The First 100mm Walk

A few weeks ago my beloved Sigma 150mm macro lens stopped working during a photo walk. The lens elements refused to move either to the AF motor or the manual focus ring. Aperture control still worked but it was now effectively a fixed focal point lens. Fortunately it is covered under warranty so off to be repaired it goes.

However I hear back it may take over a month to repair and in the meantime we are entering the best critter hunting time there is for this area of the world and I for one am unwilling to mix out on it. I opted to go for a mid range macro lens in the form of a Canon 10mm f/2.8 L macro which I had read many good reviews about.

Over the weekend I took it out for a test spin in the local gardens and got the following shots.

Testing The Canon 5D Mark III Macro

After months of having a crisis about changing camera systems I finally made a decision and opted to go to the Canon series. One of my local stores was having a discount on Canon equipment and I was able to pick up the Canon 5D Mark III cheaper than even the grey import pricing.

Next step was getting a macro lens and I opted to get the same lens I’ve been using for a while, the 150mm f/2.8 Sigma macro lens. The experience is very different to the previous camera but I’m slowly getting used to it.

This is a series of example macro shots I took over the weekend.

Best Photos Of 2011

This post is part of the very excellent ‘Your Best Photos From 2011” blog project run by Jim M. Goldstein, a very worthy project to be involved in to get your photos seen and also to see amazing photos from other photographers from around the world. This show cases some of the ones I feel are my best for the year of 2011.

Above remains one of my absolute favourites. That photo is not edited and I’m still blown away in how sharp the focus was and how well placed the subject was during this shot, particularly as it was shot outdoors in uncontrolled conditions. I liked this photo so much I made a number of versions of it for common wallpaper sizes.

Shot in the same area as the first photo this extremely large (roughly half the size of my hand) dragonfly sat quietly on a wire for quite some time allowing me to get some fantastic photos.

This one was the most technically fun to make. It involved a dark room and a green laser with a jury-rigged setup to make it happen.

While not the most exciting photo of all time I just liked how the play of light and shadow combined with the shallow depth of field really made this photo pop.

A rather nice sunset shot of a ferry working it’s way down the Brisbane river.

Another lucky shot. I’ve never seen a fly as brilliantly orange as this one before and it was offset so extremely well against the verdant green of the leaf it was resting on.

A long exposure shot of the Brisbane CBD from South Bank. Image originally shot in greyscale, not post converted. I really enjoy long exposure shots near the river as it generates some really nice smoothing effects.

I don’t enjoying photographing people but zombies that’s an entirely different story. This years Brisbane Zombie Walk was absolutely massive, possibly to the point of world record setting but as yet there’s been no official confirmation. I also prepared a quick article on How To Shoot A Zombie Walk to help prepare others for their zombie invasion.

This photo is purely for the purposes of scaring people. It’s an extremely close macro shot of a discarded huntsman spider skin.

And finally this photo. It’s less what this photo is and more what it represents. I am now finally getting over my prejudice of post-production methods. I used to staunchly be in the “I don’t edit my photos” but after reading a lot from seasoned photographers, debating the pros and cons back and forth I’ve decided to move on and embrace post-production.

I’ve invested in Adobe Lightroom (which has turned out to be a very fine product indeed) and the above photo is the first photo that I’ve shot in RAW and post-produced. The post-production used is minimal, a slight colour correction and some contrast adjustment. Not much but small touches that made it look much more that way it saw it with my eyes. I still believe in getting as much right in the field as possible but I do now admit that post-production can be used as a force for good as well.