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Christmas lights - homemade apertures...

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Christmas lights - homemade apertures... posted by ljguitar December 18, 2008 05:18AM reply | quote
posted by ljguitar

Hi all...
Shot some LensBaby 2.0 Christmas tree experiments today with some homemade apertures. The ISO was either 800 or 1600 depending on the shot. Olympus E-520, LensBaby 2.0, manual mode, handheld. Processed in CS3.

Homemade apertures...
Went to a craft shop and found some sheet magnetic material, and a 1 inch circle punch - and some smaller punches in the $1 bin - star, snowflake, heart, etc.

My first attempts involved cutting the 1 inch circles and punching 2 or 3 hearts/stars/flakes into each magnetic disc. I also cut one with 3 stripes by hand.

They fit a bit loose around the edge - enough to allow light to leak around one edge, so one shot in the ones I'm posting in this post has a circular sliver around one edge of each light.

To remedy the light leak, I first insert the f/2.8 disc (seals the edge) and then the homemade disc on top of it...magnet on magnet.

L a r r y J
Re: Christmas lights - homemade apertures... posted by INITECH_prez December 18, 2008 06:13AM reply | quote
posted by INITECH_prez

I think #4 is pretty neat. I kind of like the sliver of light that shines through.

Rachel C.
Fairbanks, Alaska
Re: Christmas lights - homemade apertures... posted by ranfoto December 18, 2008 06:33AM reply | quote
posted by ranfoto

Larry glad you engineered a fix, but I do like your light leaker abstract image.

Seems like you are getting some camera shake or need to hone up your focus skills, could be you also need some smaller apertures to get depth of field on these close ups type Bendies .

Just my observation, a little practice will have you Bending good stuff in no time, a lot of practice will have you addicted to making aRt the Bendy way.....:))
Re: Christmas lights - homemade apertures... posted by ljguitar December 18, 2008 11:55AM reply | quote
posted by ljguitar

Quote
ranfoto
Larry glad you engineered a fix, but I do like your light leaker abstract image.

Seems like you are getting some camera shake or need to hone up your focus skills, could be you also need some smaller apertures to get depth of field on these close ups type Bendies .

Just my observation, a little practice will have you Bending good stuff in no time, a lot of practice will have you addicted to making aRt the Bendy way.....:))

Hi Ran...
Thanks for looking, and yes these 60 yr old hands don't hold the camera as steady when I'm focusing on holding the LensBaby 2.0 steady (so as not to lose focus). And my eyes are not as sharp-focusing as once they were...

I'm attaching three I shot after reading your post and I really attempted to keep both hands, and my brain steady (and my body) while shooting these. They were 1/20-1/30sec exposures.

Actually, my Composer is in the shipping lanes and hopefully will arrive pre-Christmas or during the vacation so I can use it. I'm anticipating an improvement in both focus and sharpness when I have it on-camera.

I went back and recalibrated the focus screen, and the view finder's adjustable diopter so perhaps my efforts with the LensBaby 2.0 will be more fruitful.

I mostly did this as an experiment to play with the aperture discs (homemade).

Since the modified/homegrown discs don't have openings to the edge, it seems to me I can pretty much use the f/2.8 as an edging to hold the new ones thus sealing the edge.

I just left the adhesive backing on the magnetic aperture discs I cut-and-punched, and they are about the same thickness (or thinner perhaps) than the ones that come with the LensBaby. They seem to stay in just fine, but I've not road tested them yet.

I like the leaker too, but don't know that I'd use that particular ''foible''. I thought I may cut a couple discs which were notched or have several slits radiating in from the outer edge toward the middle to see what they will look like.

I'm really more interested in seeing if the composer could be coupled with my spare Olympus E-500 body for my portrait work. I could just rig it up on a tripod and have it standing by during shoots for a couple shots.

L a r r y J
Re: Christmas lights - homemade apertures... posted by ranfoto December 18, 2008 06:05PM reply | quote
posted by ranfoto

Larry : As to the radiator discos, go for it.......try everything your mind can come up with.......you'll be amazed at the effects these simple disks can image .

As to the long exposures you used in the first batch.....yep it was probably camera shake, but with a concentrated effort you should be able to pull it off, by the way I'm in the old guy bracket too .....time slips by when you're having fun !

For portrait work you might want to use the Composer with a flash bounced off the ceiling or side lighted off a wall then you don't have to worry about using a tripod .

I just did a session with a two year old, there was no way I was going to capture her great expressions with my camera on a tripod or portrait lights on stands .......in frustration I just put my TTL flash on camera using a bracket to get the flash up about a foot and bounced off a white ceiling, the stuff was not bad .....in fact the mom got tears when she saw the images.......I mean she got emotional seeing her sweetie captured so well ...Hee !

My point ? Keep it simple, get the expressions first, sometimes we can get too wrapped up in the photography and miss the emotion and that's what it's all about !
Re: Christmas lights - homemade apertures... posted by ljguitar December 19, 2008 12:02AM reply | quote
posted by ljguitar

Quote
ranfoto
...For portrait work you might want to use the Composer with a flash bounced off the ceiling or side lighted off a wall then you don't have to worry about using a tripod...

Hi Ran...
In studio I have a full set of lights (strobes in soft boxes) and wireless remote to trigger them, and I can certainly go mobile. I was thinking from the sharp focus lack of movement standpoint using a tripod, but I'll certainly try handheld - which should be much simpler without having to keep the hands on the flexing lens while triggering the shutter.

I'll post any good results we get...

I went back and examined the RAW images and it looks like my hand was probably slipping on the lens itself as I triggered the shutter. I'm basing that on the direction/angle the movement took which was 90° crosswise to the shutter depressing motion. I suspect just the act of attempting to hold the lens in place and depress the shutter at the same time caused my fingers to twitch/slip a bit...time will tell!

L a r r y J



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/19/2008 12:05AM by ljguitar.
Re: Christmas lights - homemade apertures... posted by crfrey71 December 19, 2008 02:55AM reply | quote
posted by crfrey71

the last shot is very cool. I like it. Very different. It is like a moon with a snowflake.
Re: Christmas lights - homemade apertures... posted by rannestad December 20, 2008 04:59AM reply | quote
posted by rannestad

That last aperture is just lovely. So great.

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Re: Christmas lights - homemade apertures... posted by ERIKAB4 December 20, 2008 05:29AM reply | quote
posted by ERIKAB4

What fun is that last shot! And I concur with the studio shot not being on a tripod ... it works so much easier for me too!
Re: Christmas lights - homemade apertures... posted by ljguitar December 20, 2008 06:12AM reply | quote
posted by ljguitar

Quote
ERIKAB4
What fun is that last shot! And I concur with the studio shot not being on a tripod ... it works so much easier for me too!

Hi Erika
I agree, but I still will just rig it to my spare body and see how well I can do handheld. I don't have an aversion to doing whatever it takes to grab an extraordinary shot or two.

I work handheld in the studio all the time, so I'll just see how well it turns out - besides it will be fun to set up the rig and experiment since we have some time on our hands over the Christmas holiday.

Thanks for looking - the effect on the last shot of the ''rim'' comes from a disc which is a tad small and will not quite seal at the edge - and it works for any of mine since my cutter is a perfect 1'' circle that is just a bit shy of filling the entire opening without the f/2.8 acting as a rim piece.

L a r r y J

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