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Thread: Photo Assignment: Weekend 01/05/08

  1. #1
    SNC1923
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    Photo Assignment: Weekend 01/05/08

    It's a new year and interest in our photo assignments shows no sign of abating; however, knowing the road to hell is paved with good intentions, let's bear in mind these simple rules:

    • Photos must be shot this weekend: Fri, Sat, or Sun.
    • You must provide the EXIF information if asked. If you need help, we can show you how to find it or even link it to your photo.
    • No photoshop alteration (we're looking to improve your skills with your camera, not software).
    • Your photograph must adhere to the theme, which will be described below.
    • Post only one photo per post, so that commentary can be easily provided for that photo. You may post more than one photo, but try to keep it to a handful.
    • Title your photo so it can be referred to later.
    • Post your photos in this thread only. Do not start a thread in reply to this assignment. Please post your photos no later than next Wednesday.
    • And, the most important rule: have fun! We're looking to spread the joy that many of us derive from taking pictures, particularly ones that tell a story of some kind.


    This week's theme: "Close Up"

    In keeping with requests for learning techniques, this week, please take a photo utilizing a close focusing distance, sometimes referred to as "macro." Most P&S cameras have a built-in macro setting, often the minimum focusing distance with the lens at wide-angle. DSLR cameras with zoom lenses often have this same arrangement. For DSLR cameras, you can buy close-up filters fairly inexpensively. Some of us even have macro lenses capable of focusing closely enough to reproduce a subject at life-size.

    Very simply put, just focus as closely, or nearly as closely, as you can--no purchase necessary.

    There are several factors you should bear in mind:

    1. In many circumstances you will need plenty of light. Shoot outdoors or use a supplementary light source or reflector, white cardboard, for example. If you use a desk lamp, don't forget to switch your white balance to that light source.
    2. Depth-of-field will be a factor, so shoot at a smaller aperture if you are able.
    3. A smaller aperture will result in a slower shutter speed, so. . . .
    4. you may need to use some form of support, i.e. your braced arms or a tripod. A small bean bag or similar item makes an excellent support.


    By no means is it necessary that your photo be microscopic. Just get in close and shoot a detail of something. Bonus points for anything motorcycle related or any subject that is not immediately identifiable.

    Now get out there and get close.

  2. #2
    R12ST bricciphoto's Avatar
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    Tom--great instructions on shooting up close. Don't forget DSLR users might want to experiment with extension tubes if they have them. I'll also add that exposure issues related to small apertures can be offset somewhat by trying to keep the subject parallel to the film/sensor plane, i.e. any tilt of the lens (or camera) relative to the subject is going to minimize DoF at most aperture settings. Keep your lens parallel and you might be able to pick up a stop or two--a spirit level in the hot shoe will help keep things in sharp focus (if desired).

    If you're shooting outdoors, up close wind (any wind) will be a factor!

    Happy shooting all!
    Ben Ricci

    Rides & Drives: '07 BMW F800ST Low, '07 Porsche Cayman, '06 VW Jetta TDI & '05 BMW R1200ST

  3. #3
    *censored*
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    I've got a bit of spare time today, so I've already jumped in with both feet.

    Pics uploading now.

  4. #4
    *censored*
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    Rivets:



    Exif:
    Make Canon
    Model Canon PowerShot A710 IS
    Aperture Value f/2.8
    Color Space sRGB
    Exposure Bias Value 0 EV
    Flash No Flash
    Focal Length 5.8 mm
    ISO Unknown
    Metering Mode Center Weighted Average
    Shutter Speed Value 1/30 sec
    Date/Time Fri 04 Jan 2008 10:19:41 AM EST

  5. #5
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    H1



    (underexposed)

    Make Canon
    Model Canon PowerShot A710 IS
    Aperture Value f/2.8
    Color Space sRGB
    Exposure Bias Value 0 EV
    Flash No Flash
    Focal Length 5.8 mm
    ISO Unknown
    Metering Mode Center Weighted Average
    Shutter Speed Value 1/200 sec
    Date/Time Fri 04 Jan 2008 10:22:40 AM EST

  6. #6
    *censored*
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    Swingline



    Exif:
    Make Canon
    Model Canon PowerShot A710 IS
    Aperture Value f/2.8
    Color Space sRGB
    Exposure Bias Value 0 EV
    Flash No Flash
    Focal Length 5.8 mm
    ISO Unknown
    Metering Mode Center Weighted Average
    Shutter Speed Value 1/100 sec
    Date/Time Fri 04 Jan 2008 10:30:22 AM EST



    By far the best image I took today. You can find the rest, if you're interested, here.

  7. #7
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by bricciphoto View Post
    Tom--great instructions on shooting up close. Don't forget DSLR users might want to experiment with extension tubes if they have them. I'll also add that exposure issues related to small apertures can be offset somewhat by trying to keep the subject parallel to the film/sensor plane, i.e. any tilt of the lens (or camera) relative to the subject is going to minimize DoF at most aperture settings. Keep your lens parallel and you might be able to pick up a stop or two--a spirit level in the hot shoe will help keep things in sharp focus (if desired).

    If you're shooting outdoors, up close wind (any wind) will be a factor!

    Happy shooting all!
    Hmmm, I understand what you are saying here but I think that saying it will "minimize" the DoF might be confusing to some, the fact that the subject is angled, in and of itself can’t effect the actual DOF, (as that is a function of the camera lens, aperture and light) rather it would probably make more sense to say that any tilt will make the shallowness more apparent as it will make it harder to get the entire subject in focus when working the shallow depth of field of close up photography. By having it parallel as much as possible you can get a greater amount of the subject within the field of focus and therefore have a overall sharper image. Or as we learned from an earlier challenge, you can use the shallowness to your advantage by having only that which you want the viewer to focus on, in focus (sorry for the pun ) while taking that which you don’t want to be part of the main subject matter out of focus, though often with close up photography that effect is harder to achieve without it appearing that you simply miss-focused. there would need to be a very strong element that was the main subject, such as perhaps the eye of a bug, while the head and body was softened so that the viewer was drawn immediately to the main focal point of the image.

    RM

  8. #8
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by BONEY View Post
    H1



    (underexposed)
    you should have just pluged it in, no problem with under exposure then!

    I like the stapler, in the next one, very stark and it imediately grabs your attention! No question what the subject is there! good DoF for most of it as well.

    Nice!

    RM

  9. #9
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
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  10. #10
    R12ST bricciphoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post
    Hmmm, I understand what you are saying here but I think that saying it will "minimize" the DoF might be confusing to some, the fact that the subject is angled, in and of itself can’t effect the actual DOF, (as that is a function of the camera lens, aperture and light) rather it would probably make more sense to say that any tilt will make the shallowness more apparent as it will make it harder to get the entire subject in focus when working the shallow depth of field of close up photography. By having it parallel as much as possible you can get a greater amount of the subject within the field of focus and therefore have a overall sharper image. Or as we learned from an earlier challenge, you can use the shallowness to your advantage by having only that which you want the viewer to focus on, in focus (sorry for the pun ) while taking that which you don’t want to be part of the main subject matter out of focus, though often with close up photography that effect is harder to achieve without it appearing that you simply miss-focused. there would need to be a very strong element that was the main subject, such as perhaps the eye of a bug, while the head and body was softened so that the viewer was drawn immediately to the main focal point of the image.

    RM
    I think I understand what you're saying.

    Actually, all I am implying is there is a common belief that at small apertures (f/22, f/16, etc.--that Tom referenced) maximum focus will be acheived. This is true when the subject and sensor/film plane are parallel. It is not true if there is a shift in the two planes, particularly if the subject is curved, rounded, staggered, etc. So one could shoot an object at f/16 and depending on the angle of the lens/camera it could appear as though it was shot at f/5.6* or lower. Shooting close-ups with blur is a no brainer, just about any camera or person will do this with ease. Shooting close up with sharp focus and maximum depth of field is a lot harder to acheive without a bellows or a tilting lens, when the sensor/film plane is not parallel to the subject.

    *In this example the photographer "wasted" several stops by shooting at f/16, which almost by definition will require a lower shuttle speed to acheive the same exposure at a given ISO. This would introduce the potential for motion blur, etc.

    And thinking about this for a nanosecond longer, the converse of what I said is also true: if the sensor/film plane and subject are parallel, why shoot at f/16 when the same focus could be achieved at f/4 thereby providing a lot more latitude in exposure?
    Ben Ricci

    Rides & Drives: '07 BMW F800ST Low, '07 Porsche Cayman, '06 VW Jetta TDI & '05 BMW R1200ST

  11. #11
    grossjohann
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    Quote Originally Posted by BONEY View Post
    Swingline



    By far the best image I took today. You can find the rest, if you're interested, here.
    Welcome, Boney.

    These are some great shots. I really like this one. The lighting is great, the image is sharp, and it makes the otherwise ordinary object much more interesting.

    I wonder if you could find a way to eliminate your reflection. This is a classic issue... Some look for another angle which reflects something else (a white board?). Others try to disguise themselves to either blend into the surroundings, or make a less obviously human reflection. Since Ive been made aware of this issue, Ive become particularly sensitive to it

    Good luck, and keep posting!

    -Alex

  12. #12
    *censored*
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    I wonder if you could find a way to eliminate your reflection. This is a classic issue... Some look for another angle which reflects something else (a white board?). Others try to disguise themselves to either blend into the surroundings, or make a less obviously human reflection. Since Ive been made aware of this issue, Ive become particularly sensitive to it
    Or embrace it completely:


  13. #13
    grossjohann
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    Quote Originally Posted by BONEY View Post
    Or embrace it completely:

    Not bad!

  14. #14
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by bricciphoto View Post
    I think I understand what you're saying.

    Actually, all I am implying is there is a common belief that at small apertures (f/22, f/16, etc.--that Tom referenced) maximum focus will be acheived. This is true when the subject and sensor/film plane are parallel. It is not true if there is a shift in the two planes, particularly if the subject is curved, rounded, staggered, etc. So one could shoot an object at f/16 and depending on the angle of the lens/camera it could appear as though it was shot at f/5.6* or lower. Shooting close-ups with blur is a no brainer, just about any camera or person will do this with ease. Shooting close up with sharp focus and maximum depth of field is a lot harder to acheive without a bellows or a tilting lens, when the sensor/film plane is not parallel to the subject.

    *In this example the photographer "wasted" several stops by shooting at f/16, which almost by definition will require a lower shuttle speed to acheive the same exposure at a given ISO. This would introduce the potential for motion blur, etc.

    And thinking about this for a nanosecond longer, the converse of what I said is also true: if the sensor/film plane and subject are parallel, why shoot at f/16 when the same focus could be achieved at f/4 thereby providing a lot more latitude in exposure?
    Ah, Ok I see what you're saying I guess I may have read it differently, and that said hopefully it may help clarify it for others (or maybe I'm the only one? )

    thanks

    RM

  15. #15
    SNC1923
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    Quote Originally Posted by BONEY View Post
    Or embrace it completely:

    This is really a cool image. It reminds me of something someone would do in Photoshop. Notice the focus is on the camera in the reflection. Very, very cool.

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