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Thread: Native grasses taken with close-up filters

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    Native grasses taken with close-up filters

    I don't have a macro lens so I've been experimenting with macro close-up filters and extension tubes. Last week I took these shots of some native grasses using a +2 close-up filter on my 55-250mm lens. I'm interested in all C&C but especially how I might have improved the composition of these.

    The first one is cropped slightly to remove a bit from the left side which also removed some off the bottom. The second is not cropped. The third has been cropped quite a bit, changing from landscape to portrait orientation to concentrate on the section that was most in focus and to better show off the hairy detail around the edges.

    Thanks everyone!

    55mm, f/9, 1/1000, iso1600 (the wind was blowing)
    Native grasses taken with close-up filters

    70mm, f/4.5, 1/1000, iso400
    Native grasses taken with close-up filters

    74mm, f/9, 1/125, iso800
    Native grasses taken with close-up filters

  2. #2

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    Re: Native grasses taken with close-up filters

    The first one looks best to me, Terri.

    You have the whole scene there without any distraction and the wind movement is nicely shown.

    The second has a somewhat distracting background of out of focus seed heads. If you could have isolated just the foreground items I think it would have worked better. This is a common problem with 'real life outside shooting' Sometimes, I try to remove any items which aren't working well; but I usually miss something important.

    The third shot suffers from some light angle problems. Reflective flowers/seed heads can be so difficult to get perfect. Often, my only option is to meter for the brightest areas then try to recover the shadows/midtones during editing.

    But if at all possible, I prefer to take any flowers indoors then shoot under fully controllable conditions with suitable backdrops and fixed lighting which can be moved around to obtain the perfect angles, which are so difficult to get in the wild.

    Incidentally, for full flowers, I often find that my reasonably close focusing 24-105 lens produces better results than my 180 mm macro insect lens.

  3. #3
    Ken Curtis's Avatar
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    Re: Native grasses taken with close-up filters

    I like the top image the best too. Even though it has some bright spots, it looks very natural.

    The fronds on the left and top of the middle image do not contribute significantly, and you might try cropping them off.

    Both top and middle images are very pleasing and demonstrate how you can find beauty in grass.

    The bottom image is soft (somewhat out of focus).

  4. #4
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Native grasses taken with close-up filters

    Thank you Geoff, for your comments. I, too, like the first one the best.

    On the second, I totally agree with your assessment. I really wanted to show the detail of those front seed heads but the others behind them are not unfocused enough and I especially was disappointed in the stem sticking up just to the right of middle as it is very distracting to me.

    On the third, is it the background that's distracting or the bright edges of the seed heads themselves. This was definitely one that I could have brought into a controlled environment. I haven't really considered that before.

    Most of my "macro" shots have been taken with my 55-250 lens at 250mm. But its focusing distance is 3.6 ft. So far of the things I've tried, I like my 50mm with the extension tubes my instructor loaned me. His tubes carried the electronics from camera to lens, keeping ability to autofocus and change apertures. My tubes don't do that so I have very little control.

    Thanks again for your comments.

  5. #5
    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Native grasses taken with close-up filters

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Curtis View Post
    The fronds on the left and top of the middle image do not contribute significantly, and you might try cropping them off.
    Thanks for your comments, Ken. I do agree with you. I actually had tried a tighter crop on the middle image, which is below, but it seemed to accentuate the stray stem that was sticking up the middle. My skills are not good enough to consider cloning it out.

    Native grasses taken with close-up filters

  6. #6
    Ken Curtis's Avatar
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    Re: Native grasses taken with close-up filters

    Hi Terri.

    FWIW, I wouldn't have cropped the image as tightly as you did. That does not make me right. I have two pieces of black paper that I hold up to images. They make it very easy to view different crops without doing anything on the computer.

    There is no way I would attempt to clone out the grass in the background. Way too much time and effort for the results.

    Anyway. I do like the grasses no matter what you do to them.

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