Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Starting a hobby again

All my life I've really enjoyed photography.  A few years ago I got myself a nice camera, and a couple of nice lenses.  About 2 years ago I treated myself to a nice macro lens and started to enjoy taking interesting shots. Mrs Stace hates the fact that when I take photo's I take an age looking for what I want to shoot, rather than pointing and clicking.

I have a Flickr account with my favorites on (but I'm not quite ready to link to it from here, sorry!) but it hasn't been updated in a long time, I've just not been 'there' to go out and take the shots, and the to spend the time uploading them.  I have a couple of nice ones blown up in the living room but I can't help feel that it's a little wasted at the moment...

So...  In order to try and get my creative juices flowing I thought I'd post some here, every few days or so.  I am not going to do it on a daily basis - that would seem a chore too quickly - but when I feel like it.

I'm also going to try and concentrate on macros and low light photography - I love the way the world changes when you get small, and the way that objects change their look when you remove most of the light.

I'll start today with one I took last night:

This is a 1:1 shot taken with my Sigma EX DG 180mm fixed focus lens on my Canon 5D, an then seriously cropped - 763*458 from 4368 * 2912 :).

I know that it would be better if it was lined up right (I don't have the software to rotate the image the little that it needs, and I have lost my tripod so this was taken free hand - floating the camera as close as it will focus on the TV was not the easiest thing to do late at night...)



  1. "There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits."

    The above was the introduction to a wildly popular early 60's US television Sci-Fi series. Sorry, I just couldn't help myself, after seeing the image you displayed!

    Melissa XX

    P.S .

    I'd really would love to see some picture of the area you live in, if not pictures of you yourself. I visited Holland one spring when I was a teen, and haven't been back since. I miss it.

  2. :)

    I was thinking Matrix when I took the picture. As the depth of field for Macros is so tiny a few mm's of movement is enough to bring the screen into focus and then lose it again. So the view finder was a field of white, then suddenly all the pixels were visible, then a sea of white again.

    It took about 10 pictures to get one that I could crop to make the picture you see here...

    I can do pictures of the neighbourhood, I just have to get in the creative mood first (I may use some that I already have).

    Pictures of me? Not yet... I *hate* pictures of me - and have only ever taken a couple of pictures of Stacy - none survive. I hate them to the point where I struggle to look at them. Having one on my laptop screen would make it much harder to compose a post...


  3. Your Canon 5D with the full frame sensor is a really sweet camera! I'm curious if your Sigma 180mm has the HSM motor and how quiet it is? I just got a 60D with a swing out display and so far I like it. It's handy to shoot crazy angles. I hope you post more photos! ~ Simone

  4. Hi Simone,

    The 5D is a wonderful bit of kit - and flatters my (lack of) skill wonderfully :)

    The lens has the HSM, and it's really quiet. But on the Macro lens it's also useless - the range of focus is just too much and it takes an age to actually focus on something (sometimes failing completely).

    My 70-200 EXDG also has the HSM IIRC and that is an amazing lens.

    Hopefully I'll get some inspiration and post some fun shots over the weekend :)


  5. Thanks for the info Stace! I've been looking for a true macro lens and I tried Canon's 180mm L but it was too noisy. I'm shooting a lot video and the mic is so close to lens that I can hear the gears turning. I shoot mostly Canon L lenses and never paid attention to the noise they make until now so I got a Sigma 17-70mm DS macro OS and I'm stunned at how quiet the HSM motor is! That's why I was asking because I'm wondering if all of Sigma's HSM lenses are that quiet. Is your 70-200 the f/2.8 model? I'm glad you're getting back into photography - it's my favorite subject. Hey! Let's start a new controversy - "True" Macro lenses vs. lenses that just call themselves macro!

    ~ Simone

  6. No problem ;)

    Yup, the 70-200 is the 2.8 version; the Sigma equivilant of the Canon 70-200L lens - which in hindsight I wish I had brought, the price difference wasn't huge and it's more all weather than the Sigma is.

    But it is near silent, and the image quality is still amazing.