Subject Isolation

In photography there is a concept called subject isolation, which simply means make sure what you want people to see in your photo stand out. This is commonly done by using a narrow depth of field to cause an intentional blur of everything that is not the subject. This effect is often called bokeh, and its popularity is the reason that so many wide aperture lenses are being made to day.

I recently got the ‘thrifty 50’ 50mm 1.8 prime from Sony. With the aperture open to 1.8 this lens should have a very narrow focal plane and lots of background blurring. Throwing on a tube extender for some ‘macro’ shots narrows the depth of field even further. I went for a walk to the local rose garden, self assigned to practice some subject isolation and try out the new lens.

Lucky Spiders

Yesterday while walking home I cam across a seven legged spider. Like finding a four-leaf clover I’m going to regard this as a sign of good luck. I also found a spider which was lucky enough to catch a yellow jacket for a tasty meal.

How the Honey is Made

More macro pictures of bees collecting pollen and nectar. I also found a wasps nest while out taking pictures, but I thought it was best to leave them alone. Taking these pictures often means getting within inches of the subject, the bees are too preoccupied to care, but the yellow jackets seemed a little more aggressive.

More Macro

As I continue to practice taking pictures of very small things; I went back to the same flowers where I found the aphids, this time intentionally looking for them. Found this little guy out saying ‘hello’.

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While I started taking photography more seriously; my perspective was that of a historian. The goal was to document the places I was going and what I was doing as a record for my self and to share my adventures with others. Continuing with the hobby I found that there is a lot more than just taking an posting pictures, there are some very technical skills needed as well as an eye for ascetics which make photography and art. It is something I have been practicing and working towards becoming better at, and this is a picture that I am quite proud of, as it the culmination of many hours of practice.

Boris the Spider

While I was out this weekend, when I was out looking for small things to take pictures of  I found some of the local wildlife which fit my photography goals nicely. I found some Orb -Weaver spiders, a common site in the pacific northwest, and was able to capture some pretty amazing photos of them.

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This picture is less amazing when you realize how large the spider is

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That spider is about the size of a quarter

More amazingly, two of the spiders I found were in the process of building their webs. I remembered that my camera has the ability to shoot video and was able to hold it decently still to answer a question I’ve always wondered: How do spiders build their webs?

Small things up close

Today I went for a walk in along the damp streets of Seattle, looking not for a new view of the skyline with a backdrop of clouds. I had outfitted my camera in a configuration that forced me to look at the smaller things in life. And even though it is getting close to winter, I found that there was still a lot of color and life to be found.

Fitting my camera with my zoom lens, but with tube extenders reducing the maximum focal distance down to only a few feet, I was able to zoom in on small details instead of far away objects.