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Microcosm: d=3-5 mm & Technique Part III

Microcosm: d=3-5 mm & Technique Part III
Photo Information
Copyright: Alexei Alyokhin (Alex99) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-06-17
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D, Konica Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro (D), Marumi MC-UV 58 mm
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/125 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Macro Lessons, Flower(blue)II [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-01-27 1:55
Viewed: 4787
Points: 76
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Comments for this flower see at my two workshops.

Part III.

3. Illumination:

Heart of the problem:
Bad light conditions in comparison with other types of shooting

– at magnification ratio 1:1 the reflecting surface is very small and the level of illumination is too low
– because of necessity to apply small aperture values

This problem and available solutions were discussed at notes and comments of this Wasp, DOF and BG: Summery and related shots.

4. Focus (AF, MF):

Heart of the problem:
At ultra close-up photography both AF and MF do not work properly enough

– slow AF (it is characteristic feature of many macro lenses)
– hunting of AF
– slow speed of focusing adaptation at continues AF mode
– it is impossible to change focus at MF mode quickly enough
– it is difficult to focus if the viewfinder is not rather bright and large
Note: The lens focus limiter is not so effective (often it is necessary to change distance to object of shooting operatively)

– large stroke of lenses
– not bright and/or small viewfinder
- bad light conditions
– opportunities of MF are limited by opportunities of the person

5. Minimal focus distance (MFD), distance to shooting object:

Heart of the problem:
At ultra close distance to object of shooting, it is easy to frighten off a shooting insect (or other animal)
Shooting at ultra close distance is physically inconvenient (especially if the shooting object is placed on (or near) ground)

– obviously, including inconvenience of a selection of the POV and manipulation with equipment (small working space)

– construction of the macro lenses (their minimal focus distance)
– construction of the SLR camera (lack of the rotating monitor and live preview)
– necessity of required magnification ratio and ultra close distance for macro shooting (it is caused by the first reason)

Tree + One Whales of Macro Photography:
– Small Aperture Values
– Tripod
– Macro Flash
– (?!) ...

Available solutions:

1. Applying of the small aperture values:

– effective extension of the DOF (solving of the problem # 1)

– worsening of light conditions (aggravation of the problem # 2)
– reduction of the lens and image sharpness (since some level of aperture values)
– occurrence diffraction and softening of the image (since some level of aperture values)
Note: I have tested at my 100 mm macro lens all aperture values up to f/32. I have not noticed phenomena specified in items 2 and 3. My favorite often applied minimal aperture values are f/18-f/27.

Conclusion #1:
Highly recommended.
Small aperture values are not whim but the realized necessity.

To be continued…

jmp, Juyona, fiyo, Silvio2006, JORAPAVI, RAP, anel, horia, izler, glazzaro, stevkds, uleko, dew77, star74, saeedabbasi, valy67, tomcezar, jcoowanitwong, scottevers7, hester, XOTAELE, peter_stoeckl, pvs, cedryk, mikou, irimi, oscarromulus has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To peter_stoeckl: Thanks & DOFAlex99 1 02-01 11:27
To glazzaro: DoubtsAlex99 1 01-28 03:23
To horia: Thanks for supportAlex99 1 01-28 03:20
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-01-27 4:08]

Bella macro amigo, colores excelentes y nitidez y detalles, magnífico trabajo Alexei, muchos saludos

Another excellent flower macro with good DOF and nice background seperation nice colours well done TFS rgds Necip.

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-01-27 4:27]

Hello Alexei,
Great color & composition with excellent details within your DOF. TFS

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-01-27 4:37]

Hi Alexei,
Master demostration of macro possibilities. Very good details, extremely short dof and soft and cold colours.
José M.

Hi Alexei, wonderful serie of macro composition with interesting note, very well done,ciao Silvio

Hola Alexei,
Me gusta la composición, excelente la iluminación y quizás un poco justo la profundidad de campo. Un cordial saludo

Hi Alexei,
Very nice result...
Superb sharpness, great details...
Excellent macro-shot.

Ben Lakitan

bonjour alex
une bonne profondeur de champs sur celle-ci,cela fait la troisieme que vous publiez et chaque fois c'est mieux.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2007-01-27 9:42]

Muy similar a tus dos anteriores presentaciones Alex con la misma calidad técnica y estética, en este caso con 3 flores bien encuadradas, con apropiado foco (tal vez hasta podrías haber utilizado mayor profundidad aun) y agudeza, sobre un fondo luminoso y armonioso.
Saludos amigo!

Very similar to your two previous presentations Alex with the technical and aesthetic same quality, in this case with 3 well framed flowers, with appropriate focus (perhaps until you could even have used bigger depth) and sharpness, on a luminous and harmonious bottom.
Regards friend!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-01-27 14:21]

Hi Alex,
Very balanced composition with the choice of representing three flowers. The light on the blue flowers is soft and the background very fine.
I'm absolutely amazed that you tested all aperture values! I wouldn't have the patience.
Best regards and thank you for your note.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-01-27 17:44]
  • [+]

Hi Alexei

Another interesing part of the entire macro theory!
You know what would be very nice...a gathering of many TN members that would last an entire week, in which we could all debate on different techniques and probles in photography...but unfortunately that is not very likely to happen :(
Ah...anyway...at least we have our discussion here, on the forums and personal mails, which help us on our way, just the way this photo and note helps me understand better what i'm about to face :)
Another terrific and very sharp macro shot from you, my friend, and a great note to go with it.
I'm looking forward, again, to read the follow-up :)

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2007-01-27 18:28]

hello Alexei
i think here is beautiful flower and successful using of equipments. i like composition, point of view, background, colours, details and note in your photo

An extremely beautiful and effective presentation. I have to say that your write up is the winner here, this is how folks should help one another to learn, through our own experiences, so I congratulate you on both an superb presentation and an outstanding write up, my hat is off to you!


hi Alexei.
Extra fine picture. Very nice excercise with the colour, structure and focus. Tfs. Stev

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-01-28 6:25]

Hello Alexi,
I like this best of the three 'blues', the blurred background makes the flowers really stand out and the blue colour is lovely. Sharp and very nicely focused. Beautiful composition!
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-01-28 7:33]

Privet Alexei,
Beautiful macro.Lighting seems natural in spite of flash.DOF,3D effect POV,colors,framing and composition are excellent.Have a great sunday!

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-01-28 8:26]

Hello Alexei

A beautiful macro of these dainty flowers.The image is crisp and detailed.The colours are superb.Excellent DOF ,you can see all the little hairs and textures on the leaves.It is like a 3D image almost.Excellent camera work.TFS


Hello Alexie,

Excllent colors bg POv DOf perfect details very crisp nicly composed and capture photo excllent details very well done,

TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • star74 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 211 W: 3 N: 598] (2474)
  • [2007-01-28 11:28]

Hi Alexei,
Very well captured.
I like the BG alot.
POV and DOF are marvellous.
Well done

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-01-28 11:43]

Hello Alex
What a lovely variety of little blue flowers you've got in your garden!! I love all of them! Maybe cause you have shown them so beautifully and perfectly well photographied.
And you go on with your excellent lessons on photography. I should like to be closer to understand them... Wow! :-)
My compliments and TFS.

Salut Alexei
Quelle magnifique prise de vue avec ce superbe macro de cette belle fleur ! Les couleurs sont sublimes.La composition est très belle ainsi que les détails!
Merci et au revoir....JP

  • Great 
  • sily Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 6 N: 395] (1934)
  • [2007-01-28 20:45]

I love this new experiments with flowers macros.
Very good light management and interesting selected focus on flowers contributes strongly to the quality of this macro image!
The composition is well chosen, and colours mild sharp totaly superb,
Details are well captured, and presented in a successfull contrast with non distracting BG!Well done Alex!

Hi dear Alexei ,
excellent details and great colors.
very nice sharpness.
well composition and nice BG.
thanks and regards my good friend

Hello Alexei,
Tiny flowers are very well reproduced through the fine macro work done!
Good point of view and the subjects are well framed...
Good sharpness in the fine details!
Pablo -

Composition bien équilibrée.
Bonne journée.

Hello Alexei,
I have the impression to be at a photo school reading your notes. I think that you bring out many interesting issue. As I don't do much macros, I'll have a very well done document to refer too when time will come :) Again, this is an excellent picture with good colors, lightning, composition and DOF. This is superb! Thanks,

Hello Alexei !
Another beautiful flower and another very interesting note ! The details and textures on the flowers are excellent, as well as the DOF - the flowers stand out very nicely on the blurry BG. Very well done !

Very good macro of this Boraginaceae flower. And comments are very usefull. Best regards, Cezar T.

Hello Alexei,
With well tested techniques this is one of the best macro picture. POV, DOF, exposure, sharpness are all great. TFS this fine picture and note on macro shooting.

Hi Alexei,

Macro work is very difficult and really requires alot of effort to produce good results. I really enjoy it. The flowers here are very beautiful. Rich colors saturation and sharp detail. I have a 180 macro and I really like the extra working space. Then I put a 1.4 extender on and get a 252mm macro. Great notes! Very useful to teach people more about macro work,

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-01-30 15:54]

Hi Alexei

That is a very informative note. A good series of photos to back up your notes. You certainly have put a lot of work into both the pictures and the explanations



  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-01-30 19:05]

Hello Alexei,
following your notes and workshop you poseted in this series are quite interesting and helpful.
This is another demonstration of a great macro. The lighting, details and sharpness are perfect.

Interesante ilustración. Esta planta y su flor siendo tan pequeñas has sabido captarla en toda su belleza.
Magníficos colores y una presentación fantástica.
Saludos, JL.

Dear Alexej,
that is a pretty continuation of your series! Very pleasant diffuse light, and equally pleasant subdued colours. A very good handling of focus and blurrings with well chosen depth of field.
Very valuable technical considerations in your notes.
Doing a lot of macro photography in the field with compact models of short focal length rather than with a full size dSLR for reasons of weigth and other conveniences, my concern quite often is too much depth of field with little isolation from BG instead of too little - due to the much shorter focal length involved.
Thank you! Best wishes to you,

  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2007-03-19 22:00]

Hello Alexei,
I like all kind of blue flowers, and this one is photographed perfectly. The details and gentle light are oustanding and show well the delicateness of this plant.
I like also your nice and informative lecture about photography :-)
Best greetings,

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2007-04-03 15:12]

Hi Alexei.
This is fantastic sharp close-up.Great your managed DOF,details on flowers are perfect as well as on leaves with long hairs.Colors are splendid and separation flowers from superb BG did you managed very well.Also composition with three flowers is amazing.My admiration and thank you for sharing.
Best greetings Milos.

You are a MASTER at macro photography; and, in this image one can see, CLEARLY, your art.
A sharp image; excellently controlled lighting.
Have made a copy of your notes for future reference. Thanks for sharing your knowledge so very freely with the TN world.
Am thinking of buying a Canon. What's your opinion?
Best and I mean TRUELY "the" best of our regards to you and your family,

Hello Alexei,
For the first, thansk for the kind word in my past photo. :-)
I know this tiny little flower. Wow! Very nice macro shot you brought here, with wonderful focusing and DOF.
Also, excellent details and very lovely colours here.
Well presented with informative note.
TFS and best wishes,

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