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Photo Theme: Macro

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leopardspotter
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Photo Theme: Macro

Unread postby leopardspotter » Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:38 pm

Photographs of small animals, insects and flowers of South Africa:
A lot of patience and skill is required to take good shots of these active insects but it can also be loads of fun, something different to the ‘normal’ images of South African Wildlife. Flowers are also great subjects when shooting macro, vibrant colours and sharp detail makes for a lovley close-up image.

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Unread postby Muhammad » Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:14 am

not easy when this gives you the fly around?pic taken at Olifants.
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Unread postby DuQues » Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:26 am

Not quite macro, but close-up:

On a walk near Olifants
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Just outside the tent in Punda, camouflaged extremely well. Only the fact that it moved made me see it.
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Unread postby clever dog » Thu Nov 30, 2006 3:54 am

Maybe not quite macro but didn't want to get too close to this fellow:

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bert
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Unread postby bert » Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:36 pm

Txs for reminding us of this topic Clever Dog

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Macro is a great way to enjoy much more photography while in camp or on a regulair daytrip in your neighbourhood,park or in the wild places

Some very important pointers imo for getting good macro shots.

This example are a few mushrooms, about 2 cm high.
There are three important rules for succesfull macro
1) Because you get real close to you subject always remember that the sharpness is very small. I think that i only had 1 cm of my subject real sharp. As you can see on the middle ones. Therefore it is very important to get you subject in a straight line. If you want a the body of a insect sharp make sure that you dont take a picture from a angle.
And the chosen aperture is also important, as with making pictures with any lens. The higher the number the sharper the whole image. And in this picture and only wanted the colour in the background, but not all the details.
I chose F13 for this.
2) Always use a tripod.
3) Do a bit of weeding. In this picture i got rid of a few tiny bits of this and that in the foreground. And in the background made sure that nothing would disturb and attract the eye.

The same rule applies to wildlife portraits. We dont want grass sticking through a eye or a branch growing out of our animals head, do we?

And the great thing about macro is that if you dont have a real macro lens, a close-up lens would do fine, or a tele.
My mushrooms were to tiny for a tele, but bigger subject, plants or stones etc will also do great as subject.

O nearly forgot, macro is also a bit demanding on the back.
Dont be afraid to go on your knees, or kiss the ground.

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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:44 pm

Macro photography does allow a person the pleasure of pursuing one’s hobby in places and at times when the “normal” subjects are not around. It can, however, lead to some amusing moments. Picture a rather large rough-looking character in fetus-position on the ground, down on his knees intent on snapping a tiny object when suddenly a pair of small scuffed sneakers shuffles into view. When you lift your head you find yourself level with the runny nose of a three-year old who wants to know: “What you doin’?”

Macro photography is not subject matter explained to a toddler – do not even try… They query every explanation you give them with: “Why?”. (Kid, don’t you know any other letter of the alphabet!?)

Now, when I draw anyone’s attention under the age of 21, I mumble: “…lost it, found it, thanks” excuse myself and move to another spot.

Just thought I’ll mention a drawback of macro photography…

Here are some of my macro efforts:

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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:59 am

esp that last one Wasps??


You are right - wasps it were in the roof of the Lake Panic hide, right above my head. They were well-behaved though, it was not any wasp activity that caught my eye, but rather a swallow that had it's nest closeby. Noticed the wasp nest when attempting to "shoot" the swallow coming out of its nest.

What is great about many Marco subjects is that they SIT STILL! So, often in desperation, (like in this case :roll: )I take the easier shot...
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Unread postby bucky » Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:46 am

Theres always something about to do a macro photo of .

The biggest thing is a nice sunny day without any wind I find ,
this allows 1 to use high aperture values .

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Both these are taken on a kiggelaria africana tree (Indigenous) Which is a host plant to these butterflys .
the butterfly was laying eggs , which in turn become those black caterpillars .

Best thing about the caterpillars is that they bring some cuckoos to your garden , I have seen red chested and diedricks eating these caterpillars .

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bert
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Unread postby bert » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:03 pm

bucky wrote:The biggest thing is a nice sunny day without any wind I find ,
this allows 1 to use high aperture values .




Sorry Bucky, but must disagree with you :?
The worst time of day to do macro is a nice sunny day :?
As with macro the details are tinny and shadows kill the scene as you can see in the butterfly. The head and part of the body is in the shadows.

Imo the best time of day is during the early hours,cloudy days,or in the shadow.

Still love the pic btw :D

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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:46 pm

I agree with bert about the light - best shots giving quality images are taken on cloudy days. However, when shooting stuff like flying bees, you want as much light as possible to "freeze" the action. The brighter the light, the easier it is to achieve that without having to go to very high ISO settings. The trick is to plan your shot so that shadows are minimal. Get there early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Then shoot with the sun directly behind you. Great action shots can be achieved this way.
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Unread postby francoisd » Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:47 pm

When is a photo considered a macro and not just a close-up?

Here are a couple of my "macro" photos

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Unread postby DuQues » Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:56 pm

Macro photography is a type of close-up photography. The classical definition is photography in which the image on film or electronic sensor is as large or larger than the subject. Therefore, on 35 mm film (for example), the camera has to have the ability to focus on an area at least as small as 24×36 mm, as this is the size of the image on the film. This is a magnification of 1:1.
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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:21 pm

Interesting perspective, the redbug – it somehow landed up on the windscreen of my car near Shingwedzi and I thought it would make for an interesting shot.

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When I tried to identify the bug this “introduction” at the Transvaal Museum quickly put paid to that ambition: With around one million named species and perhaps several times that number unnamed, insects account for a great majority of the species of animals on earth. They are a tremendously successful group. Insects also show huge variety in shape and form. Almost the only condition their group does not attain is very large body size. A number of features, however, are shared by most kinds of living insects. In addition to the general characteristics of uniramians, these include a body composed of three tagmata, a head, thorax, and abodmen; a pair of relatively large compound eyes and usually three ocelli located on the head; a pair of antennae, also on the head; mouthparts consisting of a labrum, a pair of mandibles, a pair of maxillae, a labium, and a tonguelike hypopharynx; two pairs of wings, derived from outgrowths of the body wall (unlike any vertebrate wings); and three pairs of walking legs.

So, unless we have some forumite with specific knowledge of this redbug – that is what it will remain – a redbug!

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The dragonfly we encountered at the Nyawutsi hide. What makes this insect interesting to me is that it appears to have a set of wings on ONE side of its body only, and yet it managed flight quite competently! Dragonflies are found world-wide except for in extremely cold regions such as Antarctica, northern Canada and Asia, and Iceland. There are about 5,000 species. Again, I have no idea to which specie this specimen belongs. I imagine one can get totally taken in by dragonflies as a photographic subject – they are so colourful in appearance, life cycle and habits!
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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:24 am

Got some more macro shots at a KZN venue. Some strange fly
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and a shot of an impressive spider. The spider's web was spanning accross a road. We saw the spider, but not the anchor line holding it up, so we actually made the web collapse as we drove through underneath. What was amazing was the spider's actions following this incident. It appears to collect the destroyed web and the retreated back up into a tree. A friend of mine are of the opinion that the spider will somehow recycle the silk into a new web. How true that is I do not know, but the pix shows the blob of silk that the spider had collected!
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Unread postby DuQues » Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:05 pm

Johan van Rensburg wrote:A friend of mine are of the opinion that the spider will somehow recycle the silk into a new web.

10/10 for your friend!
Since spider's silk is made of protein, all web-weaving requires considerable amounts of protein. Recycling is the easy way to get it back, and even if a spider misses a few meals, it can still go on spinning webs.
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