For reasons I don’t understand there are a lot of bugs around the Mount Hamilton, Lick observatory site.
This particular ladybug thought the leg of my tripod would make a good landing site.
Turns out it’s quite hard to shoot macro single handed while using the other arm to hold the tripod up to the camera.
10 points for anyone who can work out what it is
This second version is full frame as it came off the camera.
What I’ve done here is give it a full hit of the contrast boost. Out of curiosity I generally run this for every photo, until now I’ve also always thrown the result away. But this time I think it works.
So what we have here is the same photo twice with radically different post processing.
This first version is a close crop but is otherwise relatively normal. The color has also been tweaked up a little, but not much.
Sorry about the lack of posts recently. I exhausted my buffer of post processed images and have been too busy to do more.
I got through a dozen or so tonight (I promise they are not all macro flowers) which should keep us going for a few days.
I also have a stack of panoramas in the pipe, the effort outlay for each of those is quite large, so strictly weekend stuff.
On the photo front I seem to be improving.
I’ve noticed that I’m cropping less often, which means I’m getting a better hit rate with my framing.
P.S. spot the bug.
For this trip we headed up on the Friday evening after work.
This meant we got all day Saturday and the bulk of Sunday before heading home again.
Saturday morning there was a decent dew so I spent some time photographing dew covered flowers in the hotel gardens.
And that means you get to suffer through more macro flowers
For this one I climbed up on the desk which allowed me to get a better angle.
He’s only a couple of millimeters across, if that, really small.
You can see he’s pulled his legs in and hunkered down a bit, I think he was getting annoyed by my flash. I left him alone after this.
P.S. This concludes the Macro set, all of these photos were taken during the course of a single day.
This lil guy was on the wall above my computer.
The harsh lighting is caused by my flash. It’s a real nuisance trying to photograph a spider this small when he’s 6 feet up the wall behind the computer desk. I wasn’t inclined to try for a torch as well.
Not that I mind the effect any, I like the shadow, makes him look creepier, and the flash glint in all 4 front facing eyes really draws attention to them.
This is the last of the flower like things, there’s a couple of shots of a spider and then we will have a macro free period.
13 of… 13!!! Yes, the end it has arrived. Almost.
There’s another photo of one of those not flower things from a couple of photos ago. Then a couple of macro shots of a spider. And then the macro setting is off for a decent stretch. Promise.
Btw, if you would like to make your macro flower shots look this good there are a couple of Gimp menus you might like to pursue.
Filters -> Enhance -> Unsharp Mask: will make things look crispier, the default settings work just fine 99% of the time.
Colors -> Auto, this entire menu is gold. However White Balance is especially good, followed by Color Enhance. Just remember the two rules of color tinkering:
1: Do everything else first. Anything that stretches a color channel will insert high frequency noise into the image. This isn’t visible, but it will upset tools like Unsharp Mask. If you want to understand why start by doing a Google image search for fourier transform square wave and then look at the Gimp manual page for equalize.
2: Realism. You really have two options, totally surreal like those messed up HDR photos you see, or realistic. If you look at one of your photos and ask “are those colors too vivid” then the answer is YES, tone it down.