Category Archives: Macro

Small Worlds

Small Worlds

The Nikon International Small World Photomicrography Competition recently announced its list of winners for 2010. The competition began in 1974 as a means to recognize and applaud the efforts of those involved with photography through the light microscope. Peering into the small worlds of animal, plants and minerals using many techniques and different instruments, this year’s entries brought us images of crystalline formations, fluorescent body parts, cellular structures and more, valuable for both their beauty and insight.

Alan Taylor at The Big Picture is one of the best image editors in the business. This collection is first rate as are almost all of his collections at the site.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Butterfly

Sharon, Connecticut. The Sharon Audubon Center has over twenty injured raptors that we love to visit from time to time. The bald eagle is magnificent as are the great horned owls.

This summer, on our way to the raptor cages we passed a small butterfly garden and given that we had some rented camera gear with us we figured we’d spend some time there.

This was shot, handheld, with a rented Canon 1D IV and my macro lens. I thought this camera might be too big and heavy for me but in fact, it’s a joy to use and feels quite good in hand. The images it can produce in the right hands (not mine) are stellar and I can see why it’s been a popular camera.

Ice

Ice crystals

This first batch was taken this winter with a Canon G11 camera on a hike in the Woodbury Audubon Center, Woodbury, Connecticut.

Ice crystals

Ice crystals

Ice crystals

The last two were taken this winter with a Canon G11 in the Pine Swamp beaver pond near Cornwall, Connecticut.

Ice crystals

Ice crystals

Macro view of fall leaves

Ash Leaf

Click the image above to start a slide show of the various image in this set. The slide show application has various tools including a button at bottom right to zoom to full screen. Let go of your mouse or trackpad and the slideshow will run automatically to the end or until you stop it. Use your browser’s back button (left arrow) to return here.

This is a collection of images taken of fall leaves from a variety of trees around our house in the past few years. I’ll add more to this collection later this fall.

All of these images were done with a Canon EOS 5D camera and almost all of them were done with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. A tripod and remote shutter release was used.

Because the leaves curl and because I wanted to shoot them with back light, I made a jig to hold them which consisted of two small pieces of mat board with a small rectangle cut out of the middle (about 1.5 inches by 1 inch) so that a leaf could be sandwiched in. This “sandwich” is then clamped together and hung so that I can shoot straight at it with natural light coming in from behind. The key is to get the rig absolutely parallel to the front of the lens (I used a level) so that the leaf would be in focus edge to edge. In macro photography, even stopped way down, depth of field is very shallow so the more one can take care of these things in setup the better.

I hope to repeat this technique this year with my new 5D Mk II and maybe a newer macro lens. Stay tuned.

A piece of the Berlin Wall

A piece of the Berlin Wall

Warren, Connecticut. I was going through some boxes of saved stuff (I have many, too many) and found a piece of The Berlin Wall that my friend David Darling brought back from Berlin for me in 1989 when it came down. If you don’t know much about The Wall you might explore the Wikipedia entry or, better yet, check out the movie: The Lives of Others.

Small objects like this (1" across) can be wormholes back through time to eras we know little about. The internet being what it is these days, all you need is a fragment like this and you can put together quite a story about a time and place that doesn’t exist anymore.

Lavender

Lavender

New Preston, Connecticut. We were early for yoga class this morning and next door to the building the class is held in is a small herb garden. Anne rolled her eyes and groaned when I broke out the macro gear to see about a picture of this lavender plant before class started.

I didn’t know lavender was in the mint family. Like mint, rubbing a small one inch head like this between your fingers will scent you for quite some time. The folks doing yoga around me today must have thought I I was into aroma therapy or bathed with lavender scented soap this morning. The scent is now on my camera, tripod, and now, my keyboard and mouse. Beats patchouli oil.

Yellow daisy going by

Yellow daisy going by

Warren, Connecticut. Two things that took me too long to learn about photography: overcast days can make for better color saturation and easier exposure setups, and flowers going by can be as interesting as flowers at their peak.

I’m still using a rented Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L macro lens and enjoying it.