SPIDERS! YAY!

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
John K Veteran Member • Posts: 7,742
Re: SPIDERS! YAY!

c h u n k wrote:

John K wrote:

c h u n k wrote:

John K wrote:

c h u n k wrote:

NikonNature wrote:

These are fantastic! The lighting is excellent. May I ask what the approx. working distance is? Most jumping spiders are quite small aren't they?

They are small indeed. I honestly forget what my magnification was or if I used an achromat, but think its just 1x because they are cropped much more than I normally crop. With that said, I think cropping gets a bad rep considering most of us just share online. If printing, that changes things, but if sharing on FB and instagram you can crop a lot and noone will ever know the difference. I still try to not crop, or crop as little as possible, but Im not as opposed to it as I used to be.

That mentality works until your photos get popular and suddenly those cropped images end up getting printed. I know of a pretty well known macro shooter who got published in Popular Photography magazine, one who cropped his photos. To this day I don't understand how the editors ran the images, cause they looked almost as bad as the genitalia in a Japanese porno.

John, I know you are being cool with how you are discreet about who that was. Was it TS? Ive been dying to know. PM me and I will never say a word.

LMAO! No need to PM you my friend...

I think that he single highhandedly set macro back a decade or more. There hasn't been another macro photographer featured the way that he was since.

Edit: I want to set the record straight. About 6 months before he was published I was chatting with him about his photos via Flickr mail, and I told him that he needed to find a way to get the framing that he wanted without cropping (I don't crop, for a lot of reasons). He pretty much ignored me, and hindsight being what it is I think that he was under an NDA at the time and knew he was gonna get published. Fast forward 6 months and someone tells me that TS was published in Popular Photography and I was excited -really. Finally someone that created well composed and well exposed images was getting some publicity -maybe this was gonna propel macro into the spotlight. I bought a copy of the magazine and was instantly disappointed at the fuzzy photos. I really thought that macro as a discipline had died cause no one was gonna take it seriously after TS's images were printed in a main stream magazine, and in fact no one has been published since. To this day I think that he had a friend or fan that worked for Pop Photo and that's the only reason why his images were printed.

Well, in his defense...kind of I guess, it was him that really inspired me to really get in to macro. I mean, there were other things, but it really was his work that 1st introduced me to contemporary insect photography. Because of that, I dont know what the style of macro was before he blew up..or during that time by other photographers, but it really does seem like many, many other photogs went after his "look". I still think his work is super impressive but I admittedly didnt see it printed there. Nat Geo published him too. With that said there are others that I aspire to just as much...if not more than him now. I just found another guy on instagram that is putting out INSANE images. 30-50 image stacks, handheld. Causing massive time for his edits in like the tens of hours, but the results are pretty nuts.

Funny, I have kind of put together the pieces over the past couple years and always wondered if it was him. He just happened to go viral right after I bought my 1st set of tubes. To think all I wanted at 1st was to be able to see an insects compound eyes when I started. Ive gotten awfully more picky since then

When Nat Geo published a couple of his shots they were for some back of the mag sidebar pieces, so they were small enough not to look pixelated. Me thinks that the editors knew that they wouldn't look good printed large.

TS claimed that he was editing his images on an old laptop that didn't have a very good screen, so he was pushing the saturation pretty hard. Personally I liked the over saturated look, and his images were popular outside of the macro community because of the color, light, and composition. Most of the macro community didn't like his work because they thought it looked too saturated (a complaint that has been leveled at me from time to time). But in order for anyone's work to get popular it has to appeal to a wide audience, so catering to the whims of the macro community isn't a good thing.

Everyone was also convinced that TS was refrigerating his subjects. I view every jumping spider shot with a healthy dose of scepticism unless it's with prey because they typically do not stay put long enough even for a single frame. TS was managing to photograph a lot of them, and when he went to New York to be on The Today Show (for a very short segment on his photography) he had some jumping spiders in a plastic container...

If his photos weren't cropped the wave he was on could have turned into a tsunami. But his shots just weren't usable outside of the web. Yet another reason why I don't allow myself to crop in post. The other is that the view finder will hone your composition skills, and the cropping tool in post won't. Cropping just leads to some bad, lazy, habits that are best avoided.

As for social media: There are better photos on Instagram and Facebook than all of the online forums combined. I don't post much on forums because the general mentality is that absolute image sharpness is the only thing that counts, and I'm tired of arguing with people who can't see the photo cause the pixels are in the way. I was never inspired or impressed by the macro images I saw until I got on IG. I still get most of my inspiration from portrait photographers though. Me thinks that razor sharp photos of stationary subjects has had it's day -the shark was jumped a while ago. Maybe not to the extent of water drop photography, which is really dead, but it's getting close.

Something to keep in mind: The general consensus with John Q. Public is that focus stacking isn't photography -it's just another form of computer generated art. So John Q. doesn't think too highly of focus stacked images...

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Also known as Dalantech
My Book: http://nocroppingzone.blogspot.com/2010/01/extreme-macro-art-of-patience.html
My Blog: http://www.extrememacro.com
My gallery: http://www.johnkimbler.com
Macro Tutorials: http://dalantech.deviantart.com/gallery/4122501/Tutorials
Always minimal post processing and no cropping -unless you count the viewfinder...

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