Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Icy surprise

I spent some time this past weekend at Ash Cave in the Hocking Hills region.


While I'm all for the wide-angle shots that seem to be required of something as large as this ice formation, I'm more about the macro shots as I'm sure you know by now.

Some subjects lend themselves to macro photography more than others, and ice is actually kind of tricky when it comes to macro. I had to really keep my eyes open to find something unique. Finally something caught my attention. Tiny limbs that were frozen just below the surface of the ice.


Interesting, but not terribly unique. But then I looked around and found a few more twigs under the ice, finally landing on one that was very unique.


I didn't really even fully realize what was going on with this until I looked at the pictures when I got home. The ice twig was cupped upward when it landed in this spot, and the ice grew up from the tips of each offshoot...




...giving the impression of a hand reaching out of the ice. How cool is that?


To see other icy images from this visit to Ash Cave, please visit my nature blog.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

For the record

I think some people may be wondering what kind of lens I used to capture the snowflake photo that I shared a few posts back:


Keep in mind, that photo is very tightly cropped, so my lenses did not capture it at that size. (See the original post for the full-size shot this was cropped from)

These are the lenses that I commonly refer to as "macro filters":


They are also referred to as diopters and close-up filters. After much consideration and research about how to dive into macro photography without breaking the bank, these filters are what I decided on, and I have been nothing short of pleased. You have seen many of the results on this blog and my other blog. I think this set cost me $25 US. They work best on a "short" (i.e. wide-angle) lens. I pair them with my 18-55mm lens. I tried them on my telephoto lens (55-200mm), and was never really able to get them to focus correctly.

The lenses can stack one on top of the other to give you ultimate magnification, but I have found that if I stack all 3 of them together, image quality actually suffers. I commonly stack the +2 and +4 filters together for my closest shots.


Here the +2 and +4 are stacked together to get a super-close shot of the +1 filter.

You'll notice "52mm" is printed on all of them. That is the filter attachment diameter of my two main lenses. This diameter differs by lens, so you need to find out what size lens you have if you decide to try something like this. You can find the filter attachment size listed in your camera manual.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.