Experiments in 1:1 Macro

Stranded, alone at my parents’ house in Houston today, I pulled out my Nikon D80 and that new 60mm Macro lens I recently picked up and went to town.

I started out, as I nearly always do, with a shot of a flower.  It seems every home my parents live in require at least one hibiscus.  This house is no exception.

The wind was pretty strong but I managed to get a somewhat decent shot between gusts.


One thing that is so great about this lens, is the ability to get down to a 1:1 ratio.  Check out what happens when you do that on the pollen of this hibiscus.


I thought that was just crazy!  Click here to see it full sized to get a real feel for how close this thing can get.

After the hibiscus, I moved on to a rusty metal butterfly.  Nothing special but I did enjoy the perspective and red-brown rust juxtaposed to the green grass.


I went inside a bit do some a few lines of blow.

Not really, but I did grind up some salt in a Peugeot Salt Mill and pretend it was cocaine.  Come on, it’s kinda fun.  Especially fun if someone snorts up the salt haha.


I scraped this mess up into a few lines and took some pics but… Meh.

I pushed all of the salt into a spoon and then torched it like some heroin.  Not sure why I was so drug-centric today haha.  Looked awesome when I shot onto the salt.  Made this beautiful glow.


I sprinkled the super-heated salt onto some butter… again, why not.  Snap, crackle and sizzle.  It was pretty cool for being so lame.

Finally an “artsy” shot through a magnified window pane in our front door.  Focused on the hydrangeas on the front porch quite nicely.  Fun.


This is another one of those shots that really needs to be seen full sized to get the picture.  Pun was totally not intended.

Photography Project

I’m supposed to be working on this big project for my photography class.  The basis of it is experimental lighting to enhance a photograph.  I have done some quick and dirty examples of how doing some simple changes to your lighting and camera setting, you can turn a shitty picture into a great picture.

The first example is using a high aperture (f-22) along with a super bright light (650 watt) to light a scene versus using an automatic setting on a camera such as my Nikon D80.  First the auto setting shot.

All and all, it isn’t such a bad picture.  The problems are getting true whites and true blacks as you can see in the shot coming below.

Obviously better whites and blacks here.  Also, I manually set the white balance as opposed to the camera deciding what was white.

This next set is much more obvious.  I took a picture of my mother’s Aggie class ring on a mirror, a blush compact mirror at that.  With this shot I compared again, a 650 watt tungsten Arri light with the built in flash on my camera.  I again modified the f-stop to 22 on my manual shot.

As you can see, the flash blew out the color of the gold and the lower f-stop picked up all the light hitting the mirror.  It’s a plain old gross picture.  However, let’s see what happens when we set the aperture to f-22, pound the thing with 650 watts of light.

I swear, it’s like magic.  The silver mirror turns to black and the gold, which was previously washed to a pale yellow, is now a deep, rich 14ct gold.  Look at that reflection!

These pictures are just the foundation of my project, showing how small changes in light can totally change a picture.  I intend to include emotive portraits and many other genres of photography in this series.  Here’s to hoping I can make it happen and make it something special, unique and captivating.

Lighting Project

I’m supposed to be working on this lighting project for my photography class. Here are a few pics I took today using different techniques. Basically I used a really long shutter release and a handheld flash. Nothing spectacular but my first try at it.

I’ve the the crazy eyes in that pic… haha This next one I really like.

And this one just features a light box for soft light, my light “box” kinda sucks though, it is wrinkly. I’m gonna make my own that should work better.

Meanwhile, my computer is fritzing out on me. Check out my trash can.

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