Just lately I’ve been frustrated at my attempts at photography. My complaints have revolved around not having access to amazing landscapes, not having access to much more knowledgeable photographers and their skills, not having the best camera and lenses… and then I realise that with macro and plant photography I can just step outside into my garden and shoot some flowers with a cheap 50mm lens and produce personally satisfying and fulfilling images.
The purple lilies were my birthday flowers. The others are Echinacea and Anemone. The camera was hand-held (I pondered using a tripod and may try again using it), and there was a slight breeze. Despite it being annoying as it moves the subject about thus making sharp images much more difficult, a breeze also creates some nice blurry bokeh and movement in the background. In fact, I’m falling in love with blurred, arty backgrounds achieved with extremely shallow depth of field. Would it be too much to make a collection of images of just smooth and silky backgrounds produced by using the crazy depth of field possible with a 50mm lens? I may find out.
I took the new (second-hand) lens out into the garden to try to capture a closer shot of the moon than my very old 75-300mm lens used to allow. I stacked three of the clearest shots in Z stacker. I’m not sure how effective that was, as the stacked final only looks marginally clearer than the original sharpest image. I have compared it with an old shot of the moon I took in September with my old 75-300mm lens.
I’m looking forward to taking more images of the moon, on clearer night than this (it was a bit hazy).
The original images (below) was f/9, 1/100, ISO 100, at 400mm on a semi-cloudy night.
STACKED. Canon 100-400mm lens. Three images stacked. 28/12/2017.
OLD. Canon 75-300mm lens. f/5.6. 1/250. ISO 100. 02/09/2017.
So I started editing a bit to give my macro plant images a bit more character and unique quality. I liked the idea of toning everything down into moody blues and greys. I’ve done that with a few images and I’m really pleased with the results. In fact, some of these are almost the first images I’ve produced that I can say I’m actually happy with. Are these suitable for canvas? Maybe a couple. Would anyone buy them? Probably not! It would be nice to sell some.
I have been very remiss lately with updating my photography blog. It has been a very active time for me with a new camera and updated lenses, and I am learning a lot. I still need to go back to basics again and re-run through all my lessons, but I am improving leaps and bounds so I’m happy. The macro work seems to have inspired a few others to pic up a camera and start climbing into plants to take close up shots – people who would not have appeared interested previously – which is always flattering and encouraging.
Here are a few captures from Harlow Carr in Harrogate, Yorkshire, UK from the weekend. There were many more captures but these are primarily the macros.