Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Mixing Channels - The Making of a B/W Picture

A brilliant Sunlight day with lots of bright blue sky and plenty of clouds, just right for a bit of infra red photography. Pity the wind was so bally cold.  A good job I'm not related to any brass monkeys. I was trying out a new IR filter on the 'full spectrum' 1200D. This one is infinitely adjustable from 530nm  to 720nm.

This photo was taken with it set to 530nm and the camera white balance set to the green grass.

Result as seen and taken by the camera:


The RAW file was adjusted for contrast and black level in Affinity Photo. Then the channel mixer was used to adjust each Red, Green & Blue level independantly on each R G & B channel:


Finally that was changed to B/W (greyscale) with a tad more tweaking:


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Closer by Tube

No, not underground photography but using extension tubes to take macro shots.

A short while ago I spotted a set of extension tubes for sale on eBay. Lightweight alloy by the feel of them. Full electrical contacts are fitted so auto focus works as normal. This set is designed for Canon DSLR cameras and consists of three tubes of different lengths so you can choose which to use depending how close you want to get.


These hand held photos (uncropped) were taken with the 'full spectrum' 1200D set for B/W, 21mm tube with 24-105mm zoom lens. Live view was used on the camera:

A small cactus: (1/100  f8  67mm) middle branch is bout 6mm across

A miniature daffodil: (1/160  f8  92mm)

I was pleased the outdoor daffodil worked as there was a breeze wafting the flowers about.

The advantage of using tubes is no extra optics so no added distortion. The disadvantage is the longer the tube used the more light is lost = slower shutter speeds and / or wider apertures for the same exposure. The 21mm is about 2 f stops slower compared with no tube.

This set seems to be a snip at just under £15 with free p&p.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Video Title Experiment

It's nice to have something new to exercise the remaining grey cell. This time it's animation. A couple of days ago I spotted the Mac app called Crazy Talk Animator 2 Standard Edition had gone free for a while so I just had to download it and have a play. This is about the most basic version they make and you have to work with the backgrounds, figures, animation they supply. I've always wanted to make a short animated intro for my videos so thought I would have a play.

Some rather poorly lit, grainy video of Blue Tits taken earlier in the year:

Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies filmed earlier in the week:

The animated sequence was saved as a .MOV video file then imported in iMovie and added to the
video clips with associated music where needed.

Of course the idea of giving away the basic version is to entice people to buy the Pro version for £75.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Home From Home

A few years ago I installed an insect house but all I ever saw in it were spiders webs.
It has now rotted away and been replaced with a new one:


I fixed the new one in different place a couple of weeks ago. I was wondering whether it was in too much direct Sunlight but as I went to move it I saw it has its first resident already:


A bit closer crop:


Yes, a 7 spot Ladybird.
Needless to say I left the house where it was.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Early Flutters Feeding

Yesterday started cool but the Sun soon came out so I decided to trim some of the evergreens in the front garden. Pleased I had my trusty pocket Nikon with me as I saw some 7 spot Ladybirds:


Some bees enjoying a feed on the Heather:


But what caught my eye was about five Small Tortoiseshell butterflies on the Heather:



One looked very much well worn and tatty but the rest appeared pristine.

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