Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Project: One Lens a Month

Every photographer, at one point in time in their life, collects too many lenses. I get it, we all love new gear, whether it's the online steal we couldn't pass up, or the hidden gem found at a thrift store, we accumulate gear like it's going out of style.
The trick with all of this gear, is using it. Sometimes it gets used once or twice and set back in the closet, forgotten, other times, it becomes our go-to lens. In this series, I want to use only one lens for the entire month. In this case, for January, I'm going to use my Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Dedicated Macro.
I've mentioned the lens on this journal before, and the issues with working with Macro lenses, but as a quick recap, they have very narrow Depths of Field, and do not tolerate sloppy handling. I'm going to try to post a picture a day show with my macro lens. The astute of you will notice it's already the 3rd of January. Yeah so I'm a little late on this. So here's two shots to get things going. 
This Sea Creature was a local hobby store close-out, I think I paid 2$ for it. I wasn't sure what to paint it, so I went with underwater type scheme. I'm not a fast painter, nor an especially good one, so it took me some months to get it to this state. 
The background was an ordinary 12"x12" scrapbook sheet, taped to my desk, two strobe lights, at half power, at 45 degree angles from the figure, and my Nikon D2x. F/10 and 1/250th of a second for the shutter speed. No other adjustments, pre- or post-, were made. In other words, straight from the camera.

This Minotaur is a work in progress so forgive the sloppy painting. All the settings listed above, were duplicated here. The figure is from a company called "Reaper Minis" and this is from their "Bones" line. They are truly affordable (he was 3$) and nicely detailed, but made of some of the most infuriating material I have ever seen disgrace a miniature. It's a weird mixture of recycled plastic and...well..rubber as near as I can tell. As such, any paint has issues sticking to the material and either becomes tacky and never dries right, or glosses up and pools, sliding right off the surface. Scrubbing them (I bought more) with soap and water (or Simple Green) made little, if any, difference. Even primer had issues, but in the end, I found a very good primer that is airbrush-ready (I'm using my airbrush on a red dragon.)
In any event, I chose the Macro lens because it's both a great Macro lens, and a fantastic (if a few stops slower) 50mm normal, or prime, lens. So while I am re-acquainting myself with Macro work, I can always use it as a normal lens. I just heard on the radio it's supposed to be foggy tomorrow morning. If I can get my carcass out of bed in time to catch it, that will be the next set of images.
Stay tuned! 

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