New Tamron Macro

It's been a while since I've even been near a computer, much less got to do a blog post.  We put new flooring down at home and I had to move everything out of the house for a few days, then work up the nerve to move it back in.  I'm still tired...

I did get my hands on the newest Tamron 90mm Macro lens.  I got a quick second to try it out yesterday evening.

This thing is sharp!  Every macro lens I've gotten from Tamron has been incredibly sharp.  This one is no exception.  

I shot this coneflower image with my Sony A7R II and Metabones Adapter.  The Metabones doesn't allow me to control the electronic aperture of this Canon mount lens, which pretty much means I have to shoot wide open, at F/2.8.  I was ok with that for this image, because I wanted the background to disappear anyways.

I mentioned I took this really quickly yesterday evening.  Maybe next time I'll have time to wait on the bumble bee or ladybug to show up. :)

Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter, Tamron 90mm Macro, Sirui W-2004 and K-20 Ballhead

Aperture Priority, F/2.8, 1/80th second, ISO 100

 

You Shot That With A What?

One of the days we were in the smokies my teaching partner, David Akoubian, was going to be using his NIkon system for the day, so I decided to borrow his Canon 5D III for the day.

That's right using a Canon.  If you have followed me for any amount of time you know I used to shoot Canon before I switched to the Sony MIrrorless system.  So, I'm no stranger to the system.  I decided to give it a whirl on some of the macro images of the pink lady slippers.

The conditions were great for shooting macro shots of these flowers on this day.  It had rained the evening before and everything was still wet causing the colors to look more saturated.  It was also still very overcast, so there was no harsh light falling on any areas, which made for great light.

This is another one of those macro instances where I wanted to totally isolate the subject from the background so I shot wide open at F/2.8.

I shot this using the Canon 5D Mk III and Tamron 90mm Maccro Lens.  I always use a tripod when shooting macro and this time was no exception.  I had my Sirui W-2004 and G-20 Ballhead combo and it worked great, like always.

Aperture Priority Mode, F/2.8, ISO 100, 1/50th second, 0 Exposure Compensation

Pink Lady Slippers

I returned home yesterday from our Spring workshop in The Great Smoky Mountains.  We had such an incredible group!  From the images I saw when working with some of them on processing, they got incredible shots, too!  I'm already looking forward to next year's workshop!

One area of focus when we visit the smokies in the spring is always the wildflowers.  There are so many lovely wildflowers there, but the "holy grail" of those is always The Pink Lady Slippers.  We've been fortunate enough to find a fairly large group of them the last few years and everyone has gotten great images of them.  This year was no exception.

Here's an image I took with the Tamron 90mm Macro Lens.  We counted over a hundred of these flowers in this area.  They usually grow in bunches, or groups of 4 or 5 in one spot, but I like singling one out when making images of them.  When photographing with a macro lens your depth of field is very shallow.  This usually results in you having to stop down your aperture in order to get everything you want in focus...and sometimes that isn't even enough!  However, this time I went with an aperture of F/2.8 because I wanted to make sure the background was a total blur.

Sony A7R II, Metabones Lens Adapter, Tamron 90mm Macro Lens, SIrui W-2004 Tripod and G-20 Ballhead.

 

SAHM

SAHM, that's what my wife calls herself, a Stay At Home Mom.  SAHM, that's what I call Stay At Home Macro.

From time to time I will purchase some flowers, my wife thinks they are for her, but no, they are for my SAHM.  See what I did there? ;)

I setup the flowers in a vase on the dining room table next to a window.  I will use the available window light and if I need more, I will use one of the little LED lights that are designed for on camera video lights.  They work great for adding a little light to a macro subject.  In this case, a daisy.

ISO 400, 90mm, F/16 @ 1/4 second

Hover over the image to see the camera settings used.  Click the image to view it larger.

The angle of light plays a very important role in the final image.  Holding it an angle that will accentuate details you want is important, especially if you plan to process the image as a black & white, as I have here.

Another tip...Glycerin.  If you mix a 50/50 water glycerin mix you will have a liquid that will not evaporate.  For the most part, it will stay where you put it, too.  This single drop remained here during and after my entire shooting session.

This image was made with my Sony A7R II, Metabones Adapter and Tamron 90mm Macro Lens.  This setup was mounted on my Sirui W-2204 Tripos and K-20 Ballhead.  THe image was process in Lightroom and converted to black & white using On1 Perfect B&W.

Macro Monday

Ok, if you follow me at all you know I just returned from leading a workshop in The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks.  Everyone had an absolute blast!  

I know you are probably expecting some grand landscape images...and they are coming, but today I wanted to share a macro image I made while in the Tetons.  

ISO 100, 90mm, F/5.6 @ 1/320th second

This is a wildflower called Lupine.  Lupine is a gorgeous wildflower that looks great in bunches, especially when placed in front of the Teton Range. ;)

I knew we would come across several good plants so I wanted to capture a macro image of it that I would be proud of.  I think this one was my favorite.  I liked the composition of this image as well as the blurred background I was able to get using the F/5.6 aperture.  The morning dew still on the flowers just added to the number of reasons I liked this one.

Image captured with my Sony A7R, Metabones Adapter and Tamron SP 90mm Di 1:1 Macro Lens.  I had this rig mounted atop my Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT Tripod with BBH-200 Ballhead.

Macro Depth of Field

While I was in the smokies a few weeks back I took the opportunity to take a few photos for educational purposes.  

When people start photography, it seems Depth of Field is a concept that many struggle with.  Then, once they have it figured out, they get a macro lens and that frustration comes back to the forefront again.

Depth of field is, of course, determined by your F stop, but another factor that is in the equation is the distance from your subject.  This becomes extremely evident in macro work because you are only inches away from your subject.  The other problem that comes in with macro work is that true macro lenses are of longer focal lengths.  Our focal length is another factor that helps determine DOF.

Let's take this photo for instance.  This is a shot of some cone flowers.  I used an F stop of F/11, which when shot with a lens that is equivalent to a 35mm is more than plenty to give us a nice depth of field throughout the image.    My favorite macro lens is the Tamron 90mm.  So, again, we are very close to our subject and we are shooting at a longer focal length. 

Notice those red out of focus dots in the center of the image?  Those are aphids.  They are probably less than 2 inches away from the cone flowers.  You can see here F/11 was no where close to giving us enough DOF if we want both the flowers and aphids in focus.

Here's another shot of the aphids in focus.  See how quickly we lose the flowers?  Same F stop here, F/11.  

The only thing that changed here was my focus point.  You can see F/11 is almost nothing in macro work.  In the macro world, if you want a wide DOF you are going to find yourself shooting in the F/32 club a lot.

Hopefully this illustration helps you understand DOF when working with macro.  

BTW...there is dirt on my sensor here...Don't judge ;)