Tag Archives: Macro Photography

A weekend of macro

The weather was beautiful this past weekend, perfect for taking photos – unfortunately I had a lot planned which didn’t leave much time for snapping, but I did my best! This first shot of a ladybird was taken as I was taking my son for a walk – he was feeling lazy and letting me push him round in his buggy, which allowed my eyes to wander around looking for the possibility of a photo, and that’s when I saw this guy/gal sitting ion a leaf:

Ladybird

The only problem with this photo, in my humble opinion, is that it’s more orange than I think the ladybird actually was but the sun was shining so brightly that some of the red was lost. No doubt I could make it more red in Photoshop, but time hasn’t been on my side. This next example was taken in the shade outside of Hitchin library and is much more like the natural red of a ladybird:

Ladybird #2

Great detail in both photos, as my Panasonic TZ7 continues to impress. The next two were taken in the back garden and are macro-tastic, look at the detail on that thorn!

Thorn

Spider - those eyes!

On the Sunday we visited some friends, in fact he writes a rather fabulous food blog: grubblog. After the rain had gone and the sun came out it was perfect weather for taking photos. I became almost obsessed with taking photos of a bug I found in one of the trees in the back garden. while there are lots more shots on my Flickr photostream, here are a few shots – amazing detail and what a prehistoric looking specimen! My wife christened them leaf eaters, if anyone knows their real name then please leave a comment and educate me.

Tree Bug

Tree Bug

Tree Bug, not in a tree!

Tree Bug side on

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Filed under Bugs, Ladybirds, Macro, Plants, Spiders

Another Early Morning…

No traffic meant a pre-work trip to the canal again. I wasn’t as lucky I was yesterday with the hoverfly that stayed still while I got up close and personal with my Panasonic TZ7’s, but I did manage a few shots of various flies, bees and spiders – all of which can be seen on my Flickr photostream.

Aside from the stray blade of grass on the right of the bee, I think this one came out rather nicely:

Bumble Bee

Later on at lunchtime I ventured out into the car park at work and found this armoured fellow:

Beetle

He was tiny so it’s a credit to the macro powers of my TZ7 that he came out so well. As an aside I have no idea if it’s a he, or if Beetles even have male and female counterparts! It wasn’t until I looked closely at the next photo that I realised that the antennae of the beetle were swishing back and forth while I was taking a few shots.

Beetle with swishing antennae

My next subject was a midge, which I falsely identified as a mosquito at first – hey, what do I know? If anything these photography exploits are enhancing my knowledge of the natural world and it’s many inhabitants. Let’s look at the first photo:

Midge

I took the next shot with the flash activated – I had to choose the ‘Forced Flash On’ stetting as the camera believed there to be enough natural light. As you can see the photo is clearer with the flash on, though possibly over-exposed. That’s something I’ll have to think about in future when I’m taking macro photos in indirect sunlight.

Midge with Flash

This last photo, again of a midge, shows what incredible detail this camera captures, and reinforces my decision to buy it. Not sure of the 3 green blobs of liquid were secreted by the midge, and if so whether they are natural excesses or the result of some kind of injury.

Midge up close

Remember, you can always click these photos for bigger versions or see those very same bigger versions on my Flickr photostream.

I’ve had the camera a full week now and I’m absolutely delighted with the results I’ve obtained so far, especially as they are impulsive photography expeditions and not the results of lots of preparation. Imagine how great the photos could be if a took my time and dug out my tripod!

As always, advice, criticism and possibly praise is appreciated – whatever you think, leave a comment and tell me how I’m doing or if there’s anything you’d like me to photograph with the TZ7 and publish example shots of.

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Filed under Bees, Beetles, Flies, Macro

Down By The Canal

For some reason there was no traffic today so I was able to walk down by the canal and take some photos before work. There were lots of huge bumble bees but none of them would stay still long enough to take a photo, added to me not wanting to get too close should they decide they don’t like the look of me! This first shot is of a partially dispersed dandelion:

Dandelion

Fauna out the way, here’s where I lucked out in managing to spot a hoverfly that was sat on a leaf, and stayed sat there for a few minutes, allowing me to take a few shots. This showed off the Panasonic TZ7’s macro ability beautifully and I’m really pleased with just how great these photos turned out.

Hoverfly on a leaf

Hoverfly close up

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Filed under Flowers, Macro, Wasps and Hoverflies

First Weekend With My Panasonic TZ7

It’s strange, and I can’t quite explain it, but the camera felt different to when I had one back in August of last year. It felt better and easier to use – maybe it’s just because I’ve finally made the right camera choice for me and my feeling of comfort with the camera gave me a feeling of having a superior piece of equipment. The Intelligent Auto mode is superb and chooses the right scene option very quickly, as well as focusing almost instantly.

The first thing I did was head out into the garden to test the macro mode, something I had been looking forward to doing ever since I’d ordered the camera. Luckily my Class 6 Integral 8GB SDHC memory card arrived on Saturday morning so I knew I’d be able to snap away without any worries of running out of room. These are the first two photos which I thought were good enough to publish on this blog:

Yellow Tulip

Daisy

I’m really happy with these photos – both have been cropped down in Photoshop and the Daisy has had the ‘Auto Levels’ function applied to it, the Tulip as as it came out the camera – the Auto levels left it unchanged, must have been such a good photo!

Next was a scenery shot, taken in Hitchin opposite the Millstream Pub:

Field in Hitchin

Again, very happy with the results. On the Sunday we went for a walk around Hitchin and then to St.Albans where I took a variety of photos, the ones I am happiest with can be seen on my Flickr Photostream, but here a few I liked for a variety of reasons.

Spider


This one was taken in our back garden and although the focus isn’t the best I was really happy to get such a good shot as it was hard to get to and the spider in real life is tiny – this shows the macro mode off really well, I can only begin to imagine how good the photo could have been had I had better access and used a tripod.

Ladybird


This is another shot which was pretty hard to get to but came out really well. Thanks to more auto level applying in Photoshop the colours look a lot more natural, especially the red of the shell which was a bit orangey straight out of the camera.

Canada Goose Teeth


This one isn’t here because of image quality but because of the image quality while zooming in from a long way. This photo is at maximum resolution. Look at the teeth on the goose’s bill and then look at the next photo which is the uncropped original – this camera has pretty spectacular zoom capabilities.

Canada Goose

All in all I’m very happy with the camera and think I have made the right choice. I am keen to get out and take more photos, and to use more of the different features and shooting modes that the Panasonic TZ7 has to offer. I will of course report back here with findings and photos. As always, comments and advice are welcomed.

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Filed under Birds, Macro, Spiders, Zoom

Photography: Sony A200 & Panasonic TZ1 Photo Comparison

This past Sunday we took our little boy to the park so I decided to use the opportunity to take a few photos as well. One thing I am beginning to realise is that my standard seems to have risen since I started using my Sony A200, and by that I mean that expect more from a photo and am finding that fewer of the photos I take are meeting my expectations. That aside, on spying a ladybird sitting on a leaf I decided to take a photo with both my Sony A200 and my Panasonic DMC-TZ1 – DSLR v Compact: Macro Battle!

The TZ1 has a 10x zoom with an effective focal length range of 35-350mm, while the A200 was used with the kit lens with an effective focal length range of 18-70mm. The better wide angle setting wasn’t going to help the A200 but was the lack of zoom and macro capability going to hold it back? Let’s look at the evidence, and note that the photos have not had any post production aside from cropping and resizing.

Panasonic TZ1 - f/6.3 - 1/1600 - ISO-800

Panasonic TZ1 - f/6.3 - 1/1600 - ISO-800

Sony A200 - f/5.6 - 1/250 - ISO-100

Sony A200 - f/5.6 - 1/250 - ISO-100

Interesting when looking at he exif information that the TZ1 chose an ISO of 800 compared to the A200 which chose ISO-100. I’d hazard a guess this is due to the superior quality of the A200’s sensor which has picked up more light than that of the TZ1. This could also be why the colours in the photo taken by the A200 are more natural looking.

There is more detail on the leaf of the TZ1 photo but that is because I purposely selected the ladybird as the focus area when using the A200 and increased the aperture setting to get a shallower depth of field.

I’m very encouraged by the photo taken with my Sony A200 and can only begin to imagine what results i will be able to achieve with a dedicated macro lens or a zoom lens with macro capability. Macro photography is an area I am particularly interested in so such a lens is on my wish list – you listening Santa?

I’ll leave you with two more photos taken on the way to the park.

Now that is a blue sky!

Now that is a blue sky!

Dew on the flower petals.

Dew on the flower petals.

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Filed under Aperture, Cameras, Depth of Field, Macro Photography, Photography