All the discussion regarding the Nikon PB-4 macro bellows setup brought an onslaught of email. Most were requests for more image examples. Not knowing what would make for good subjects, we just grabbed a few objects and started firing away.
It didn't take us long to get the hang of using the macro setup. All of our examples were shot with available light. The images were taken with the camera in "manual" mode. We didn't note the aperture/ shutter speed setting as it was so easy with digital to just arrive at the right combination by trial and error. We wanted a large depth of field (more things in focus) so we set the aperture at F16 and "found" the right shutter speed setting when we got a bright enough exposure. Click on any of the images to see the larger versions.
Since the weather was gorgeous yesterday, we spent some time outside in the RainyDayGarden. With all the rain this Spring and Summer, the vegetable (beans, tomatoes, etc...) got plenty of water and the vegetable garden produced a very nice harvest. While picking some of the remaining tomatoes Carolyn noticed this giant caterpillar. Even before she finished saying "you gotta see this..." we were setting up the macro gear :-)
Shooting outside was a whole different experience. There was plenty of light, so we were able to use a much smaller aperture, thereby giving us greater a depth of field. We found it easier to first focus with the aperture wide open, then stop-down to a smaller opening when we were ready to take a shot. While the increase lighting was helpful, the occasional breeze made it harder to get a sharp photo. Eventually, we decided to open up the aperture a little in exchange for a faster shutter speed.
The compromise meant a slight loss in depth of field so not everything we had wanted to be in focus was, but it was the best option available under yesterday's conditions. We had to guess at the shutter speed. At f8, most of these shots were taken at 0.5 sec. However, we didn't really pay all that much attention as we were just looking at the LCD and adjusting on the fly.
Shooting macro images with our new bellows setup is a lot of fun. The gratification was immediate and the results often surprising. There are so many unexpected patterns when you get up really close that we could have easily spent the day in one spot and not exhaust all of the photographic possibilities. We think we'll be spending a lot of time outside this Fall. BTW...the catepillar was a Tomato Hornworm (Manduca quinquemaculata) and it will emerge as a moth in next Spring. [Permalink] - Macro Samples