Ripples

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An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

Matsuo Bashō

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Tiny obsession

Tiny obsession

My ongoing quest to get closer and closer continues and I recently added more gadgets that have really proved themselves, a pair of focus rails and a magic arm.

The focus rails took me back to when I owned a set of macro bellows and let me move the camera forward or back and side to side very precisely. Getting the magic arm was inspired by this video and lets me place a flash exactly where I need it to be.

Here it is all setup.

IMG_1855Looks extremely complex and there is a bit more weight but that is offset by increased control of focus and light. Using a tripod makes it easier to manage but I will try this handheld outside and see what happens.

This setup gets me close but I can get even closer. that involves a step down ring to connect an old 50mm to the front of the 90mm macro shown in use. Here is an example with me just holding this all together by hand.

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This image provides an idea of just how close I’m getting.

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A tiny studio

A tiny studio

– doesn’t require a lot of gear or effort to set up. Here’s what I use for photographing most small objects, including the pocket knife image used for this post.

  • A window with diffuse light, in my case I built a shelf under this one, as it has a day night blind.
  • Timber offcuts  assembled into a upside down “T” with a small bulldog clip to hold the background paper.
  • Some plain A3 paper for the background
  • A small reflector to get some detail back in the shadows
  • A camera and for me that will usually be a digital SLR on a tripod but this setup should work with a phone or compact camera.

Here is a hasty image of it in action. It’s a great way way to work when the outside is uninviting and takes up very little space so you can leave it up.

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Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

I revisited the image I made last weekend as I had left everything set up. This time, instead of window light I used a small LED torch and long exposure selectively for light painting the subject and background. I really enjoy the lack of predictability inherent in the technique.

This week I finally broke my commitment to avoid adding anything to my unread pile when I picked up a reprint of Brassai: Paris, a collection of images that reflect the broad range of things he saw and recorded in Paris before the Second World War. the night images are all the more remarkable when you consider the limitations he worked under, including film that was at best equivalent to 25 ISO today.

Listening to Shirley Manson out front of Garbage.