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Macro / SMC-1


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Hi all - wide blue water, reefs, or wrecks are my normal forte.  Lately I have been trying more macro and super macro with an SMC-1.  I also want to step up my editing game for a more solid end product.  I use predominantly LR, with an occasional plugin such as AI DeNoise or AI Sharpen.  (This one is solely LR.)

 

This image is of a very willing hermit crab with focus on its eyes.  I would appreciate any feedback and/or suggestions you would care to offer.

 

Thanks in advance!

IMG_5689.jpeg

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It looks great! Nice detail in the eyeballs, great colors too.

 

I might try to make it a bit darker with greater use of shadows. Perhaps with a fine point snoot to restrict the light to the eyes and feelers, less on the carapace. Still light the eyeballs for the great color. Backlighting with a fill flash and snooted from the side might be nice.

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@Dave_Hicks and @CaolIla - thanks so much for the great comments!  Super helpful!  Good call on using dark shadows more to isolate the subject, eyes in this case.  I tend to be afraid that a deep shadow or background will make the image too dark overall.  I’ll definitely work on that more through light control.  I see an MF-2 w/ snoot in my future. 🤔 

Edited by ChipBPhoto
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Really nice image! Wouldn‘t the darkening be achievable in post processing? I assume that does not give the same result as a snoot, but it may be worth a try. And then you can „dose“ the level of darkness in different effect strengths. It will require a lot of clicking to make the mask around all the fine features, but maybe on a rainy day… at least the crab will stay put 😉

 

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Thanks a lot @Klaus !  
 

I had initially toned it down in LR, but here is a darker version.  What does everyone think about this version?  Too dark, or too fake looking?  Or more on track?  Or should it be darker still?

 

IMG_5004.jpeg

Edited by ChipBPhoto
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I think it has a better emphasis on the eyes, to me it tells a more focused „story“. I prefer the darker version.
With a snoot I guess you might get the „eyelashes“ above the eyes to pop a bit more out of the BG, but that must be daunting to position the beam just right… 

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17 minutes ago, Klaus said:

I think it has a better emphasis on the eyes, to me it tells a more focused „story“. I prefer the darker version.
With a snoot I guess you might get the „eyelashes“ above the eyes to pop a bit more out of the BG, but that must be daunting to position the beam just right… 


Great - thanks!  Really appreciate the feedback.  After letting it sit for a bit, I agree the darker is a better story.  Ideally it would be awesome to have the lashes and eye stalks backlit to have them pop more.  I’m not sure that kind of patience is in my bag of tricks. 😁

 

Until then, perhaps positioning the strobes to each side of the lens and then back so only about 10-20% of the strobe is in front of the lens could give a naturally darker background.  Setting one as a key light and dropping the power of the other could also give it more dimensionality.  
 

Everyone's comments and suggestions have given me some new things to try! 

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37 minutes ago, ChipBPhoto said:

Thanks a lot @Klaus !  
 

I had initially toned it down in LR, but here is a darker version.  What does everyone think about this version?  Too dark, or too fake looking?  Or more on track?  Or should it be darker still?

 

IMG_5004.jpeg

It's better ... but with a snoot  it will be much more better 😄

 

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13 hours ago, ChipBPhoto said:

Until then, perhaps positioning the strobes to each side of the lens and then back so only about 10-20% of the strobe is in front of the lens could give a naturally darker background.  Setting one as a key light and dropping the power of the other could also give it more dimensionality.  

That's just my go-to setup for macro, I place my two MF-1 at 10-2 just over my port, powering 4-5 at one side, 2-3 the other, and works very well for me. If the subject is further away, I separate the strobes, according to the distance of it. 

Sometimes I also snoot, but mostly when I am looking for black background. 

Great strobes the Backscatters, very good experiences with them. 

Sometimes the subjects are very close to the background, or there is something in the foregroung that got much light, or the colors at the surroundings of the subject are too vivid, or you simply can't get the desired lighting... Those times editing is the way to achieve the look you want for your picture. I do it all the time!!! 

By the way, I prefer the darker picture much more... 

Best Regards. 

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38 minutes ago, wetdreams said:

That's just my go-to setup for macro, I place my two MF-1 at 10-2 just over my port, powering 4-5 at one side, 2-3 the other, and works very well for me. If the subject is further away, I separate the strobes, according to the distance of it. 

Sometimes I also snoot, but mostly when I am looking for black background. 

Great strobes the Backscatters, very good experiences with them. 

Sometimes the subjects are very close to the background, or there is something in the foregroung that got much light, or the colors at the surroundings of the subject are too vivid, or you simply can't get the desired lighting... Those times editing is the way to achieve the look you want for your picture. I do it all the time!!! 

By the way, I prefer the darker picture much more... 

Best Regards. 


Thanks so much for the details on your setup - really helps!  Totally makes sense.  I’ll give it a try.  And I agree about the darker version; it has grown on me. 

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I agree with the guys, Chip: get a snoot. It makes a massive difference to macro photography. And they are so fun to play around with - well at least once the early frustrations are out of the way!

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  • 1 month later...

great shot. I'd try masking the eye tubes and lowering the exposure a little and a touch of contrast too. Just seems bright which pulls your eyes from its eyes.

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