macro

Desperately seeking macro magic

Abalone shell 1

I’m still playing with macro.  I’ve sometimes found myself getting a little impatient with all the flower macros I see around: “can’t they think of anything else to photograph?” I say, all self-righteously.  But actually, I’m finding it quite hard myself to come up with much that isn’t flower or plant based.  There are lots of other things around, but it’s often a little tricky to make an interesting photo of them, and flowers always look so good. It is the popular option, but there’s a reason for that.

This has become my new mission at the moment: to find some macro subjects that are a little different.  I’m not sure this abalone shell is different enough, but it does have wonderful colours.  I have a better one than the one at the top, but I’m saving it for a Mortal Muse post.  What I like about this next one is that a face appeared in it that I didn’t know was there when I took it.  Can you see it?

Abalone face

What I don’t like with these shell photos is the lensbaby effect.  I feel they’d look better without the edge blurring, but the lensbaby is all I’ve got to do this with, so I just have to go with it.  It was also really difficult to find a decent composition – well, any kind of composition really – in among all the whorls and curves; I deleted loads that just didn’t look interesting at all.

Christmas pig

This is my Christmas pig; he fell out of a cracker when I was having a Christmas meal with some friends many years ago and I really liked him.  I don’t often keep the gifts from crackers, but he made me smile and for a long time I kept him on the  bedside table next to my alarm clock.  He’s very tiny – only about an inch in height (or 2.5cm if you like – I’m a late adopter when it comes to metric).  I think he makes quite a good macro subject, as well as being very cute, and I think the lensbaby effect works quite well here.

I’m not sure what to try next.  I’ve done feathers before – they’re always good – and leaves, and seedpods, and even chocolate brownies, but I’m struggling a bit to come up with some new ideas.  I was quite taken with this photo in the Mortal Muses flickr pool, of a close-up of some bedsprings.  Who would have thought you could make a decent photo out of that?  But then, I think you can make a decent photo out of anything if you can open your eyes enough to see the possibilities.

 

Wildflower macro

Cow parsley 1

I saw this perfect bloom in a wildflower meadow and brought it home with me to photograph.  I’m not sure what it’s called, but I love the little circle of fronds at the base of the flower and the umbrella shape of the flower itself.  Somewhere I have a book on wild flowers and must find it and check out what this one is.

It’s a while since I’ve done any macro shooting, but we’re going to be musing on macro soon over at Mortal Muses and I thought I’d better get some practice in.  All I have to do it with is my Lensbaby with macro attachment – oh for a proper macro lens!  But this does a pretty good job.  The one at the top is my favourite, but here’s a couple of others.  I’m not sure the first one quite works; something about the composition isn’t right although I can’t put my finger on it at the moment.  And I feel the second is too dark, and the focus isn’t in the right place, although I’m happier with how it’s composed.

Cow parsley 2

Cow parsley 3

I thought I’d try a different version of the one at the top of this post, making it much softer.  I like them both, but think I probably prefer the sharper option.  It always fascinates me how you can take the same photo and make it completely different just by doing a bit of creative editing.

Cow parsley 4

Given my loathing of tripods, I rarely use one when doing this sort of thing but it does make it tricky.  Something I discovered that works well for me is to rock gently back and forth while looking through the viewfinder.  Just as I see the subject coming into focus, I press the shutter and take the photo.  If you’re shooting outdoors this can actually work better than using a tripod, as the flowers move in the breeze anyway.