Let it Snow!

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  • #9047
    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    I’ve been waiting rather impatiently for it to start snowing this year, as now that I have my new camera, I’ve been wanting to try it out on snowflakes!

    Here’s one that I really like taken with a 100mm macro lens with extension tubes, with a 58mm Zenit lens reversed on it.

    2015 Snowflake Snow Crystal

    Technical Specs:
    Exposure: 5 sec.
    ISO Speed: 80
    Aperture: f/16 on the 100mm lens, and f/2.8 on the 58mm lens.

    Attachments:
    #9052
    Mr. Quebec
    Participant

    Wow! can you give some details about your setup? That’s something I would like to try!

    #9054
    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    Yeah, I’ll try to come up with a little article about my setup etc. in the next few days. Keep tuned!

    #9055
    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    Fascinating indeed! Is there any way you can make it more sharp?

    #9062
    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    Unfortunately, no, not unless I can figure out a way to get sharper results in the first place. As it is, this one is heavily sharpened, and really, when it’s resized, it doesn’t look too bad.

    Here’s the original, for comparison:

    Attachments:
    #9068
    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    You’re right. Well sharpened. I’m glad you edited the entire image the way you did. Perhaps a little cooler WB would look nice?

    I have been experimenting with some closeup filters recently, and though they were a great price for getting started, they certainly don’t help with sharpness. Have to start somewhere!

    #9070
    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    Yeah, it came to me that maybe I could stop down the 58mm lens to f/8 or so, and see if that would help with the sharpness issue. Hopefully I’ll get a chance at another snowfall soon!

    #9087
    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    Here’s another shot taken the same day, these 2 were in the same frame, but I moved them closer together so they wouldn’t take up so much space. πŸ™‚

    The second one is just another one of those tiny treasures, I don’t think it would even have been visible to the un-aided eye.

    Attachments:
    #9103
    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    Unbelievable! So beautiful! It seems like it would require special equipment and a complex setup. You should post a little video to show us how to do it; I would think it would take way too long to explain it all with words. πŸ™‚

    So, were the second shots you posted taken at f/8? They appear much clearer!

    #9107
    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    God’s creation is simply jaw-droppingly beautiful isn’t it? According to what I’ve heard, there are no two of them alike! I have seen some very similar ones, but I’m sure if you look closely enough that you’ll find some differences. I myself have taken several hundred pictures, (not at this resolution and magnification though, they were taken with our old Powershot S3) and I haven’t seen any that were exactly identical.

    The second shots that I just posted were taken just minutes later (or earlier) than the one I posted originally, and they all use identical aperture settings (as far as I know). When the DOF is just in the fractions of millimeters it doesn’t take much to have variations in focus! It can be extremely exasperating work to get the snowflake in focus, then when you take your hand off the lens, it dissolves into a big blur. πŸ™

    You should post a little video to show us how to do it; I would think it would take way too long to explain it all with words. πŸ™‚

    You know, that might not be a bad idea! I also thought of that, it would be a long article to try to write out and illustrate the whole workflow. We’ll have to see…

    Here’s one that’s a bit different from what we think of as a “snowflake” To me, it looks like a “hollow column” snowflake on it’s side. See here for snowflake classification.

    Here’s also a picture of my macro setup, my Pentax K-5, Vivitar Extension Tubes, 100mm f/4 lens, and 58mm Zenit lens reversed with a Canon extension tube connected to it’s end.

    Attachments:
    #9171
    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    All so interesting. You got quite the lens combination there! Is there a way that you could manually focus without touching the camera? I can only begin to imagine the tiny margin of DOF you would have with that magnification.

    #9192
    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    Is there a way that you could manually focus without touching the camera?

    Actually, yes and no!

    Right now the answer is no, I have to turn the focusing ring to get the snowflake in focus, so that means I have to touch my setup.

    However, I’d like to experiment with moving the glass instead of touching the camera. I’d like to figure out a way to move a small piece of glass in very small increments, and use that for getting it sharp, instead of moving/focusing the camera. We’ll see what I can come up with!

    #9265
    Ezra Morley
    Moderator

    I woke up this morning to find snowflakes had fallen in the night, and were perfectly preserved on the hood of our family van! I used a toothpick to gently transfer some to my pane of glass, then photographed them.

    Actually, I tried photographing them right on the hood of the car, but I never got anything worth looking at. I didn’t realize that someone had set the aperture on my 100mm macro lens all the way to f/32, so it was impossible to get a clear picture because of the extreme diffraction. When I couldn’t even get the snowflakes on the glass to be sharp, I started investigating, and found that the aperture was set to f/32. I wish now that I had tried again on the car hood to see if I could have gotten something a bit different.

    But I did learn a thing or two today!

    1. Higher apertures aren’t always better. F/11 gives tack-sharp pictures compared to f/32
    2. An old CD makes an excellent reflector for lighting snowflakes from different angles! (Not to mention, you get much better shutter speeds = less chance for motion blur.

    Exif Data:

    • Shutter Speed: – 1 Sec.
    • Aperture: – f/11, (f/4 on the reversed 58mm lens)
    • ISO Speed: – 100
    • Shutter Speed: – 8 Sec.
    • Aperture: – f/32, (f/4 ?? on the reversed 58mm lens)
    • ISO Speed: – 500
    Attachments:
    #9354
    James Staddon
    Keymaster

    Breathtaking. Thanks for sharing @buddingphotographer!

    #9497
    Sarah.Brown
    Participant

    WOW! That is truly AMAZING! Not to mention awe-inspiring! My particular favorite is the top one in the last post! I have seen some amazing things done with a macro lens, I have been contemplating on investing in one myself. Another thing that was pretty impressive was the snowflake classification! Thank you for sharing @buddingphotographer!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)

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