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Microcosm (d = 2-4 mm) & Technique

Microcosm (d = 2-4 mm) & Technique
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: 2006-06-08
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D, Konica Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro (D), Hoya HMC Super UV(0) 55 mm
Exposure: f/11, 1/80 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Macro Lessons, Flower(blue)II [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-01-21 7:53
Viewed: 6623
Points: 98
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This picture opens a short series of my photos of the smallest flowers growing in my garden.

Charm of macro photography is that the person has an opportunity to see that he cannot see with open eyes. The cognition of the nature by means of a macro photography allows, except of that, to see how the microcosm of wildlife is fine.

As soon as I had bought the macro lens, I at once had begun to photograph the tiny plants and the flowers surrounding my summerhouse. In this picture, the smallest of them flower is represented. Its diameter is only 2-4 mm. The height of the whole plant reaches 5-7 cm, and its flowers are looked as blue dots.

It is quite natural, that I do not know anything about this plant.

To imagine the actual size of this flower it is possible with help of my previous picture. In that shot to the left of a poppy, you can see the small blue flowers. Their sizes are more then size of the flower presented in this shot, in two-three times.

Not having experience in macro photography, I had spent almost a month to get a picture of satisfactory quality. I am sure that in this year I can make better pictures. Nevertheless, I would like to share my supervision, concerning the difficulties of macro photography.

Macro photography.

In strict photographic terms, "macro" means the optical ability to produce a 1:1 or higher magnification of an object on the film or sensor. For instance if you photograph a flower with an actual diagonal of 21.6 mm so that it fills the 35 mm film frame (43.3 mm diagonal), the flower gets magnified with a ratio of 43.3 to 21.6 or 2:1, or with a magnification of 2X. Macro photography typically deals with magnifications between 1:1 and 50:1 (1X to 50X), while close up photography ranges from 1:1 to 1:10 (1X to 1/10X) Macro.

In an amateur photography, it is frequent to macro photos attribute the pictures taken with a magnification of 0.25-0.33X (1:3-4). I shall adhere to the same opinion.

The majority of macro lenses have the maximal magnification 1:1 and focal length in mm 50(60), 100 (90, 105), 150, 180, 200 mm. Usually, the less focal length of a lens, the minimal focus distance is less. Thus it is necessary to consider, that the maximal magnification is reached at the minimal focus distance. The manufacturer usually overestimates the value of minimal focus distance. For example, for my 100 mm macro lens normative min. focus distance is 35 mm, actual min. focus distance is 15.5 cm.

Ellis49's correction: the minimal focus distance is measured from a "film-plane" mark on a camera, instead of from a front lens as I have supposed.

Anel's correction: This is Veronica arvensis L.

Heart of the problem:

To be continued…

volkan, jcoowanitwong, marmottelolo, JoseMiguel, ellis49, uleko, ramthakur, jmp, dew77, mikou, scottevers7, fiyo, JORAPAVI, SkyF, Necipp, tigra, oscarromulus, clnaef, horia, anel, metcher, jeanpaul, Maite, glazzaro, peter_stoeckl, Silvio2006, shirgold, izler, RAP, pvs, irimi, rousettus has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Necipp: Brilliant shotAlex99 1 01-22 04:53
To anel: Veronica arvensis L.Alex99 1 01-22 04:28
To anahory: Macro vs CloseAlex99 1 01-21 10:25
To ellis49: You are quite right.Alex99 1 01-21 09:26
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Alexei,
Wonderful close up shot and beautiful colors.
Nice POV and sharpness.
Well done.

Hi Alexei,
Without your note, I could not imagine how small these flowers are. The picture is of highest quality witch composition, color contrast, and sharpness are well appreciated.

Hello Alexei,
A beautiful close-up with amazing details!
I like the framing and the colours are strong and vivid...
The angle of light does a lot of good in bringing out details in the subject!
Pablo -

Hi Alexei,
Discovering new worlds, as I can see...
It's amazing the way a macro lens can show us a whole new universe that usually we dont realize about it.
You didn't waste the month used dealing with the new lens.
Got a picture with very good details, and with two stages of the blossom.
I like the way illumination creates light and shadows on this picture and the composition created.
Congratulations, thanks for share and warm regards,

salut alexei
ha ben m...ince,c'est super etonnant!
effectivement ces fleurs sont minuscules.(par rapport au pavot).
même si certaines zones de la fleur sont un peu trop exposées c'est une macro exceptionnelle.
felicitations et merci pour cette superbe note.

Hello Alexei,

Excllent work, great colors bg POv DOF perfect details very criusp excellent composed and capture photo excllent work

TFS Kyle

Hi Alexei,
a very nice close-up with good details amnd nice colours.
A good not too. But yhe minimal focus distance is not from the front lens as most people think, it from the "film-plane" mark, I think you can find the mark it on DSRL too.
Well done, my friend.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-01-21 9:17]

Hello Alexei,
This looks like a Veronica sp. It's a big family and we have very tiny ones here too.
One certainly discovers a whole new world by using a macro lens! Your shot shows excellent details and nice colours. The light is a bit bright - I usually find I get better results if I avoid direct sunlight when takíng macro shots. Nice composition including the little bud.
TFS and regards, Ulla

hi alexei,
excellent shot of these lovely flowers,
well composed with fine pov,
nice colours,
excellent sharpness,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hello Alexei
really macrophotography is a fascinating world to discover...and this beautiful tiny flower with is magnificent colours and details stands as a great example of macro photography in nature!
Let me give my opinion about terminology: I use the term macro when magnification ratio is 1:1 or more.When less to 1:1 use the term close up or proxyphotography
your notes are very complete and didactic and I thank you for that
best regards my friend

Hello Alexei,
Your workshop on macro photography based on your first hand experience with your new equipment must be a great help to many a novice figuring out what to do with their own new gizmos :-)! I am contemplating being one of them shortly, though my search here in Riyadh for the stuff has left me a bit disheartened; the high end photo equipment is just not available!
The macro image of tiny blue flowers you have posted today is an apt illustration of what you have conveyed through your yet incomplete note.
Needless to say that I eagerly await the next instalment :-).

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-01-21 11:39]

Hi Alexei

Lovely colours and great details on your macro shot. The macro lens certainly brings up some interesting details. Nicely done



  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-01-21 11:44]

Hello Alexei,
I like to see MACROS and details of organisms as you present here. However, I like it much more when these details are shown within a well composed picture and thechnically perfect ... that is what you posted today.
Best wishes, Peter

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-01-21 11:50]

Hi Alexei,
This microcosm looks really beautiful at this size. Wonderful colours, details, light and composition. An excellent macro job!
TFS, José M.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-01-21 12:24]

Privet Alexei,
Very nice close up.I saw this flowers today at my fathers garden:)Well caught,framed and composed.

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2007-01-21 12:30]

Hi Alexei.
Amazing macro-shot.Again you are showed yours large technical skill capture details very precise.Splendid composition with very nice POV.Perfect managed DOF.I like very much beautiful vivid colours and long shadows.
This yours presentation have high technical quality.My admiration and very much thanks for sharing.And very instructive note too.
Best greetings Milos

Hi Alexi,
The angle of the side lighting has made this composition more dramatic with the use of the shadows. It shows the textures of the flower and leaves very well. Rich color saturation and sharp detail. Beautiful!

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-01-21 14:43]

Hello Alexei,
Excellent close up, superb detail, and excellent bright colours. Very sharp and clear.
Thanks for posting.

Hola Alexei,
Gran macro conseguido de esta miniatura, la luz, el color y nitidez coseguidas son excelentes. Un cordial saludo

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-01-21 15:32]

Gran trabajo Alexei, buenos detalles y perfecta luz. una macro espectacular... saludos

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-01-21 16:10]

Hello Alexei,
a beauttiful macro shot, perfect sharpness to the smallest detail. I love the colors and POV is excellent. The compostion is cgreat, I love the OOF BG and the shadows.

Hi Alexei, Superb detail I took a pic of this same flower blue flower and I appretiate how small it. Very nice compo Excellent job TFS rgds Necip.

  • Great 
  • tigra Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 11 W: 1 N: 24] (93)
  • [2007-01-21 17:49]

Удачное макро, видны даже мельчайшие ворсинки.
Продолжайте эксперименты:)

Love your notes.
This is truely a great, great photo.
In fact, it is PERFECT, considering the size of the subject.
Exteremely well presented.
Best regards,

Hi Alexei,
Excellent macro-shot!
Very educational note too....

Ben Lakitan

Jolis détails et belles couleurs.
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-01-22 2:36]

Hi Alexei

Another great lesson from you!
I had to admit that reading your notes remembered me of the discussions we used to have regerding my future equipment and the technical talk :)...i stil can't wait to have them...but that's still some 3-4 month to go :(
Anyway, the macro work here is impeccable.
Those really are little flowers and are presented here as if they were huge :)
The details are very nice and the colors are natural and vivid.
Great work, my friend!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-01-22 3:36]
  • [+]

Hi Alex,
Your technical skills just amaze me. And you link it with an artistic presentation. So we can see so much better the beauty of tiny things. This little flowers must be some kind of Veronica(4 petals) At first I thought at Myosotis, but they have 5 petals.
Best regards

Belle photo, de ces toutes petites fleurs,qui sont particulièrements jolies,les couleurs et les détails sont superbes. Amitiés Thomas

Hi, Alexei.
Beautiful flower shot with lovely light. Good sharpness, details and POV. Nice composition.

Bonjour Alexei
Une excellente photo en macro de cette belle fleur.Les couleurs sont justes et parfaitements exposées ainsi que les détails.. Félicitations pour la belle composition.

Merci et au revoir...JP

Hello Alexei,
I'm amazed by the size of those little ones. Details, composition, POV and exposure are very good. It seems like you have done macro for a long time ;) This is a very beautiful post with much interesting notes. TFS,

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2007-01-23 8:21]

La misma diminuta y bella especie que encontré cerca de Buenos Aires y que Eruyanic me dijo que es originaria de su país Alexei.
Excelente agudeza con gran iluminación creando incluso una estética sombra que colabora con la composición.
Los detalles y texturas que se aprecian son realmente maravillosos teniendo en cuenta el tamaño de las mismas.
Gracias por tan bella presentación.

The tiny and beautiful same species that I found near Buenos Aires and that Eruyanic told me that it is it would originate of your country Alexei.
Excellent sharpness with great illumination even creating an aesthetic shade that collaborates with the composition.
The details and textures that are appreciated are really marvelous keeping in mind the size of the same ones.
Thank you for so beautiful presentation.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-01-23 9:52]

And what I think now is: "I have to buy a macro lens! Now!" Cause there seem to be a whole new world of beauty to capture throught it!
Nevertheless I have no time nor money so I am so much happy to see your wonderful discoveries and disquisitions with your macro lens.
It is really exquisite and full of details with an excellent lighting and composition.
A great job.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2007-01-23 13:30]

Belles couleurs et jolie présentation.merci pour le partage.

An excellent macro shot, the detail is so fine, well taken and presented!


Dear Alexej,
small and inconspicous inhabitants from your garden presented in spectacular stage light. Noble reduction, cool colours and crisp details of ultimate clarity. A pleasure to follow you on an exciting trip into the wonders of microcosm next door. I like the straight technical title in front of that fairy tale poem of light.
Thank you! With best regards,

Hi Alexei, wonderful flower, great composition, splendid colors, great lesson of macrophotography, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Alexei,
an incredible macro, considering the smallness of the flower; in addition it is to me surprising that the same species or another similar lives in Argentina. The colors, details and specially the note are wonderful.
Congratulations and thanks.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-01-25 22:34]

Hello Alexei

A super macro shot of this lovely pastel coloured flower.The lighting is very nice,and the POV and DOF are well handled.Excellent details.TFS


  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2007-01-27 18:58]

hello Alexei
you are presenting beautiful macro series from your portfolio. i like composition, point of view, colours, details and successful using of equipments.

My friend, in my "intro" I have written:
"I have found that the lens of my camera is like the Third Eye,
allowing me to see things my birth-given pair can not reveal.
so I certainly agree that the charm of macro photography is that the person has an opportunity to see that he cannot see with open eyes. < The same goes for telephoto shots eh! >

It is as if we put a magnifying glass on the subject!

Philosophy abt photography aside, this is a wonderful close-up of what I think of as "veronica". The colours blue and green are very complimentary, and the detail is outstanding!

I like the shadow of the stamen on the petal. The detail of the stamen itself is lost, but that is a minor detail.

Well done, and appreciated. J

  • Great 
  • Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
  • [2007-02-13 14:53]

What a wonderful macro of the speedwell flower. the details and clarity are stunnign and the colours spot on. The lighting is especially good and composition is also good.


HI Alex,
I saw the blue flower on Laurent's site and he told us, you told him the name of it.
Now I also wanted to see yours - and I love it.
I had the same here more than a year ago, perhaps you like to have a look here. Sure without points - only for the fun - I love to see similar shots and see the differences between them. Many greetings, bye
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hola alexei.
Que bella imagen.
Magnifico macro, con una luz, preciosa y unos bellos colores.Saludos.

Hi,great shot!
I also love shooting macros,. and though I am just an amateur new into the world of photography, I have little bit of idea how much effort one has to give to take macro photos. I like the clarity and lighting of this picture!

See this flower in Brazil.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-02-05 13:03]

Hi Alex,thanks for this great macro and for the very very interesting information about. Have a nice day,,Luciano

Hi Alexei, my dear friend
since I dont see your new posts; I also looked at your great portfolio and I found this great macro shot from microcosmos. I also posted similar Veronica and I know this beautiful flower how small size.
you greatly captured it in your master quality. great sharp details, exposure and POV/DOF. coloration of blue and green and ligthing also superb. I also found some good information on your good notes and discussion.
thanks for sharing.
best regards and have a nice evening

Excellent close-up photo!!!

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