an area of photography that I find fascinating (and highly addictive).

I have in the last week upgraded (some might say "cross-graded") to the Canon SX10 IS and have just completed my first round of familiarisation/testing, both with the DCR-150 and 250, and also a newly purchased Canon 500D close-up lens. I purchased the 500D because the 150 provides more magnification but a smaller maximum coverage on the SX10 than the S3, and is much less suitable for the type of flower/plant shots that I go in for.

To introduce myself image-wise I have posted a couple of fly images from my first test run with the SX10 and (probably) 150, and a plant image from my first test run with the 500D. I am afraid that I cannot identify any fauna that I post because I am for all practical purposes dysnomic. I can provide identifications for plants when my wife tells me (again) what they are called. Please therefore do not be offended if I do not use the name of something even if you were kind enough previously to tell me what it is.

I use a big, heavy and somewhat clunky tripod with a "lateral" arm which lets me fix the camera in all sorts of odd postions, from ground level to higher up than I can reach without something to stand on. I have also just started using a Manfrotto 454 focus rail which I purchased because of potential issues of gaining good focus using achromats with the SX10. With the S3 the achromat is held on an adaptor tube, in a fixed position in relation to the camera, which means that you can change the amount of zoom and reframe images without losing focus or having to move the camera. With the SX10 the achromat moves with the lens barrel, so reframing requires movement of the camera in the opposite direction from that of the lens barrel. The 454 provides greater precision than I need, but its more approximate "quick release" movement appears to work nicely for my purposes.
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Nick

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gardenersassistant/

Rework and reposts of my images posted in this forum are always welcome, especially if they come with an explanation of what you did and how you did it.
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Aynia



Joined: 01 May 2008
Posts: 724
Location: Europe somewhere

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the friendly forum!! Smile I looked at your port and was going to say that you had some wonderful flower shots. Then I came to your flies blowing bubbles and they are great.. clean crisp backgounds.

You should enjoy it here. Very Happy
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 50
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your kind words of welcome Aynia. From the little lurking that I have done here I think I shall enjoy this site. There are many wonders in the world of small things and I have already seen some of them wonderfully captured here.
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Nick

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gardenersassistant/

Rework and reposts of my images posted in this forum are always welcome, especially if they come with an explanation of what you did and how you did it.
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick,

Good to see you here.

I had a look at the first two pages of your pictures and you seem to have mastered flower shots.

I think you will be more pleased with your insect images if you can take more, with their cooperation, from their level, rather than looking down on them.

Harold
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 50
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harold Gough wrote:
Nick,

Good to see you here.

I had a look at the first two pages of your pictures and you seem to have mastered flower shots.

I think you will be more pleased with your insect images if you can take more, with their cooperation, from their level, rather than looking down on them.

Harold


Thanks Harold.

On the angle of insect images, I thought "hang on, I take loads from the side and straight on". And then I looked through a fair number of images and I see that you have made a good point - I seem to have a distinct tendency to go in from 45 degrees or so, and more. Thanks for the suggestion - I look forward to seeing where it leads me. (I do sometimes go in at their level Smile - for example some of the images in this set from amongst my more recent ones. FWIW the story behind these images is here.)
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Nick

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gardenersassistant/

Rework and reposts of my images posted in this forum are always welcome, especially if they come with an explanation of what you did and how you did it.
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gardenersassistant wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion - I look forward to seeing where it leads me.

Onto your knees in many instances!

One of my most-used accessories is a pair of gardener's kneepads. Even so, the right knee of my jeans always wears through first. For the beasties closer to ground level, lying on a groundsheet, or something similar, will protect you from the damp. That brings me to me second most-used accessory, at least in the garden: some waterproof, slip-on, gardening shoes (morer comfortable than wellies): contrary to what you might expect, there is dew most mornings until well towards noon.

Harold
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 50
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harold Gough wrote:
gardenersassistant wrote:
Thanks for the suggestion - I look forward to seeing where it leads me.

Onto your knees in many instances!

One of my most-used accessories is a pair of gardener's kneepads.


Now that sounds like a really good idea. I use a garden "kneeler", which I can sit on as well as kneel on. But it is a drag to carry around and quite often I just leave it somewhere as I wander around and then put up with wet knees. I had not thought of kneedpads - I shall try them.

Harold Gough wrote:
Even so, the right knee of my jeans always wears through first. For the beasties closer to ground level, lying on a groundsheet, or something similar, will protect you from the damp.


I can get the camera down to ground level ok if I reverse the central stalk on the tripod, and with the camera out on the lateral arm I find I don't need to get down low myself as my camera has a rotating LCD. (I always compose using the LCD. The EVF on the Canon bridge cameras is ....... not very good (IMO), and beside which my body and neck are no longer flexible enough for the contortions that would be required to use the EVF for a lot of my shots.)

Harold Gough wrote:
That brings me to me second most-used accessory, at least in the garden: some waterproof, slip-on, gardening shoes (morer comfortable than wellies):


Didn't know such things existed. I shall investigate. Thanks for that. (I currently use my most comfortable pair of old shoes most of the time - pity that the uppers are separating from the sole - lets the damp in something rotten.)

Harold Gough wrote:
contrary to what you might expect, there is dew most mornings until well towards noon.


Or in the shadier parts of our garden, all day sometimes. Smile
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Nick

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gardenersassistant/

Rework and reposts of my images posted in this forum are always welcome, especially if they come with an explanation of what you did and how you did it.
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gardenersassistant wrote:

Harold Gough wrote:
That brings me to me second most-used accessory, at least in the garden: some waterproof, slip-on, gardening shoes (morer comfortable than wellies):


Didn't know such things existed. I shall investigate. Thanks for that.


I buy mine from Lidl. They are not currently listed on the website but the larger branches may have them.

Harold
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Aynia



Joined: 01 May 2008
Posts: 724
Location: Europe somewhere

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harold Gough wrote:


I buy mine from Lidl. They are not currently listed on the website but the larger branches may have them.

Harold


They are part of the special offers... if they are all gone, you might have to wait a while for them to come around again.
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 50
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aynia wrote:
Harold Gough wrote:


I buy mine from Lidl. They are not currently listed on the website but the larger branches may have them.

Harold


They are part of the special offers... if they are all gone, you might have to wait a while for them to come around again.


Thanks both, I shall keep my eyes open for them.
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Nick

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gardenersassistant/

Rework and reposts of my images posted in this forum are always welcome, especially if they come with an explanation of what you did and how you did it.
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Franz Neidl



Joined: 14 Jan 2009
Posts: 747
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like your presentation very much! One can see that you are able to tuch even the mud!
The flowers which you photographed (cfr. flickr) are all crowing in your garden (for exemple Cistus, Allium roseum etc.) or in Kew Gardens or somewhere els?

Many greeting from Italy
Franz
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 50
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Franz Neidl wrote:
I like your presentation very much! One can see that you are able to tuch even the mud!
The flowers which you photographed (cfr. flickr) are all crowing in your garden (for exemple Cistus, Allium roseum etc.) or in Kew Gardens or somewhere els?

Many greeting from Italy
Franz


Hello Franz and thank you for the kind welcome.

I get all the muddy jobs - I think they are great fun. Smile

All the flowers are growing in our garden, or Mrs G's Garden as I tend to call it. My wife, Mrs G, is a very keen gardener who knows a lot about plants and spends a lot of time studying them and deciding what to plant, and then looking after them. We have only been in this garden three years and so much of what is here is the work of previous owners, or native species. Mrs G spent the first couple of years watching the garden, learning about it (its micro-climates, variations in soil characteristics etc), researching and planning, thinning out the over-dense planting and removing things she did not like, and doing (or having me do) basic preparations for new borders etc. This year she has started planting in earnest so we have a lot of new plants, all rather small as yet.

I know virtually nothing about plants and how to treat them. I get to dig things out, do the earthmoving, prepare the compost, mow the grass and suchlike tasks for which my horticultural ignorance is not a problem.
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Nick

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gardenersassistant/

Rework and reposts of my images posted in this forum are always welcome, especially if they come with an explanation of what you did and how you did it.
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Cyclops



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Posts: 2968
Location: North East of England

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the fourm Nick from a fellow plant lover!
Have fun!
Larry
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