First Spring Greetings - Macro Show Case (manual Minolta lens)

(Immanuel Wilhelmy) #1

Being so enthusiastic about my NEX3, I now upgraded to sony a6000 (2nd hand). And wow! Last weekend I went out in the woods (austrian alps) to a place where I know there could be first flowers. I took tripod, my a6000, a Minolta MD manual zoom (28-70), 30 mm extension tube, remote control and looked for the first “leberbluemchen”. This tiny flowers have a 1/2 inch blossom in colors varying from white to purple. Sunset was close and in the last rays of the sun, indeed there were a handfull of those tiny flowers scatter over several square meters. I set up the tripod and took several shots (and did not manipulate anything which nature showed me so gracefully).

I tried with large aperture (finding far too less depth of field) and the stopped down to f16. Here you find two results processed in darktable with the following:

  • a little bit of denoise
  • a small repair on one leave of the “sunny” flower (could be done much better I suppose)
  • “original” color (I did not change color) - white balance set to cloudy
  • on the shadowy picture I applied vignetting to focus more on the flower
  • no cropping
  • local contrast enhanced (I was careful with this the flowers very likely to look unnatural)

What I like (technically): the lens works great - no CA, no vignetting, and an very acceptable sharpness.

So here is the first shot:

And here the second (I especially like the green leaf in the lower left corner being kind of contrapunctus).

What I learned from that:

  • without manipulating a background so close it is difficult to get it blurred
  • macro shooting is extreme fun
  • I love my equipment :slight_smile:

What I would like to learm:

  • as I am new to raw processing I am sitting in front of loads of sliders in darktable but have no idea where to get an exact description what they actually influence. So try several positions to find out the effects (which depend on other sliders …). As mathematics is no mystery for me I would love to find some where an in detail description what exactly the values are meaning (or is this common knowledge).

Enjoy and greetings from Austria


(Mica) #2

I am curious as to why you needed denoise if you were on a tripod?

(Immanuel Wilhelmy) #3

good question - I limited to ISO 800.
My problems (very honest) were:

  1. wind was blowing and I had to wait for a short interval with no wind
  2. reducing ISO didn’t come to my mind
  3. I am always doing a little bit of denoise

But next time I will make it better…

(Mica) #4

Ah, the wind, yes! I think you’ve handled it pretty well. The purples are very nice.

(Immanuel Wilhelmy) #5

Just wanted to add: all shots CC BY SA license. So feel free to do what you like.