Photography forum: Simple close-up DSLR photography...Point-and-Shoot Simple

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Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level
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evermorelawnless
Oct 13, 2014 5:00 PM CST
Today, I had an article published on the front page called Rube Goldberg, Macro Photography, and You: Close-ups on a Budget It took a long time to prepare and write...and it's full of technical junk, is really long, and might be a little inaccessible - or at least difficult to get through. Also, some of the techniques are somewhat involved (and annoying to shoot).

In this thread, I wanted to show how silly-simple shooting closeups can be with just one $5.00 item and any old DSLR. No technical jargon, no messing around with equipment, no post-processing/photoshop. Just point-and-stinkin'-shoot. No f-stops, no exposure meters, no manual junk of any kind.

I selected my oldest DSLR (Pentax KD100 from 2006...~$75.00 with lens on eBay these days), attached the 18-55mm kit lens, and screwed on a +4 magnifying filter that was part of a $10.00 set of four filters from Amazon.

I set everything on the camera to auto (not even "macro mode") and wandered outside for 30 mins of shooting following only two rules:
1. Hold the camera still. Really still.
2. Make sure it's focused.

The only processing I did on this pile of photos was to auto-crop them in the middle of the shot (and at 36mb total for all of the cropped photos below, that's less memory than four shots from my regular camera). It looks like it shot pretty dark today and most of the shots below could benefit from processing. But I didn't want to add that step to the demonstration.

Point-and-stinkin' Shoot. Here is what I came up with (30 mins shooting, 10 mins selecting photos, 10 mins writing this sparse prose). Viola! If I can, anyone can. Try it! And post your results here. It's simple-easy and really inexpensive to come up with decent closeups.


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I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
[Last edited by evermorelawnless - Oct 13, 2014 5:05 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #716683 (1)
Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level
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evermorelawnless
Oct 13, 2014 5:30 PM CST
I was just reminded that the photography forum isn't a place to post tons of pictures (not particularly a gallery). But I included the barrage as part of the 30-minute, see-how-stinkin'-easy-it-is-for-even-a-knucklehead-to-get-good-results-pretty-quickly demonstration. If you want to nuke 'em, feel free, moderators.

Closeup photography doesn't have to be mysterious or expensive or esoteric. This technique will work with any camera that can accept screw-on filters. Doesn't have to be a DSLR. Just screw on the magnifying filter, set it to auto, and follow the two simple rules and BOOM!
I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Oct 13, 2014 5:48 PM CST
Asa, my original comment was going to be how enticing all those luscious photographs are for folks like me who don't 'get' technology if it is fed to us with a spoonful of peanut butter. Makes one think they can do it, too, even if they ARE like me. Hilarious! Really nice work and from (relatively) simple tools. Thank you. Thumbs up

12th row down, fourth one over. What IS that? The photograph is simply stunning. I literally stopped everything to look at it more closely.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level
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evermorelawnless
Oct 13, 2014 6:15 PM CST
Debra, assuming that your browser displays 5 shots across, it's this one?
Thumb of 2014-10-13/evermorelawnless/9fd0a9

If so, I'm reliably informed that it is a bud from Cupid's Dart (Love Plant). (If your browser displays 4 across, that's an Italian honeybee on a sage.)

Thanks for the kind words...and you really can do it. I think there's a mental block that we all have when it comes to close-up shots...but the point of this thread is there doesn't need to be. So much good stuff just happens when you just try things.
I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
[Last edited by evermorelawnless - Oct 14, 2014 4:04 AM (+)]
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Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Oct 13, 2014 7:05 PM CST
evermorelawnless said: ...wandered outside for 30 mins of shooting following only two rules:
1. Hold the camera still. Really still.
2. Make sure it's focused.


oh sure,
easy for you says a wall of 81 photos Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

that's the hard part--making sure it's focused and holding the camera still-- whether you are 8 inches away or 8 feet away with whatever you're pointing and shooting!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Oct 13, 2014 7:11 PM CST
Great information, Asa -- I didn't realize you could get "magnifying filters." I'm going to look for that and then spend some time -- perhaps even with my tripod! -- trying it out.

Thank You!
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Oct 13, 2014 7:23 PM CST
Yep, ASA, five across is what I meant. Beautiful. Lovey dubby
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level
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evermorelawnless
Oct 13, 2014 7:30 PM CST
dirtdorphins said:
that's the hard part--making sure it's focused and holding the camera still-- whether you are 8 inches away or 8 feet away with whatever you're pointing and shooting!


To be honest, "acquire focus and hold really still" is about sixth on my go-to list of photography techniques.

First, of course would be, "acquire (perhaps imaginary) focus and then wave the camera around." Click. I have folders full of shots that demonstrate my mastery of that technique. Unparalleled, championship-caliber camera-waver here. And there are many others Big Grin .

I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Oct 13, 2014 7:40 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

oh, okay, I'm extremely proficient with that technique myself Green Grin!
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
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luvsgrtdanes
Oct 14, 2014 11:26 AM CST
I read somewhere not to hold your breath but rather click on an exhale...not sure if it works or not Blinking

I like the burst mode for just that reason, my hands were never steady even as a youngin, I know at least one maybe a keeper Whistling
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Oct 14, 2014 11:56 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

For focusing on this set of images, did you use the camera's focus ring only, or did you use that snazzy external focusing contraption you showed in your article?
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015
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dirtdorphins
Oct 14, 2014 12:31 PM CST
I will answer--because I asked about it too--
everything on auto
literally means everything!
auto focus on the camera, set in the center, pointed to something in the center, looked thru the view finder to see if it seemed to be focused and clicked the button, seriously!
then batch cropped all the pictures to the center 1000 x 1000 pixels

please correct me if I got it wrong...
Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level
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evermorelawnless
Oct 14, 2014 12:31 PM CST
dave said:For focusing on this set of images, did you use the camera's focus ring only, or did you use that snazzy external focusing contraption you showed in your article?


All I did was push the button. That's all camera auto-focus in those shots. The whole thing was set to automatic...focus, ISO, aperture...everything. Was trying to illustrate how un-complicated the process can be, too.

I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level
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evermorelawnless
Oct 14, 2014 12:33 PM CST
dirtdorphins said:I will answer--because I asked about it too--
everything on auto
literally means everything!
auto focus on the camera, set in the center, pointed to something in the center, looked thru the view finder to see if it seemed to be focused and clicked the button, seriously!
then batch cropped all the pictures to the center 1000 x 1000 pixels

please correct me if I got it wrong...


Yep. Except it was 1000 x 800 pixels (blindly batch cropped).

Also important that apart from the crop, I didn't do any post-processing. What you're seeing is exactly what the camera spit out. Was really important to me to go 100pct auto/pointandshoot/nothing technical/nothing tricky for this demonstration. To point out that there does not need to be a "barrier to entry" when it comes to close-ups.

This thread isn't at all about the shots in it - but more about the potential of catching shots using this simple technique (and quickly...without much $$ or time invested).
I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
[Last edited by evermorelawnless - Oct 14, 2014 1:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Oct 14, 2014 2:44 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Well, I just had some fun and went out with my 4x close-up lens filter. These are uncropped. It was a little windy and that made things more challenging. It would have been more successful on a nice still day.

Thumb of 2014-10-14/dave/86b868 Thumb of 2014-10-14/dave/dc9267 Thumb of 2014-10-14/dave/ab263c Thumb of 2014-10-14/dave/7095f8
Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level
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evermorelawnless
Oct 14, 2014 2:58 PM CST
Really cool, Dave!!
I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Oct 14, 2014 3:09 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thank You!
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Oct 14, 2014 3:59 PM CST
For a windy day, those are awesome! I especially like the last one.
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Oct 14, 2014 5:25 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I wonder if it's right to ask for any critical feedback, like what I might have done to improve my photos.
Name: Asa

Bee Lover Garden Photography Region: Utah Garden Ideas: Master Level
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evermorelawnless
Oct 14, 2014 5:56 PM CST
dave said:I wonder if it's right to ask for any critical feedback, like what I might have done to improve my photos.


Your site, your forum, your rules...

I share this blog with the unwashed cetacean - have a look! - http://garden.org/blogs/view/evermoredorphins

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