NPW UK: Hi Hans,
Any chance the maximum number of entries might be increased?
I would like to enter this challenge and have a scanner on order, but it won't arrive until after the challenge has opened and I fear it will fill up quickly with only 20 entries.
Thank you, Neil.
That's great news. Thank you :-)
Does the 'basic retouching' rule prevent people from entering stacked macro photos? It's impossible to get any kind of DOF with proper macro photos (not the inside of butchers shops!) without using some form of stacking.
I'd like to give a BIG thank you to all those who voted for my photos. It's great to have been placed 1st and 2nd, and to win with a 4+ average too...WOW! :-D . Neil.
tbcass: It would have been nice if you could explain what we are really seeing here. Looks like some kind of kelp attached to a rock.
Hi, I think you have got it just about right. I have never seen these on a beach before or since. I guess there must have been a storm from an unusual wind direction that washed them all ashore.
Barry Stewart: Well done! I'm surprised the flash didn't freeze all motion… or was there ambient light as well?
Thank you all very much for the lovely comments. I am delighted to have won (and come second ;-) ) .
Barry - No, the room was in total darkness. I had my son on light switch duties so I could aim at the bauble and then fire a couple of seconds after he flicked the light off.
My estimation of 1/40,000th of a second flash duration came from :-
But I could well be considerably out. It seems like the 580EX flash duration varies and my pellet gun is 30+ years old and probably fires somewhat slower than the one in the flash test. I used a 28 year old cheap Miranda flash gun for my photo set at minimum power and highest ISO. Maybe my flash fired slower than I thought or the gun fires at a faster speed of a bit of both :-).
A beautiful scene. Thanks for showing us.
PeterPrism: the most famous alien in the world was also photographer.Thanks Mr. Spock
RIP Mr Spock. Thanks for the memories.
Thank you very much for all the lovely comments :-) . It is one of my favourite photos. Neil.
I never thought I'd get a top 10 let alone 3rd place! A big thank you to all those who voted on my photo :-) .
Sergey Borachev: Very nice and good thinking. There is however something not quite right with the proportions. Can you try to make the people in the painting smaller, as they look too big and out of proportion with the sofa.
There is also a perspective mismatch. The sofa and surroundings has a clear wide angle feel but not the painting of the people. If there is room, I suggest taking the sofa etc from further back.
I think it would also be better if the colours outside of the frame can be made duller and older, especially the blue wall, to make everything look more matching.
Thanks very much :-). Well spotted regarding the proportions. I did reduce the width of the painting slightly to make it fit better in the frame and still look as though the people had a chance of reaching down low enough to place him on the chair. I can't be sure of the exact focal length that the main photo was taken at as my camera has a zoom lens but it was quite close to 50mm (35mm equivalent) so shouldn't be too much distortion. I could try again at a further distance some time in the future. I think I know what you mean about the colours of the wall/furniture but I wanted the look of the 400 year old 2D painting stretching out into the modern 3D world. The difference in sharpness/textures and colours adds to the effect I feel.
Buzz Lightyear: I loved this one the minute I saw it. Congratulations!
Thanks very much. I'm glad you like it :-) .
Tusk24: The lower hand of JC against the sofa isn't great IMHO.I'm a non practising Catholic and like to think of myself as reasonably open minded but try this interpretation of a considered sacred image with some of the world's religions and you'll reap a whirlwind of rage....Otherwise keep up the creative photography.Just my opinion.
I agree about the hand. It's probably my least favourite bit of my photo. I guess it's due to it being my first attempt at this kind of thing and he does seem to have really long fingers!I'm sorry if you think I treated this painting inappropriately. I looked at it's Wikipedia page and found nothing about it being sacred to world religions though I admit I didn't read every word. I am surprised you think it could 'reap a whirlwind of rage' as I thought my usage of the photo was quite respectful. It was meant to be anyway. Thanks for the positive note at the end. Will do :-)
Pic Man: Coming from someone who entered into this challenge, I have to say this is a deserved winning picture. Very creative and well executed. Well done.
Thanks very much. You are very kind :-)
AV Janus: Great composite!How did you move the focus?
Hi AV, Sorry about the delay in replying. It's been a busy weekend. The cone is just a piece of thin card formed into a cone with the right size openings to fit over the front of the lens and to just allow enough light to fill the size of the sensor. I stuck a thin layer of black flocking inside the cone to reduce any internal reflections and to trap as much stray light as possible so as not to reduce the contrast of the photo any more than necessary. The cone is needed as the end of the lens is only one or two cm's from the object and well inside the polystyrene cup I used as a light diffusor. Light was travelling at all possible angles inside the cup thanks to the diffuser, so the cone cuts out as many contrast damaging rays as possible, and just lets in the ones that I want to reach the sensor. A simple and handy object but really fiddly and annoying to make accurately when you have chunky fingers like mine LOL. I have a few of different lengths for different magnifications. Neil.
loch: I am equally impressed, and would also dearly like to know how you can shoot frames at intervals of 0.05 mm.All the best.
Here is what one of those 0.05mm's looks like on the left :-
Thanks very much Loch :-) . Please see my answer to AV Janus below. I think with this set up I could get down to intervals of about 0.01mm for really small subjects but the DOF at that magnification would probably mean stacking a couple of hundred photos or even more. One day when I find the right subject and I'm in the mood I will give it a go :-). Neil.
Thanks very much AV. I have slowly being planning and putting together a photomicrography set up in my attic for about a year and this is the first ever photo I took with it :-) . I used an upturned, cut down 30 year old microscope stand. I used it's fine focus dial to move the subject back and forth instead of the normal up and down. I created a makeshift isolation platform using bubblewrap and sorbothane hemispheres to absorb virtually all vibrations. these were placed in between bricks and a 10kg granite slab. The microscope stand was attached with a vice to the granite. Please have a look at - http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/5806865940/photos/3021474/photomacrography-1 and http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/5806865940/photos/3021480/photomacrography-7 and http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/5806865940/photos/3021476/photomacrography-3 . There are several other photos of the setup in my gallery to if you'd like to look. Please ask if you have any other questions. Neil.
Rod McD: Hi,Thanks and congratulations. Great example of what stacking can achieve - I couldn't even get close to this DOF with a single shot from a long macro lens.
Thank you very much Rod. I'm glad you like my photo. I'm very proud of it :-) . Neil.