Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New and Improved, Bigger and Frostier!

The more I use the Canon 100mm macro we
have (non-image-stabilized)
and examine the images critically, the more I'm impressed with what it can do!  Last week when we were in Illinois, I was out the morning of the first frost, taking a few pictures.  Well the next morning, it also froze, and I went out again, taking some nice pictures, but since I'd already blogged, figured it would be redundant to show such similar images.  But looking at them closely, they are quite incredible, so am posting again, this time showing the images displayed at somewhat closer to the camera resolution limit (most pictures here and most elsewhere are reduced considerably in resolution).

First up above is a weed (sorry for the non-identifications - all I know is that it isn't grass!) with considerably more frost than formed the night before on the leaf edges.  And even the image at left is downsized some from the full frame.  At right is the same image at nearly the full resolution, with just the slightest touch of unsharp masking.  Note that this shot is a 1/4 second exposure (tripod mounted!) at F/11.  I also took a 1 second exposure at F/22, but interestingly, while the depth of field is better, the sharpest part of the water crystals have lost sharpness due to diffraction effects - interesting, and something to remember!  Click on the image for the full size image - the detail in the crystals is quite nice!

I also had a leaf picture in the previous post, but this one is considerably better.  I don't understand the mechanism of crystal formation, but it is interesting to me that the leaf veins seem to grow more frost than the expanse of flat sections.  At right is a single blade of grass covered with crystals.  Growth rings can be detected in some of them, as well as what might be hexagonal structures in the edges.

Finally, with the heavier frost this morning, this convex leaf surface has considerably more crystal growth than the previous post.  I was just there as the sun was clearing the tree line, which adds another layer of interesting reflections off the crystal faces.  For all the world it looks like a cave grotto full of quartz crystals!  I'm certainly going to look for similar circumstances in the future - I've tried a time or two to go after snowflakes without success, but after these first attempts, it is worthwhile to try again, or perhaps attempt some time-lapses...

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