Sunday, May 3, 2009

Using Binoculars as a Telephoto Lens

Here are a couple of photos I took of Osprey and Bald Eagle nests on Honeymoon Island near Tampa, Florida. I zoomed in all the way and lined up the lens through one side of the binoculars.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Using a Telescope/Binoculars as a Telephoto Lens

Here's a few photos I took through a telescope. They are of Great Egrets across the lake. I've taken a few photos through binoculars, I'll post them soon.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More Info. About Using Tissue Paper as a Light Filter

Here are some other photos where I taped tissue paper over my flash to experiment with light. I used different amounts of tissue paper layers to figure out the right amount of light. Below are some examples of before and after shots of using full flash and then covering the flash with the tissue paper. These examples include candlelight photos, taking pictures of photographs and taking pictures of paintings. When taking photos of another photograph, it is best to bring it into the natural light (near a window or outside) and use the magnifying glass to get close-up shots. Try taking the picture using the camera at different angles.

Using Tissue Paper as a Light Filter

We had a lot of fun this past summer playing with fireflies. They are amazing and interesting creatures. We learned that there are many different species of fireflies and they each have their own special signals and varying colors of light. The male flies around blinking his light while the female hides in the grass or plants below and signals back when she sees an acceptable signal overhead. We used some toy flashlights to signal to the fireflies. It was so funny when they came up to the light, hovered over it and even landed on it. They were fascinated by the strange new signals. I taped some tissue paper over my flash so that I would get some light but not too much to photograph some of the fireflies we attracted with our toy light. I used the magnifying glass to get a close-up shot.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Insects, Plants and Composition


Since I can't photograph snowflakes in the summer, I look for other challenges such as insects on plants and flowers. They are similar because they give only a small window of opportunity to take their picture. They move around and fly away without much warning just like snowflakes being blown away by the wind. But at least insects don't melt.
Here again, you can experiment with composition. The butterfly photo above was taken at Meijer Gardens. I waited by this plant for a butterfly to land on it. I love the lines in both the leaves and butterfly wings. The insects in the two photos below were placed on the plants because I thought they would make interesting backgrounds.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Light and Composition

"Set of Keys"

Here's another example of an amazing masterpiece of design:
maple keys.
It's easy to step on them, sweep them up and throw them away without really looking closely and thinking about how incredible this little piece of creation is.
They can fly, spin and plant themselves! I never noticed (until this past spring) that when maple keys first come off the trees, they have such beautiful shades of colors.
I experimented with these, not only with the magnifying glass to get close-up shots, but also by using natural light at different times of the day. The composition can also be manipulated. Note how some of the maple keys are in a jumbled pile, but others can be put in a row or on different backgrounds to get different effects.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Using a Magnifying Glass as a Macro Lens

"Perfection's Reflection"

It's fun to look at the world around us in a different light! I used to walk right on by and even step on incredible works of art. Two authors have inspired me to experiment with my camera.
Wilson A. Bentley (a.k.a. "Snowflake Bentley") was the first. He experimented back in the late 1800's and actually figured out how to attach a microscope to his camera and get breathtaking photos of snowflakes. He published over 2400 of his snowflake images in his book, Snow Crystals.
Kenneth Libbrecht is the other author who in his book, Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to Snowflakes, suggests looking at snowflakes with a magnifying lens (page 102).
I decided to go one step further and put the magnifying glass I had in the house up to the lens of my inexpensive digital camera. My camera is a Fujifilm FinePix (2.0 mega pixels) and has a close-up feature. I set the camera for close-up, zoom in all the way and then put the camera lens up to the magnifying glass. I move the camera around until it looks focused and then take quite a few shots until I get one that I really like.
Taking close-up (macro) photos reveals the indescribable and often overlooked masterpieces of design found in creation. It's great to share these treasures with others!

"Twinned Crystal" (12-Sided Snowflake)

"First Sight"