Beginner looking for some critique :)

Just bought that first macro lens? Post here to get helpful feedback and answers to any questions you might have.

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rusology
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Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:32 am

Beginner looking for some critique :)

Post by rusology »

Wondering if i could get some feedback on my pictures. I posted just 2 as it is kinda big. I use the tamron 90mm macro lens with a DIY diffuser. My full gallery is on https://www.flickr.com/photos/patrickchongks/

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Charles Krebs
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Post by Charles Krebs »

Patrick,

These look very good, especially for the relatively short time you have been practicing this type of photography.

For the "field" work you are doing now you really need to utilize the little depth-of-field you have for best effect. Generally you seem to do so, but occasionally a slightly different angle on the subject would be better. For example the crab spider and fly you have posted here could make better use of your DOF. On your flickr site you have a second version of this same subject that is much better in this regard.

When you use ambient light (no flash) backgrounds can be very attractive... "dreamy", smooth pastels. This can be tougher to accomplish with flash on a DSLR, but of course flash brings some other important benefits. If there is no background material close to your subject the background can get very dark or even go to black. You can't see this in the camera when composing the shot, so it is something you need to learn to recognize and anticipate from studying pictures you have taken. Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes a bad thing. A lot will depend on your personal "vision".

As you get more comfortable working in the field, you might want to try taking 2 or 3 shots at slightly different focus depths (if possible, and the subject does not move!) for situations where you would really like to have more DOF. A small 2 or 3 image stack (using software like Zerene, Helicon, Photoshop, CombineZ) can make a big difference in some cases. Many have done this "hand held" and the software is quite good at aligning the images.

rusology
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:32 am

Post by rusology »

Thanks Charles!

I have been working on my angles lately so I can get the best DOF to cover my subject. It takes take some experience to get right as a slight tilt in the camera ruins everything.

For the flash part, I guess I have been lazy in the sense that I always use my flash due to convenience. Rain or shine I can get the same pictures. I could try using ambient light one of these days lol.

I have tried stacking but i am not familiar with the programs that you mentioned. I have tried CombineZP but I could not get it to work properly. I have used Photoshop to stack but it doesnt seem to do a good job.

Thank for your advise! It is greatly appreciated!

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Practise a stack of something static first, on a tripod.

Then handheld as long as you keep the axis of the camera lens in the same place as best you can between shots, a few in a short stack, should work ok.
You can take them out of order, but for some programs you have to arrange them into depth order for tte stacker to work.

If you stack a slightly-moving subject you will have to retouch things like "extra" legs, but it's often ok.

(I find it much easier using flash than ambient, but I'm not very good!)

This was a short stack. I had to delete some ghosted limbs, but if you look carefully you'll see a couple of bits I missed.
Light was too harsh..
Last edited by ChrisR on Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

rusology
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:32 am

Post by rusology »

That is a very nice picture Chris! I will try a few stacks everyday and see how it goes from there. The amount of DOF you get gives me the chills lol.

Carmen
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Post by Carmen »

rusology wrote:I have been working on my angles lately so I can get the best DOF to cover my subject.
welcome aboard Patrick! And thank you for sharing your photo's! I tooked at your flicker page, and I sense you are judicious and constantly aiming to improve. :D

I'm just a begginner like you, probably even less success than you. But I too have noticed that the limited depth of field is better utilizedd by certain angles. The nearly vertical angle in your first picture seems a prudent choice, because the specimen is relatively flat. :wink:
Last edited by Carmen on Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

rusology
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:32 am

Post by rusology »

Thanks Carmen! There are so many things to learn and master with so little time. Seems i will have to work harder to improve lol.

Thank you all for your feedback! I will work at it some more and be back with hopefully better pictures!

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