My Ode To Charlie: Non-Macro Dragonflies

sm4him

In memoriam
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
10,726
Reaction score
5,468
Location
The Beautiful Hills of East Tennessee
Website
sm4him.500px.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Hey Charlie, I *am* still shooting insects, even without my macro lens! But man, I *really* wished I had it for some of these shots...

As you know if you've read some of my other threads, my macro lens is currently "on loan" to my sister. I thought I'd let her borrow it for a week or so; that was nearly two months ago, and I am going to have to do a repossession SOON because I'm starting to have serious withdrawal. :lol:

Anyway, a couple of nights ago, I went to a new spot I'd heard about. I just went after work, to check it out and see if it was worth coming back when I had more time. It's a spot with some definite potential, but the downside (for me) is that it's a very popular greenway spot, so there were a LOT of people wandering the trails. I prefer more secluded spots, but still, if I can catch some cool birds, I'll deal with the people.

Mostly, I just saw ducks but I did also see one bird I couldn't ID (consensus is an Eastern Kingbird, but doesn't look like the ones I've seen before) and an American Goldfinch, and heard several other songbirds that might prove to be worthwhile.

I was sitting at a spot near the end of the little stream, where it empties out into a pond, because there were some really nice trees there that birds were landing in (trees that still had enough bare spots to not completely hide the birds!). But nothing much was happening and I got bored.

Then I noticed the dragonflies. Two of them, flitting about just above the surface of the water. One kept coming up on the bank and alighting on a long, dead stem; the other stayed out over the water the entire time. I sat there watching them and wishing for my macro lens (which would only have been useful on the one that came up on the bank, as I wasn't willing to wade into the pond with my work clothes on...)

Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore, so I just started trying to capture them with my great big honkin' Sigma 150-500. I had considerable trouble keeping the lens steady and focused on such a little object, so these are not as sharp as I'd like--still, all things considered, I was reasonably pleased with them.

As always, C&C, general comments and witty banter appreciated!

1. This was the one that kept coming up on the bank; a macro shot of it would have really rocked!

June24_5713editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

2.

June24_5726editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

3. This is the one that stayed out over the water--man, these suckers are hard to catch in mid-air (especially when you're hand holding a heavy lens!)

June24_5775editweb by sm4him, on Flickr

4. Same dragonfly, with sky behind it instead of water

June24_5774editweb by sm4him, on Flickr
 

ronlane

What's next?
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
10,049
Reaction score
4,659
Location
Mustang Oklahoma
Website
www.lane-images.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Sharon, why do you need a macro for that? Just get out that 4,000mm lens and move in as close as you can focus. :hug::
 
OP
sm4him

sm4him

In memoriam
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
10,726
Reaction score
5,468
Location
The Beautiful Hills of East Tennessee
Website
sm4him.500px.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Sharon, why do you need a macro for that? Just get out that 4,000mm lens and move in as close as you can focus. :hug::


Ron--This IS the "4000mm lens", fully extended and as close as it would let me get! The problem with a lens that big isn't just the closest focal distance, but the fact that if you zoom all the way out on that thing and then get very close at all to something that small--especially when it's darting about like that--you'll never even FIND it to try to get focus on it! It did prove to be a fun distraction from the boredom of watching for birds that didn't show up, though. :lmao:
 

ronlane

What's next?
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
10,049
Reaction score
4,659
Location
Mustang Oklahoma
Website
www.lane-images.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Sharon, why do you need a macro for that? Just get out that 4,000mm lens and move in as close as you can focus. :hug::


Ron--This IS the "4000mm lens", fully extended and as close as it would let me get! The problem with a lens that big isn't just the closest focal distance, but the fact that if you zoom all the way out on that thing and then get very close at all to something that small--especially when it's darting about like that--you'll never even FIND it to try to get focus on it! It did prove to be a fun distraction from the boredom of watching for birds that didn't show up, though. :lmao:

Oh I know, but sometimes my glass envy gets the best of me and overrides the system and types what it wants to ;)
 

cgipson1

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
17,143
Reaction score
4,350
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Very nice, Sharon! See, shooting them flying is easier than it looks! :)

I would suggest that you take the next step on your journey... and look as processing. In this instance, noise reduction and sharpening practice.

Original on top... noise reduction on bottom with a little bit more sharpening... can you see the difference? These look like 100% crops, are they?

$minusnoise.jpg
 
OP
sm4him

sm4him

In memoriam
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
10,726
Reaction score
5,468
Location
The Beautiful Hills of East Tennessee
Website
sm4him.500px.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Very nice, Sharon! See, shooting them flying is easier than it looks! :)

I would suggest that you take the next step on your journey... and look as processing. In this instance, noise reduction and sharpening practice.

Original on top... noise reduction on bottom with a little bit more sharpening... can you see the difference? These look like 100% crops, are they?

View attachment 48799


Yeah, I have GOT to learn better processing skills, no doubt about that! Part of the problem is, I never can seem to TELL any difference when I try to reduce the noise or sharpen, until I've gone WAY too far. But then when I see it like you've just posted, it's clear that there IS a big difference.
I just bought Adobe CS6 and LR4, and they came with some DVDs on processing. I think I also bought a book about processing digital photos with CS6 and I just need to make it a priority to sit down and start learning what I'm doing.

I don't think these are 100% crops, but they could be close--definitely heavily cropped, at any rate. Plus, I was losing my light pretty fast and didn't think about that--so I bumped my speed up to 1/1600 on these little buggers, and didn't think about the fact that I was on auto-ISO, so the ISO on some of these ended up being pretty high, then I cropped, and possibly made some exposure adjustments too, all adding to the noise level.

What did you do to get the noise level so much better? Because I thought I was already pushing the envelope, but yours is much, much better.
 

cgipson1

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
17,143
Reaction score
4,350
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Very nice, Sharon! See, shooting them flying is easier than it looks! :)

I would suggest that you take the next step on your journey... and look as processing. In this instance, noise reduction and sharpening practice.

Original on top... noise reduction on bottom with a little bit more sharpening... can you see the difference? These look like 100% crops, are they?

View attachment 48799


Yeah, I have GOT to learn better processing skills, no doubt about that! Part of the problem is, I never can seem to TELL any difference when I try to reduce the noise or sharpen, until I've gone WAY too far. But then when I see it like you've just posted, it's clear that there IS a big difference.
I just bought Adobe CS6 and LR4, and they came with some DVDs on processing. I think I also bought a book about processing digital photos with CS6 and I just need to make it a priority to sit down and start learning what I'm doing.

I don't think these are 100% crops, but they could be close--definitely heavily cropped, at any rate. Plus, I was losing my light pretty fast and didn't think about that--so I bumped my speed up to 1/1600 on these little buggers, and didn't think about the fact that I was on auto-ISO, so the ISO on some of these ended up being pretty high, then I cropped, and possibly made some exposure adjustments too, all adding to the noise level.

What did you do to get the noise level so much better? Because I thought I was already pushing the envelope, but yours is much, much better.

I cheat!!! Imagenomic - Best Plugins for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Apple Aperture noiseware! ;)
 
OP
sm4him

sm4him

In memoriam
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
10,726
Reaction score
5,468
Location
The Beautiful Hills of East Tennessee
Website
sm4him.500px.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Very nice, Sharon! See, shooting them flying is easier than it looks! :)

I would suggest that you take the next step on your journey... and look as processing. In this instance, noise reduction and sharpening practice.

Original on top... noise reduction on bottom with a little bit more sharpening... can you see the difference? These look like 100% crops, are they?

View attachment 48799


Yeah, I have GOT to learn better processing skills, no doubt about that! Part of the problem is, I never can seem to TELL any difference when I try to reduce the noise or sharpen, until I've gone WAY too far. But then when I see it like you've just posted, it's clear that there IS a big difference.
I just bought Adobe CS6 and LR4, and they came with some DVDs on processing. I think I also bought a book about processing digital photos with CS6 and I just need to make it a priority to sit down and start learning what I'm doing.

I don't think these are 100% crops, but they could be close--definitely heavily cropped, at any rate. Plus, I was losing my light pretty fast and didn't think about that--so I bumped my speed up to 1/1600 on these little buggers, and didn't think about the fact that I was on auto-ISO, so the ISO on some of these ended up being pretty high, then I cropped, and possibly made some exposure adjustments too, all adding to the noise level.

What did you do to get the noise level so much better? Because I thought I was already pushing the envelope, but yours is much, much better.

I cheat!!! Imagenomic - Best Plugins for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Apple Aperture noiseware! ;)

AHA!! Cheating...why didn't *I* think of that?? :lmao:
But, having just bought CS6 Creative Suite (to avoid the Creative Cloud a while longer...) and LR4 (and THEN, unexpectedly, tires for my son's car), I don't believe my budget can take another software purchase just now. So cheating will have to wait just a bit... :D
 

cgipson1

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
17,143
Reaction score
4,350
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Yeah, I have GOT to learn better processing skills, no doubt about that! Part of the problem is, I never can seem to TELL any difference when I try to reduce the noise or sharpen, until I've gone WAY too far. But then when I see it like you've just posted, it's clear that there IS a big difference.
I just bought Adobe CS6 and LR4, and they came with some DVDs on processing. I think I also bought a book about processing digital photos with CS6 and I just need to make it a priority to sit down and start learning what I'm doing.

I don't think these are 100% crops, but they could be close--definitely heavily cropped, at any rate. Plus, I was losing my light pretty fast and didn't think about that--so I bumped my speed up to 1/1600 on these little buggers, and didn't think about the fact that I was on auto-ISO, so the ISO on some of these ended up being pretty high, then I cropped, and possibly made some exposure adjustments too, all adding to the noise level.

What did you do to get the noise level so much better? Because I thought I was already pushing the envelope, but yours is much, much better.

I cheat!!! Imagenomic - Best Plugins for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Apple Aperture noiseware! ;)

AHA!! Cheating...why didn't *I* think of that?? :lmao:
But, having just bought CS6 Creative Suite (to avoid the Creative Cloud a while longer...) and LR4 (and THEN, unexpectedly, tires for my son's car), I don't believe my budget can take another software purchase just now. So cheating will have to wait just a bit... :D

Obviously Photoshop will do anything you need... but it is the knowledge of how to do it, that is the hard part! I can remove noise with just PS... but the plugin makes it so much easier!
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top