…spring. As this is posted we are probably in full swing with spring. Hey! A rhyme!
I love this flower. It looks like it has a little tongue sticking out at you. I know the name of it. I search for the plant in the nursery every spring. It makes me smile all summer long.
In this instance a macro lens helps. The flowers are tiny. Every task has its best tool. For closeups… well, rest assured, you can get a shot without a special lens. I did it for a long time. But the purchase is justified in the end by the results and the ease with which the proper tool makes it so much better. Does it? Hey! One always tries to justify expense to my dear wife in the face of a lot of $$ going out the door. My previous macro lens was so old… how old?… it still focused manually. I would liken it to a hard line phone in your home. How quaint!
Speaking of… when I started taking pictures of the flowers in my garden and before I was using a macro lens again… There is a world of detail inside flowers. Aha! Who knew? Yeah yeah, a whole lot of people and scientists know. I’m late to the party as usual. Or, I am newly bowled over by my discovery. Enthusiasm! Wonderful! Ain’t life grand?
Zoom. There is a limitation on how close up you can get with a regular camera. A macro lens will get you in very close. That would be work. My macro lens was very old and creaky. … till I got a new real one. Meanwhile, I was looking inside all the flowers in my garden. I had the sneaking guilt of looking up girls’ skirts. Ah! Nothing so crass. But suddenly I had new interest in flowers other than a riot of pattern. Anatomy! The inside of a flower had so much fascination.
You can get a lot of detail with patience and a point and shoot camera. And there is more to be had by far with a dedicated macro lens. I have evolved. With my trusty macro lens I cruise my garden about twice a day for images worthy to be captured. The same flowers over and over might be boring. However, flowers are changing constantly. And I keep seeking the perfect image. I am still seeking.
We get bugs. I get bugs. I get to photograph them – a praying mantis and a bumble bee. Fortuitous? Luck? Chance? The opportunity occurs randomly and not frequently.
I go for the dot in the praying mantis eye.
“A praying mantis has 5 eyes! You would think two would be enough, but not for a hunter like this. Small eyes in the middle of the head are used for detecting light while the big compound eyes are for seeing movement and having depth vision.”
Ok! You learn something new every day. I do not see more than one dot per eye.
“A bumblebee is any of over 250 species in the genus Bombus, part of Apidae, one of the bee families.”
I see one type of bumble bee? More? They sting? Nah! I swat them away from me all the time.
The shot? Get in close. Macro lens. Focus. It seems I cannot quite get in close enough. The macro lens gives me plenty of detail. I’m still working on it. The praying mantis sat on my screen for two days. Oh my?!
The bumble bee was one of several buzzing my passion flowers. It was hard to photograph. The bee was buried under the pistil and partially covered. Focus. I tried and got detail of the pollen covered thorax. Depth of field is so shallow with the macro lens. It was hard to get the bee and flower detail in focus simultaneously.
My present goal was to just get in close and focus on the details.
I’m in a rut. Macro flower pics are merging into one another. I need to break out of the routine shots. Face on flowers – it’s like anatomy lessons. Create. Creative. Change things up. Do something different. Art. It’s not science. It’s not clinical. Get a different viewpoint. See it! Don’t just document it. My bad. I have been in this technical loop for a couple years now. It’s nice. But it ain’t art. Think outside the box. Message: to myself for myself! Gee! Duh! Wake up!
Ummm….a slight curve, spray the flowers. Mist. It’s different. Same view but different texture. I would say focus is a key. Sharpness is good. The whole bloom is boring. Now, to break out of this tendency to just document another blossom in the garden.
Okay! … working on it. Macro changed things for me. It allowed me to focus on fine detail. But there is a lot of work to make composition more interesting. For now it has been simple anatomy lessons, a catalog, ..boring.
Praying mantis. There was a droplet of water on its antenna. And there is a dot in the eye. Focus? On what? Interest? The focus is critical. Macro has no depth of field to speak of. I guess a portrait is important for the eye. But my eye keeps drifting to that drop of water. Ha ha.
I have been shooting snapdragon flowers for a while and it never occurred to me to open the flower. I am a firm believer in not manipulating nature. Ok ok. So it occurred to me to find out what was inside. ??? Yup! Inside is interesting. I wonder why it never occurred to me to dissect it open before? Ummm… same anatomy, different flower.
I’m blind. At least I cannot see the picture before I take the image. That is to say, I cannot visualize quite what will work in the edit process and what would be a discard. Focus? I focus on different parts of the flower. I use different composition. Experiment: Try different things. Some work. Others don’t.
You’re scratching your head right about now. Or, you don’t get it. Or, you think my rambling is an old man just cogitating. For now my edit process is to look at the enlarged image on my Mac and go with my gut. If it looks good, it gets a star. If not, discard it. What really burns is that going back a few minutes later, you find stars you discarded. There’s no rhyme or reason. Nope, none at all.
Have I made any sense? What makes or breaks an image is what is in focus. Your eye goes to the part of the image in focus. The rest is background. I am directing your eye to the subject of interest by what I focused upon with my camera. Making sense now?
I enlarged the image. Macro. Focus is critical. There is no depth of field to speak of. You just have to be dead on focused.
It’s a fly? Or a bee? The fine detail on its leg can be seen. I thought it was pollen? No.
Slightly out of focus? Nope, if you are, the image is a discard. It’s not operating room microscopy. But there is a certain skill needed to get this shot. It can be done better? Sure, but I am a lazy photographer. No waiting around. No spending time getting shot after shot. Besides, the bug ain’t staying for long. Shoot early. Shoot often.
All that’s missing? The spider. Early morning mist in my garden revealed this spider web. It is not geometrically perfect. Ha ha. But then the water droplets reveal a rare sight to my lens. Focus is hard. I usually tweak manual focus to get better detail of the drops. I’d have liked a bug or the spider. Sometimes you can’t always get what you want.
Covered in pollen this bee landed on my hand as I was on my morning photo tour of the garden. Ok! Shoot me! And I did. The bee lingered long enough for me to get this shot. No complaint. It flew off.
The pollen makes this image striking. Focus is critical. Macro has very limited depth of field. Everything needs to be focused for this image to work. Under the circumstances I am usually in manual focus. Auto focus is hit and miss.