Fun with macro extension tubes

On walking out of the backdoor of my house this afternoon, I noticed a Praying Mantis clinging to the bottom of the screen door.  I quickly went back inside, grabbed my camera, lens, flash, TTL cable, tripod and a pair of macro extension tubes and set out to capture the little guy.  Thankfully, he sat still while I got set up and eventually was shooting.    It was difficult to get the focus just right, since I was very close to the bug and the depth of field was very thin, even at f/22.  Since I haven’t yet ventured into focus stacking multiple shots yet, I’ve had to go with a very small aperture, at the risk of diffraction.

The Macro extension tubes I used were a cheap no-name brand I purchased on eBay.  They are made just for the Fuji X mount and have pass through AF contacts.  Considering the price, the build quality is alright and they work pretty well.  To get into macro photography more though, I’ll need to learn a bit more about technique.

Wedding as a guest

Anytime I go to a wedding anymore, I have to remind myself that I am only a guest, not the photographer.  I haven’t shot many weddings (by choice), but it is still difficult for me to stay out of photographer mode.  It’s my hobby, it’s what I like to do and it also gives me something to do.  Thinking about that before my wife and I made the trip to the venue, I decided on only taking one camera and one lens.  I chose my Fuji X-T1 and paired it with the Fuji 35mm f/1.4.  With the lens being around a 52mm equivalent field of view, I knew that it would be good for more intimate tight shots along with low light capability.  I also put the accessory flash in my pocket for some dancing pictures.

I’m sure that any wedding photographer reading this is probably rolling their eyes and thinking that I should have brought nothing with me, and they may be right.  Since there would be so many family there that we normally don’t see, leaving the camera at home wasn’t an option.  On the contrary, it was probably better that I used my X-T1 since the shutter is quiet and I turned off all noises on the camera and the AF Illuminator.  I was surprised at how many people stuck up cell phones during everything and left all the noises on!  Since I’ve done a few weddings, I understand how the family photographers can get in the way and I made sure to sit on the end away from the aisle, stay in my seat and only take a very few select pictures during the ceremony.

I was very lucky to find that my assigned seat for dinner has me at the end of the sword ceremony.  I was probably 5 feet from where the formation ended with the bride and groom walking straight toward me.  I stayed in my seat and hunkered down as low as I could so as not to block any of the ‘real’ photographers shots.  During the reception, I took sparingly of the bride and groom and got more of the other family.  Overall, the X-T1 was great to shoot with and did pretty well AF wise even in the dark for dancing.  Seeing the pair of hired photographers stalking around loaded down for bear reinforced yet again that I just do not want to shoot weddings as a job.  I’ll keep this gig as a hobby.