What the ? Image #2 Mystery Answer Revealed. Wimberley Plamp II Techniques. A Great Macro Tip. And everything you wanted to know about spatterdock but were afraid to ask … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

What the ? Image #2 Mystery Answer Revealed. Wimberley Plamp II Techniques. A Great Macro Tip. And everything you wanted to know about spatterdock but were afraid to ask ...

What’s Up?

On a still, sunny Thursday morning, inspired by the two Spatterdock i-phone images below, I spent two hours photographing Spatterrdock buds and blossoms. I will be sharing some of those images with you here soon. This morning — Friday 19 JUNE 2020 — I spent most of my time with the crane family but wound up photographing a nice Spatterdock flower with the 600GM/2XTC/a7r iv combo.

This morning I spoke with Christopher Robinson, the former editor of Outdoor Photographer. We had worked together on some articles and covers as far back as the Age of Film. For the past five years, he has been running the day-to-day content operations on the Sony AlphaUniverse.com website. Chris was recently excited to learn that I had gone to SONY full-time and will be doing a feature article on me detailing how I’ve used my SONY gear for birds, wildlife, and general nature photography.

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Purchase a (new) qualifying SONY camera body (a7r iii, a7r iv, a9, a9 ii) from Bedfords or using a BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate link, and you will receive a $40 discount on the SONY e-guide. Purchase a (new) SONY 200-600mm G lens from Bedfords or using a BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate link, and you will receive a $25 discount on the SONY e-guide. Purchase a (new) SONY 600mm f/4 GM lens from Bedfords or using a BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate link, and you will receive a free SONY e-guide with one or two videos.

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Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

This image was created at Indian Lake Estates, FL on 9 JUNE 2020. I used the Induro GIT 404L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens with the Sony FE 1.4x teleconverter (at at 560mm) and the 61-mega-pixel monster, the Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless digital camera body. ISO 800. Exposure determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear dial: 1/25 sec. at f/10 in Manual mode with 2-second timer. AWB at 8:36am on cloudy morning.

Plamped in place. Manual focus using the Focus Magnifier (page 37) and Manual Focus Toggle (page 35) tips and techniques detailed in the SONY e-Guide and Videos.

Image #1: Spatterdock bud just peaking out of the water

What the ? Image #1

In the What the ? blog post here, I posted this:

Image #1: What is It?

If you have an idea as to what is pictured in the image above, please leave a comment and be as specific as possible.

David Policansky wrote, I think that Image #1 is a sliced kiwi fruit.

Margaret commented: Image #1 is an alien’s eyeball.

Ravi Hirekatur was at least in the neighborhood when he wrote: #1 looks like a reflection of a flower pod on something.

In fact, Image #1 is a photograph of a Spatterdock bud just peaking out of the water. Spatterdock, also known as Cowlily or Yellow Water Lily is a perennial, herbaceous, emergent aquatic plant. Its deep yellow, globe-shaped flowers grow at just above the surface of the water. The egg- to heart-shaped leaves have a basal V-notch and usually float on the surface of the water.

First I screwed the Singh-Rey 77mm Warming Circular Polarizer to the front of the lens (with the hood removed). To make the image, I set the tripod up directly over the bud right at the lens’s minimum focusing distance as the buds are less than an inch across. I made sure to seat the tripod firmly in the mud. I had already Plamped the stem in place underwater (using a shelf bracket) to keep the bud close to perfectly still. Then I set the polarizer to dark. The bud was just cresting the surface of the water and the lens was pointed straight down at the subject.

Great Macro Tip

If you are all set up but find that your subject is a bit too large in the frame or that you are slightly inside of the minimum focusing distance of the lens, simply loosen the clamp and slide the plate back as much as an inch before re-tightening the clamp. Many times, you will be good to go without having to move the tripod or re-aim the lens. If you are focusing manually (as is usually best when doing macro photography) you will of course need to re-focus.

This image was created with the i-Phone 11+.

Image #2: Spatterdock bud

Spatterdock Bud

Above is a more traditional photo of a Spatterdock bud (and leaf). I shaded the subject with my body and then stood vey still to let the wavelets subside.

This image was created with the i-Phone 11+. The exposure was dialed down too\ prevent over-exposing the yellow petals.

Image #3: Spatterdock flower (and leaf).

Spatterdock Flower

To my eye, the Spattedock flowers are not as beautiful as the developing buds.

This image was created with the i-Phone 11+. The exposure was dialed up to prevent underexposing the subject.

Image #4: Wimberley Plamp II clamped onto shelf bracket

Wimberley Plamp II/Shelf Bracket Rig

This little combo is a must for macro photographers. The shelf bracket was purchased a while back at Lowe’s for 99 cents. Stick the bare end of the bracket in the dirt to keep low-growing flowers from blowing in the wind. To keep the bud in Image #1 still, I stuck the bare end of the bracket into the mud. This rig is much easier to carry around than an extra tripod … And best of all, when you are finished, simply un-clip the stem of the flower, pull the shelf bracket out of the dirt or mud, and leave everything growing as it was before you arrived.

This image was also created with the i-Phone 11+.

Image #5: The Plamped in place set-up used to create Image #1.

The Set-up

A is the heavy-duty clamp of the Wimberley Plamp II attached to the shelf bracket.

B is the shelf bracket. One end is stuck into the mud while the Plamp is clamped to the other end.

C is the stiff but flexible positionable arm.

D is the lightweight clamp used to keep the stems still. One of the clamp jaws is white, the other is black. You need to be careful where you affix it to the stem so that the clamp does not appear in the image.

The subject from Image #1 — the object of my attention — is in the yellow box just above and to the right of D.

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Typos

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2 comments to What the ? Image #2 Mystery Answer Revealed. Wimberley Plamp II Techniques. A Great Macro Tip. And everything you wanted to know about spatterdock but were afraid to ask …

  • avatar Jim Cash

    I like to search out rare and endangered wildflowers and I have been using the fairly new Plamp ground rods and stakes and extension rods. They are wonderful to stabilize flowers from ground level to 4 ft high (you can get as high as you want with a bit of 1″ PVC pipe and a coupler from Home Depot) and also eliminate the need for a second tripod. If you get serious about wildflower photography, especially if you want to make really sharp images with high resolution cameras, these are SO helpful. And they are small and light and easy to take with you into the field. A little more versatile than the 99 cent shelf bracket, which is a great idea on a budget. These Wimberley products are a bit expensive, but worth every penny when you get the sharp shot instead of the flower blurred by slight movement! Check them out. Available from Wimberley or B&H or several other retail photo outlets.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks for the tip, Jim. I will check them out. I hope that you used my B&H affilaite link as every little bit helps!

      with love, artie

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