Monday, September 27, 2010

Rain, rain, go the rain has gone away.

It's been raining since last night, and only now it seems that it may have stopped.
The result (obviously) is that it is pretty wet outside.  Not a whole lot worth mentioning has been going on, except for the fact that the whole fire brigade stopped by our next-door neighbor's house earlier today (at least it must have been most of it - there were around six fire trucks).  They didn't stay for long, so maybe it was a false alarm.  

On another note, I got a $12 "super wide angle" lens with a detachable macro filter last Saturday, and since then I've been experimenting with creative shots.  First, some observations about the "lens":
It's not really a lens - it's a two-piece filter that screws onto the filter threads on the front of a 58mm lens.
The front part is the "wide angle" lens, and the macro attachment screws onto the back of it.  The macro attachment can be used by itself on the front of a lens for very close-up shots, but the wide angle thing has to have the macro part attached to use, since the threads are on the inside of it instead of on the outside.

As for wide angle, the lens doesn't really do that at all.  However, I'll explain why I'm not disappointed about that.  Zoomed out at 18mm (on the 18-55mm kit lens), photos have black corners (a semi-fisheye effect, if you will) and can look as if the photo was taken while looking through a rectangular porthole, albeit with some distortion.

With the two mounted on my 55-250mm telephoto lens, there was no "porthole" effect, but a fairly interesting effect was produced instead.  Well, two or three, actually.
First, I could have the edges of the photo blurred, which you may or may not find attractive, like in these:  

Also, by adjusting the focus and zoom, the whole photo could have a blurred, sort of dreamy look:

Weirdly, it could also look as if there were some sort of vortex in the center, like this:

I also tried macro shots (with the kit lens), but it was fairly difficult for a couple of reasons:
1) Being so close means less light is able to reach the subject, which results in a slower shutter speed, which means blurring from shakiness will be pronounced.  Unfortunately, I don't have steady hands, which is probably the main reason I have trouble being a good shot with either a camera or a rifle.  However, sometimes I managed to do OK if there was a fair amount of light, or when I used a tripod, although the latter method isn't very easy when you're trying to get the camera very close to the subject and hold it still.

2) The depth of field is drastically reduced, so when taking a close-up shot, a small portion of the photo will be in focus, and the rest will be blurred.  This can make for interesting effects, but it can also be an annoyance.

Here are some of the macro shots I took:

Here are some various other photos taken with the new attachment:

Distorted desk

-Max out

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