Monday, February 23, 2015

Let's Talk About Photography for Another Moment

Last week, I posted about my frustrations with photographing the flies I have been tying. To summarize, it seemed my DSLR Canon Rebel was unable to get a focused, close-up shot of any of my flies, causing me to rely on my smartphone's camera. Not optimal. However, my buddy Mike Hoffman from over at Missouri Trekking pointed me in the direction of a great, cheap solution. Mike pointed me to a 58mm macro lens kit designed specifically for my camera. I am stoked with the results.

The lenses arrived, of course, as I was walking out the front door Thursday night to leave on a weekend trip to Michigan. (It was a lovely time, by the way. Beautiful, but cold weather. Very fun wedding of a buddy from law school. The entire Great Lakes region seems to be complete frozen over. Driving through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan, I saw a ton of people ice fishing.) I had to wait all the way till Sunday night to play with my new lenses and try each of them out. Here's how the pictures turned out.

First, a plain vanilla shot of a fly using no magnification. As you can see, this is not ideal and does not show any level detail.
Standard Zoom

The first lens offers 1x magnification. Not much, but at least it's something.

1x Magnification

Then we have 2x and 4x. Now we're getting somewhere.

2x Magnification
4x Magnification

Then finally, the lens that I would have paid the entire price of the kit for alone, the 10x magnifier. I cannot tell you how happy I am with the outcome here. I've played around with flash and no flash, using a close background, using manual focus, and it's incredible the different level of details I can get in focus. Here you can see, I did use a flash, and the back legs are not in focus; however, I think this brings out the colors and the details of the ribbing the most. I mean, seriously, you can even tell how badly I over-crowded the eye on the hook here. Amazing.

10x Magnification

In addition to the magnifying lenses, the kit also cam with some UV, CPL, and florescent lighting filters. I'm hoping these will work the same way a pair of UV filtering sunglasses work, and allow me to photograph fishes under water without getting so much glare. I'll have to wait for Missouri to defrost to find out. Until then, I'll have to keep tying flies and finally photographing them properly.

Thanks again for the tip, Mike.

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