Flower in Droplet #8 (2.4X)

Flower-Powered Therapeutic Photography (Podcast 733)

A photographic respite to chill out shooting dreamy bokeh flower shots and figure out how to photograph flowers reflected in water droplets.

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Rich Ball
    Posted at 03:27h, 18 March Reply

    Martin – Really enjoyed your work and explanation of what you were doing. I take lots of flower pictures. A lot of photographers view that with disdain. Flowers, however, offer an infinite number colors, variety and compositions. Your extreme closeup work is something I have never indulged in. I’ll have to give the 65mm mpe another try. It is a difficult lens to use. I am normally a non tripod kind of photographer and it doesn’t fit my style very well. You alluded to exploring the flower by moving back and forth on the focusing rail. Could you have focus stacked those images? Also, Your EOS R5 focus bracketing capability. Have you tried it with a lens like the 100mm macro? I ask because I’m trying to get photos of a couple of small native wild flowers here in Washington State (Tellima grandiflora, and Tolmiea menziesii) that I want mostly in sharp focus. They are both quite small – about bean size. I like the texture that I find on flowers of all sizes visually appealing. You have found a different kind of texture with your large out of focus areas. Something I had’t considered before. I’m pretty sure my patience would run out if I tried the water drop photos.

    With respect to the canon 35mm near macro lens It near focusing distance is 0.17 meters. At it’s nearest focus the lens is only an inch or two from the subject. With it’s short focal length it should have a little greater depth feel when used at near macro distances. Giving it more than a 0.5 magnification probably isn’t realistic. I have purchased a Canon 250D achromatic closeup lens that I’ll use with it. My casual use wit the 35mm has been positive. As I explore it more I’m sure it will meet many of my expectations. You might explore the after market extension tubes available for the Canon RF mount.

    Keep working on your mental health. We can all live a bit longer without an update of the Photographers Friend.

    All the best – Rich

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 17:06h, 28 March Reply

      Hi Rich,

      Sorry for the delayed reply. Thanks so much for your well-thought-out comment!

      I like to shoot down to life-size macro handheld, but I find it easier to get good results at higher magnifications by using a tripod and focussing rail. Yes, you certainly can use the rail to create a stacked image set, but I personally prefer to play with the shallow depth of field, and of course, a stacked image has pan-focus, the complete opposite. I have done focus-stacking in the past, with both the 100mm macro and the 65mm lens.I’m just not a fan of the results, which is why I’ve not played with the focus bracketing of the R5.

      I’m not an incredibly patient person either, and that’s probably why I hadn’t really figured out the water-droplet shot technique so far, but once I settled in to make this work it was a lot of fun. I guess timing is a big part of the accomplishment. I’ve got to be ready to get stuck into something before I can make it happen.

      I still have a 12 and 24 mm extension tube for the EF mount, so that option is still there for my macro lenses, but I’d not thought to look for something specifically for the RF mount until you just mentioned it. I looked and found that Kenko have a 10 and 16 mm set and a company called Viltrox have a 12 and 24 mm set. I’ll pick some up at some point and give them a try. Thanks for the pointer!

      Working too hard on the app has ultimately injured my neck, with a trapped nerve, so the last two weeks have been a bit low on the physical health side too, but I’m getting better again now. Thanks for your concern.

      All the best!


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