Lachlan passed away in January 2010.  As a memorial, this site remains as he left it.
Therefore the information on this site may not be current or accurate and should not be relied upon.
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Welcome to Lachlan Cranswick's Personal Homepage in Melbourne, Australia

USA Spring and Summer 2001 at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, New York, USA

Mavica Users Webring

Hints on taking close-up (macro) photographs of wildflowers using the Sony Mavica MVC-FD75 / FD75 digital camera - 26th May 2001

(Including the "two fingered salute" Sony Mavica FD75 wildflower / macro / close-up focussing method)

Lachlan's Homepage is at http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au

[Intro - CranClan] . . [Happening Things] . . [The Daresbury Laboratory Web Ring of Life] . . [NCS - Non-Competitive Scrabble] . . [Garden Gnomes of Daresbury Laboratory] . . [Nature and Local UK Things] . . [USA 2001 and LDEO Columbia University] . . [Historical Literature/Poetry] . . [Music] . . [Misc Things] . . [DL SRS Status] . . [Conference and Travel Things] . . [The Wonders of Team Building] . . [Other People's Homepages] . . [Crystallographic Internet Front] . . [While in Melbourne] . . [Semi Relevant Links]
[Back to Lachlan's Homepage] | [What's New]
[Summary of observed LDEO, New York State Wild Flowers : North East American Wildflowers]
[USA 2001 LDEO, Columbia University, Palisades, New York, Flora and Fauna pages]
[Hints on taking close-up (macro) photographs of wildflowers using the Sony Mavica FD75 digital camera]
[UK 1999/2000 Nature pages, English wild flowers / wildlife, SkyCam, flame clouds, fellwalking, etc]

Sony Mavica FD75 digital camera - speed is the key

The Sony Mavica FD75 is an incredibly good camera for quickly getting images onto the web; and for those who travel and/or do not use a single computer for manipulating digital images. The MVC-FD75 has massive amount of battery time; writes images directly onto a 3.5" floppy disk; and has a 10x (10 fold) optical zoom (a very important feature for taking fauna, flora and travel photographs and images).

The Sony Mavica FD75 can only do 640x480 pixel images, which can be an advantage for quick, speedy and easy web work. (other cameras that do not have an option for low resolution mode can result in painful amounts of time for routine resizing images).

The method (while walking to and from work - if you have that option): take lots of wildflower, flora, fauna snaps as opportunity allows. (it helps if your workplace is in a nice woodland or nature friendly area. Many scientific laboratories have this quality.)

For quickly getting images on the web; all you need to do is i) have a webpage template titled index.html; ii) create a new subdirectory; iii) open a DOS window (using the freeware MS DOSHERE power utility which runs within the Windows explorer) and copy over the files from the floppy disk using a DOS command such as copy *.jpg; iv) use a program such as the freeware ChangeCase to change the case of the files to lower case and do the thumb-nailing with your favourite program (Paintshop Pro is very good - though does not have good scripting, batch mode on the version I use); v) copy over the index.html template and quickly edit the index.html file to describe the latest pictures and update it on the website. Done and far easier and timely than if you had tried using other digital cameras with cable connections; custom download programs; resizings, etc..


The main problem of the MVC-FD75: lack of a macro / close-up mode and lack of manual focus.

(Though possible tricks to get around this follow)

If your main aim for purchasing the Sony Mavica FD75 digital camera is to take Fauna and Flora images, the main problem is the lack of a macro / close-up mode and lack of manual focus. The FD75 tries to autofocus and for some styles of wildflower images / photographs, the FD75 focusses on the wrong thing (most likely something in the background) with the inability to intuititvely change this.

The following images and text gives you some hints on how to get around this and to be able to take photographs of wildflowers (or other small freestanding objects) where you trick the Sony Mavica FD75 to focus on the object of interest. Note that there may be better and more reliable ways of doing this but (after various trial and errors to figure out what was going on) the following gets things going for me.

Click here to see my starting set and growing collection of wild flower and wildlife webpages (ignore that starting links and scroll down for the nature stuff): USA 2001 LDEO, Columbia University, Palisades, New York, Flora and Fauna pages. (It helps being part of an ISP web service where you own a few GIG or so of the web-server hard-disk as the images start taking up significant amounts of space pretty quickly).


(The other useful function the FD75 lacks is timed exposure shots for trying to take images of lightning storms - though is not that big an issue as lightning storms are not that common here - at least not this year)


No problem images of wildflowers using the FD75

Image

Description

Clover in focus

  • Wildflower in focus - Point and Click: Normally, the Sony Mavica FD 75 is very good at taking photos / images of wildflowers and getting things in focus on the first shot.

Pressing the shutter button too quickly on the FD75

Dandelion slightly out of focus

  • Dandelion slightly out of focus: If you press down on the Shutter Button too quickly, the image might appear slightly out of focus if it was optimising the auto-focus at the time you fully pressed the Shutter Button (rather than pressing it half way to allow it to optimise the focus - then fully down to take the image / photo of the wildflower).

Dandelion in focus

  • Dandelion in focus: Try again with pressing the shutter button half way down, then all the way to obtain the image: which should now be in focus

Minor problem of the FD75 focussing on the background, not the object

Budding wildflower out of focus

  • In this image, the FD75 has focussed on the background instead of the wildflower, giving an out of focus image.

Budding wildflower slightly out of focus

  • A solution to this is play around with the zoom/unzoom and distance of "camera to object" and see if the FD75 can automatically now lock in on the object of interest. Here it has almost done the job.

Budding wildflower in focus

  • Try again with the zoom/unzoom and distance of "camera to object" to see if you can get a better image if the first try is not 100% acceptable. If it doesn't, you will have to use the "two fingered salute" Sony Mavica FD75 wildflower / macro / close-up focussing method described below.

Major problem of the FD75 focussing on the background, not the object

(Solution: use the "two fingered salute" Sony Mavica FD75 wildflower / macro / close-up focussing method)

Greater Celandine; Wartweed (Chelidonium majus) out of focus

  • Again, in this image, the FD75 has focussed on the background instead of the wildflower, and there is no trick of zoom/unzoom and camera to object distance that will fix this situation.

Greater Celandine; Wartweed (Chelidonium majus) with fingers in the viewfinder to gain the focus of the FD75

  • A quick, improvised solution to this is to give the camera a two fingered salute with the target wildflower / object near or within the fingers. Then use the other hand on the FD75 to now zoom and focus on the fingers (which by default also means the wild flower will come into focus). (an alternative to this could be to have an "appropriately patterned" card that is easy for the camera to focus on)

    (be careful not to damage the flower and have this on your conscience - petals on some wildflowers can be very fragile)

Greater Celandine; Wartweed (Chelidonium majus) wildflower in focus

  • Remove your fingers and the wildflower should still be in focus. Now take your picture of the in-focus wildflower.

Major problem (2nd Example) of the FD75 focussing on the background, not the object

(Again the solution: use the "two fingered salute" Sony Mavica FD75 wildflower / macro / close-up focussing method)

Wildflower out of focus Wildflower out of focus

  • Again, in this image, the FD75 has focussed on the background instead of the wildflower, and there is no trick of zoom/unzoom and camera to object distance that will fix this situation.

Wildflower with fingers in the viewfinder to gain the focus of the FD75

  • Again, give the Sony Mavica FD75 camera a two fingered salute with the target wildflower / object near or within the fingers. Then use the other hand on the FD75 to now zoom and focus on the fingers (which by default also means the wild flower will come into focus). (an alternative to this could be to have an "appropriately patterned" card that is easy for the camera to focus on)

    (be careful not to damage the flower and have this on your conscience - petals on some wildflowers can be very fragile)

Wildflower in focus

  • Remove your fingers and the wildflower should still be in focus. Now take your image / picture of the in-focus wildflower.

Major problem (3rd Example) of the FD75 focussing on the background, not the object

(Again the solution: use the "two fingered salute" Sony Mavica FD75 wildflower / macro / close-up focussing method)

Wildflower out of focus

  • Again, in this image, the FD75 has focussed on the background instead of the wildflower, and there is no trick of zoom/unzoom and camera to object distance that will fix this situation.

Wildflower with fingers in the viewfinder to gain the focus of the FD75

  • Again, give the Sony Mavica FD75 camera a two fingered salute with the target wildflower / object near or within the fingers. Then use the other hand on the FD75 to now zoom and focus on the fingers (which by default also means the wild flower will come into focus). (an alternative to this could be to have an "appropriately patterned" card that is easy for the camera to focus on)

    (be careful not to damage the flower and have this on your conscience - petals on some wildflowers can be very fragile)

Wildflower in focus

  • Remove your fingers and the wildflower should still be in focus. Now take your image / picture of the in-focus wildflower. (Though it would result in a more asthetically pleasing image if you remove all of your fleshy fingers from the view of the camera)

Other Sony Mavica Digital Camera weblinks


Acquainted with the Night
(Robert Frost 1874-1963)

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
O luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.


Auguries of Innocence
(William Blake - 1757-1827)

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
A dove house fill'd with doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his Master's Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A Horse misus'd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear.
A Skylark wounded in the wing,
A Cherubim does cease to sing.
The Game Cock clipp'd and arm'd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright.
Every Wolf's & Lion's howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul.
The wild deer, wand'ring here & there,
Keeps the Human Soul from Care.
The Lamb misus'd breeds public strife
And yet forgives the Butcher's Knife.
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that won't believe.
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbeliever's fright.
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belov'd by Men.
He who the Ox to wrath has mov'd
Shall never be by Woman lov'd.
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spider's enmity.
He who torments the Chafer's sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night.
The Catterpillar on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mother's grief.
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly,
For the Last Judgement draweth nigh.
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar.
The Beggar's Dog & Widow's Cat,
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat.
The Gnat that sings his Summer's song
Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envy's Foot.
The poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artist's Jealousy.
The Prince's Robes & Beggars' Rags
Are Toadstools on the Miser's Bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so;
Man was made for Joy & Woe;
And when this we rightly know
Thro' the World we safely go.
Joy & Woe are woven fine,
A Clothing for the Soul divine;
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
The Babe is more than swadling Bands;
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made, & born were hands,
Every Farmer Understands.
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity.
This is caught by Females bright
And return'd to its own delight.
The Bleat, the Bark, Bellow & Roar
Are Waves that Beat on Heaven's Shore.
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of death.
The Beggar's Rags, fluttering in Air,
Does to Rags the Heavens tear.
The Soldier arm'd with Sword & Gun,
Palsied strikes the Summer's Sun.
The poor Man's Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Afric's Shore.
One Mite wrung from the Labrer's hands
Shall buy & sell the Miser's lands:
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole Nation sell & buy.
He who mocks the Infant's Faith
Shall be mock'd in Age & Death.
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall ne'er get out.
He who respects the Infant's faith
Triumph's over Hell & Death.
The Child's Toys & the Old Man's Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons.
The Questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to Reply.
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out.
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesar's Laurel Crown.
Nought can deform the Human Race
Like the Armour's iron brace.
When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow.
A Riddle or the Cricket's Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply.
The Emmet's Inch & Eagle's Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile.
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you Please.
If the Sun & Moon should doubt
They'd immediately Go out.
To be in a Passion you Good may do,
But no Good if a Passion is in you.
The Whore & Gambler, by the State
Licenc'd, build that Nation's Fate.
The Harlot's cry from Street to Street
Shall weave Old England's winding Sheet.
The Winner's Shout, the Loser's Curse,
Dance before dead England's Hearse.
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn & every Night
Some are Born to sweet Delight.
Some ar Born to sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro' the Eye
Which was Born in a Night to Perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light.
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in the Night,
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day.


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
(Robert Frost 1874-1963)

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


The Brook
(Alfred Lord Tennyson 1809-1892)

I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorpes, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip's farm I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I chatter over stony ways,
In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles.

With many a curve my banks I fret
By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow.

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake
Upon me, as I travel
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.


[Back to Lachlan's Homepage] | [What's New]
[Summary of observed LDEO, New York State Wild Flowers : North East American Wildflowers]
[USA 2001 LDEO, Columbia University, Palisades, New York, Flora and Fauna pages]
[Hints on taking close-up (macro) photographs of wildflowers using the Sony Mavica FD75 digital camera]
[UK 1999/2000 Nature pages, English wild flowers / wildlife, SkyCam, flame clouds, fellwalking, etc]

[Intro - CranClan] . . [Happening Things] . . [The Daresbury Laboratory Web Ring of Life] . . [NCS - Non-Competitive Scrabble] . . [Garden Gnomes of Daresbury Laboratory] . . [Nature and Local UK Things] . . [USA 2001 and LDEO Columbia University] . . [Historical Literature/Poetry] . . [Music] . . [Misc Things] . . [DL SRS Status] . . [Conference and Travel Things] . . [The Wonders of Team Building] . . [Other People's Homepages] . . [Crystallographic Internet Front] . . [While in Melbourne] . . [Semi Relevant Links]
(This Webpage Page in No Frames Mode)

If you are feeling sociable, my new E-mail address is [address now invalid] (replace the *at* with an @ ) . Old E-mail addresses might be giving forwarding or reliability problems. Please use clear titles in any Email - otherwise messages might accidentally get put in the SPAM list due to large amount of junk Email being received. So, if you don't get an expected reply to any messages, please try again.