Welcome back to another Macro Monday Mixer! How is everyone? My husband was called out by the National Guard to help with the wildfires in Central Washington, so I have at least the next two weeks to myself. I’m torn between “Woo-hoo! Turn up the music and dance!” and “Ugh, this is going to be a long and lonely two weeks.” Right now I’m straddling the middle by loudly listening to a Medina album while editing photos. I hope to get more Hawaii trip planning done (still can’t believe I’m going) and actually venture beyond my backyard for photos, creaky joints permitting.
In photography news, I found this Paddle-tailed darner on the sidewalk earlier this week. He was sadly on his way out of this world, so I scooped him up and brought him home to photograph before humanely euthanizing him. I’d like to try my hand at pinning him.
Clicking on the photos will take you to my Flickr account where you can view them full-sized.
Bet you didn’t know dragonflies had so much hair!
This guy had a couple of very small hitchhikers on him.
Let’s link up! Share your macro and close up photos from ANY platform.You can find me linking up with:
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We’ve had to skip out on our family outings we had planned this weekend due to a hedgehog with pneumonia. He’s upstairs resting in our bedroom, but my husband was up all night with him and I didn’t sleep much either. He is very sick, but showed improvement after an antibiotic shot and oxygen therapy at the vet. I am so thankful we found a local vet who is knowledgeable of exotic animals and their care. He’s not out of the woods yet, but he’s eating mealworms, which is a good sign, but poor Mr. Hogles is trying to survive on about 20% lung function right now.
Here he is last week after a bath. Doesn’t he have just the cutest little face?
Just a couple of photos from me this week. A spider mite on one of the ferns in the backyard.
On to happier news, we have last week’s most-clicked photos.
Read Part 1 in the Learn To Use a Digital Camera series here.
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Welcome back! Did everyone do their homework? And no, that “the dog ate it” excuse won’t work with me, unless your dog literally chewed up your camera 😉
This post is going to be all about white balance. Where to adjust the white balance will vary depending on what camera you have, but even smart phones generally have the option to change the white balance somewhere in the menu/settings of the photography app.
What is white balance and why should I care?
Have you ever taken a photo, only to find that it has a yellow, green, purple, or other color of tinge to it, and/or was too light or too dark? The whites aren’t white, as they should be, or everything is much darker than it should be, and you wonder what went wrong. Adjusting the white balance to compensate for the ambient lighting allows the camera to capture a photo without a tinge or lightness/darkness to it.
White balance measures the “temperature” of the light. Our eyes compensate for the temperature of light automatically – whites are white and blues are blue and so on, regardless of what the ambient lighting is. At most, we might detect a yellowish tinge when inside at night and relying on light bulbs. Your eyesight is far better than your camera, which can’t compensate unless you instruct it on how to do so. This is important, because fluorescent lights are going to result in photos with a blueish tinge, while incandescent bulbs will result in a yellowish tinge.
Here is a fun little fact for you:ALL digital cameras have internal, automatic photo editing. The camera takes a photo and adjusts the image to what it thinks the photo should look like. This is being done by the camera even before you have taken the photo. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when you want to have full control over every aspect of your photo, you will need to adjust accordingly… or shoot in RAW. However, we’re not there yet! RAW requires photo editing software capable of reading the file, and you need to know how to use that software, otherwise you will have a nearly useless photo. You can’t print a RAW photo, and it’s not going to look as good as a JPEG will (about 75% of the time, that is). We’ll get to that later.
My point of that little tangent is that when your camera processes a photo, it’s little camera brain can easily make mistakes. Your eyes are clearly seeing one color, but your camera thinks it sees another. The camera thinks, “This is warm,” or, “This is cool,” or “I’m going to blur the heck out of this, hahahahaha!” (No? Is that just me?) This is where knowledge of white balance is critical!
Please ignore the fingerprints on my camera, and follow these steps to adjust your white balance:
1.If you have a camera with this wheel, you will put it on “P” (Programmed Auto). If you do NOT have a wheel, go straight to step 2.
2.Press the Menu button.
3.The wheel is what you will use to navigate around the menu. Go down to “White Balance” and press right on the wheel.
4.You’ll then have options to choose from. What your options are, or how they are worded, will depend on your specific camera.
5.There are often additional options, such as this option for “Daylight,” in which you can fine-tune the amount of correction. You should be able to see the changes on your camera’s screen before you take a photo. They are often quite subtle though.
There is another, faster way to adjust white balance, but you won’t be able to fine-tune it. If your camera has an “info” button, you can press it and then choose White Balance, then further choose which setting to use.
Now, I can’t tell you what settings to use. You will have to play around with your camera’s white balance settings. I urge you to take photos in all different types of lighting, indoor and outdoor, and choose different settings. Keep a notepad with you, and for each photo you take, write down exactly which white balance settings you chose. Once you upload the photos to your computer, you will have your notes so that you know which photo corresponds with which setting.
Here is an example of a white balance problem, and how I fixed it. These were taken with a D3100 in the early evening, which is still pretty bright outside for us, but most of the lighting came from an overhead bulb.
Camera on full auto. Yuck, that won’t work!
Fine-tuned via choosing “incandescent” then adjusting the color graph (G = green, A = amber, B = blue, M = magenta):
And here is what I achieved by yet ANOTHER way to adjust white balance – go to “Preset Manual” in the White Balance menu, and choose “Measure.” You will then be prompted to take a photo of a white or grey object. I have found that I get better results with grey, but you might find that white works better. (Note: Your camera may have different wording, or may not have this feature.)
I think the first photo looks better, but both adjustments made a huge difference from what I achieved when using full auto.
If you can’t find where to adjust the settings on your camera, you can drop me a line using my contact form letting me know what model of camera you have, and I’ll see if I can’t walk you through it via email.
White balance can also be adjusted using most photo editing programs. Since there’s so many different ones out there, I can’t tell you where you’d find it in your program. I use Corel’s PaintShop Pro, and white balance is under “adjust.” You can Google tutorials for the specific program you use to learn how to adjust the white balance. Here is what it looks like for me:
Whew! You’ve reached the end of today’s lesson! Way to go! Now here’s your homework:
Find a white object and take photos of it under different lighting.
Use the steps in this lesson to adjust the white balance until you get a photo that has little-to-no tinge to it.
If you have an editing program, practice adjusting white balance in it.
I hurt my foot last Sunday evening, so I didn’t take any photos this week. For this week’s Macro Monday Mixer, I’ll be sharing some older photos instead, for two reasons: 1) What else am I going to share? and 2) To show you how I’ve progressed as a photographer. So many of my readers are newbie photographers, and I think it’s important to show that everyone has to start somewhere.
These were all taken with either an older Nikon Coolpix (which sadly no longer works) or a Nikon D40 with a stock 18-55 mm lens. Some of these photos are from six years ago! Hard to believe I’ve been taking macros for that long already.
Did you see the first post in my new weekly series, “Learn To Use A Digital Camera”? I’ll be adding a new post to the series every Thursday. If you are a new photographer and want to learn, this is THE series to follow!
It’s impossible to not laugh at this photo of Vern. Go on – I dare you! Try to keep a straight face.
Ladybugs were one of my first subjects to try and photograph up close.
Could this grasshopper possibly be better camouflaged?
That’s enough from me – on to our features!
The picture with the most clicks this week was Coloring Outside the Lines with her beautiful purple flowers.
Second most clicked was hannizenvato with his succulent in x-ray view. Doesn’t it look so cool?
Third most-clicked was this vibrant lilly from Cowgirl Yankee.
Congratulations to you three!
Now on to the link up! Add any photo, from any platform, so long as it is a macro or close-up. Please try to show some love to your fellow photographers by visiting their links and leaving a nice comment, or sharing their photo/post.