Group 63 Bulletin Board


To many, macro photography deals with creating images of very small subjects and revealing fine detail, detail that may not be visible to the naked eye. Using a lens that goes at least to 1:1 for this type of close-up photography is often done with bugs and butterflies and the like. 1:1 magnification means that the subject will be the same size on the sensor as it was in life. Only true macro lenses can get to 1:1. I like to refer to my style of flower photography as "the softer side of macro." I often use a shallow depth of field and selectively focus on one point of interest in the frame so that that area will be sharp while other elements within the image become softly blurred. Thus, my style of macro photography is not at all a traditional one.------Denise Ippolito I have a video on this subject, and I just posted on YouTube so you can check it out, and you can use this link to share with the people in PSA. https://youtu.be/LjiRVN4Xtnw -----Mike Moats As you probably know macro and micro are the same things. Macro/microphotography is photography done with a specialty lens for the purpose of making small things big and capturing fine detail. The detail would be very fine because of the specialty lens. Close-up photography is where the subject is very close and fills the frame. It can be done with any lens and doesn't necessarily make a small thing big or have detail beyond what a standard 50mm lens might give. It can be, for example, a section of a barn that fills a frame because it's very close-up. Its close-up photography even though the object is not small. -----Pamela Keller, Chair of Art Department, Athens State University Macro is anything that is 1x magnification or greater. Everything else would be close-up.------Blake Rudis


 
You may notice a new button at the top of our page called "Bulletin Board." This is a forum like place for us to discuss topics not related to our current round of images. I think everyone gets all these messages but I'm not sure so I thought I would ask this trial question to see if everyone is on board.

Are others having trouble with the website? Lisa has had a difficult time making comments and I need to contact our webmaster if others are having difficulty as well.

If you get this, please respond one way or another so I will know everyone is one the same page. (Pun intended) If you are having trouble, please explain a little about what is happening.   Posted: 05/24/2017 20:11:03

 
You may have noticed a new button on our page. It is called bulletin board. Tom put it up for us a couple of months ago, but when I tried to us it, I found that no one got the message. I think he has changed that now so that you should received all bulletin board announcements. Please let me know if you get this by replying to it.   Posted: 06/25/2017 21:37:00

 
I want to begin placing here some extra material that we can share together. And to begin, I thought we might work on some "definition" of Macro photography, since that often comes up in our group. In order to help us out, I asked several "teachers" of art and photography to give me their off the cuff definition of Macro Photography. I'll share each one here as a separate submission.   Posted: 06/25/2017 21:38:58

 
When I asked Mike Moats to give me his definition, this is how he replied:

I have a video on this subject, and I just posted on YouTube so you can check it out, and you can use this link to share with the people in PSA. https://youtu.be/LjiRVN4Xtnw
-----Mike Moats

I'm sorry to tell you that you will have to copy and paste the url into your browser, but I promise you, the video is well worth watching.
  Posted: 06/25/2017 21:40:35

 
How I make my macro pictures sharp?

There are many ways to make pictures sharp. Here is my simple way for getting sharp macro pictures.

1. Using tripod.

About 99 percent of the time a picture is not sharp, it is because our hand and camera are shaking more or less. Therefore, I use a tripod whenever possible and practical. Tripod helps me to keep my camera stable even at a low shutter speed. Tripod also allows me to use low ISO. The pictures will be still likely sharp when they are enlarged if ISO is low.

Another source of vibration is the camera mirror when it flicks up. To avoid this problem all I have to do is to use the MLU button to lock it up. I also use a camera release cable, so I do not have to touch my camera. Post processing is more or less useless if raw pictures are blur. Camera stability is crucial to make pictures sharp.

2. Selecting a right aperture.

I often select a wide aperture whenever I need to blur the background, making a main subject stand out and therefore enhancing the photo sharpness. It should be noted that a too wide aperture will make some details disappear and blur the subject.

3. Using “Clarity”, “Contrast”, and “Dehaze” functions
In Raw Camera, I use the above functions to enhance the sharpness of the pictures.

4. Using “Highlight / Shadow” function

This function in Photoshop does not always work effectively. But it does not cost me anything to try it.

5. Using Topaz Plug-in to enhance details.

Filter > Topaz > Detail. Then select level: Light or Medium or Strong

6. Using Nick Plug In to sharpen pictures.

Filter > Nick > Sharpen Output. Then select Output sharpening strength level: 0% to 100%. Structure level: 0% to 100%.

7. Using layer mask: optional

Occasionally, I use layer masks to separate a main subject from a background. With two things on different layers, I can make several adjustments on each layer without affecting the other.

Background layer: Blur background, soften its texture, lower brightness, reduce color saturation.

Subject layer: sharpen subject, increase brightness, enhance color and details.
  Posted: 10/10/2017 23:13:38

 
Khai, this is really helpful and contains a lot of resources for us. Thanks so much for doing it.   Posted: 10/11/2017 07:44:20

Murphy Hektner   Murphy Hektner
I certainly agree with Denise Ippolito regarding what she refers to as "the softer side of macro" My October 2017 entry featuring autumn leaves is an example of this approach where everything is not tack sharp. This "softer side of macro" does not work for every subject you may encounter, however once in awhile you will find a subject that it works perfectly on.   Posted: 10/17/2017 01:10:24

 
One question I have for everyone is, “How do you know when you have oversharpened the image?” I usually look for weird artifacts that look like small lines, something like snakes, when I look very close at the image. Sometimes these don’t appear until I zoom in extremely close. What do you look for in over sharpening? I asked this because our judge for my camera club’s competition said of last month’s entries, that “Most of the ones in the digital competition were oversharpened, some extremely.” He didn’t have the same comment about the print competition. I know there is a difference, but again my question is what do you look for?   Posted: 10/17/2017 08:45:34

Murphy Hektner   Murphy Hektner
Hi Charles: everyone seems to have their favorite method of sharpening an image, and if it works for them in a satisfactory manner so much the better. Regarding over sharpening; if your finished picture has a hard crystallized appearance and a neutral background that seems to have a grainy look, you have likely over sharpened. I shoot in RAW which has no sharpening added, the last adjustment I make is adding some sharpness. If you enlarge the image to actual pixels or 100% when you add sharpening, you can easily observe the effect on your monitor. If you notice a neutral smooth appearing background becoming somewhat grainy looking you have likely over sharpened, you need to back off the sharpening until your background has a very smooth appearance. It just takes some practice to get it right. I have read JPEG already has a certain amount of sharpening built in, if this is truly the case the JPEG users likely need little sharpening added in post processing. I would like to know how the rest of you approach this situation, perhaps I can pick up a tip from our other members.   Posted: 10/17/2017 17:09:32
 
Thanks Murphy for the quote. This is pretty much what I look for, though sometimes I zoom to 200% or 400% just to see what effect that has, allowing me to see further into the image. I look for grain, snake looking lines, and just “over crispness” on the sides.   Posted: 10/18/2017 06:32:43

Murphy Hektner   Murphy Hektner
Charles: You mention "Over Crispness"; that is a really good definition of over sharpening an image.   Posted: 10/18/2017 11:54:24

Priscilla Farrell   Priscilla Farrell
Holiday Greetings until we meet again in January.
Wishing you the best ever New Year with many photographic opportunities.   Posted: 11/21/2017 12:31:18

 
I have sent two e-mail to Patrick Lynch. There has been no reply from Patrick. What's going on?   Posted: 03/13/2018 10:27:10

Patrick Lynch   Patrick Lynch
Hello Everyone,

I have sent an email to the group for April 2018 as a reminder to send me your images by April 6, 2018. If you have not received this email I sent please let me know. Send email to plynch@wi.rr.com.

Thank uyou,
Pat Lynch   Posted: 04/01/2018 06:56:12

Patrick Lynch   Patrick Lynch
Hello Everyone,

I have sent an email to the group for May 2018 as a reminder to send me your images by May 7, 2018. If you have not received the email I sent please let me know. Send email to plynch@wi.rr.com.

Thank you,
Pat Lynch   Posted: 05/01/2018 11:52:56

Patrick Lynch   Patrick Lynch
Hello Everyone,

I have sent an email to the group for June 2018 as a reminder to send me your images by June 7, 2018. If you have not received the email I sent please let me know. Send email to plynch@wi.rr.com.

Thank you,
Pat Lynch   Posted: 06/11/2018 06:17:58

 
Hello everyone:
After about five years focusing on macro / close-up photography, effective today, July 1, 2018, I am leaving Group 63 to pursuit different interesting photography areas and to write more articles for the PSA Journal. I enjoyed sharing experience with you. I wish you all the best.
Khai   Posted: 07/01/2018 18:34:50

 
Hi everyone,
Just wanted to post a thank you for the acceptance into the group and to thank those who commented on my August photo for the suggestions and comments. It was one of my first attempts at extension tubes so I have a lot to learn. so thank you again and look forward to future and all I can learn from everyone.   Posted: 09/02/2018 00:29:43

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