Archive for the ‘macro’ Tag

Spring is Coming   9 comments

A flower that has just burst forth from the spring snow at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.

An icy bloom has just burst forth from the spring snow at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.

I wanted to give you all in the north some hope for spring.  If these flowers can steel themselves and burst forth from the snow-covered ground to stand tall, confident they won’t have long to wait for the sun’s warmth to kiss their faces and allow them to bloom with color, then so can we.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus   19 comments

A frog enjoys the shallows of Snow Lake at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.

A frog enjoys the shallows of Snow Lake at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.

I was inspired to do a rare Monday post by the Weekly Photo Challenge on WordPress.  Also, this week’s topic, focus, gives me a good excuse to post some of the close-up shots I captured during my recent trip to Rainier and Olympic National Parks in Washington state.  I had a great time up there photographing both the landscapes and small details of a beautiful corner of the country.

The mountain in the lake: Reflection Lakes at Mount Rainier National Park.

The mountain in the lake: Reflection Lakes at Mount Rainier National Park.

This challenge is deceptively simple.  Focus gives even experienced photographers fits on occasion.  I often take only a camera and lens on photo walks, no tripod.  My goal is to sharpen my creativity.  With no tripod and a lens choice of one, you need to improvise to get decent images.

Pasqueflower is a hairy beast!

Pasqueflower is a hairy beast!

For instance at Mount Rainier’s Paradise Park, which is the park’s most popular area, I didn’t want to be burdened.  I wanted to simply stroll through the wildflower meadows with only my camera and macro lens.  Doing macro with no tripod is definitely a challenge, and this time was no different.  But when I saw other photographers with heavy backpacks full of camera gear, tripods in tow, I felt very happy with my choice.

Tracking this interesting beetle was a challenge hand-held with macro lens.

Tracking this interesting beetle was a challenge hand-held with macro lens.

In the Olympics I hiked up to a popular waterfall, Sol Duc Falls.  While shooting this triple cascade, I noticed the wild huckleberries, along with some other kinds.  For some reason I was the only one who was partaking of these scrumptious trail-side treats.  I didn’t understand that, but I made sure to photograph the berries before plucking and popping them into my mouth.

A fresh huckleberry in Olympic National Park just before it became a snack.

A fresh huckleberry in Olympic National Park just before it became a snack.

Rain overnight and cloudy skies means perfect conditions for macro photography.

Rain overnight and cloudy skies means perfect conditions for macro photography.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.  Please note they are copyrighted and not available for free download, sorry.  Go ahead and click on the photos to be taken to my main gallery page, where purchase options are listed.  Please contact me if you have any questions.  Thanks for your interest.

Lupine in the morning dew, Mt. Rainier National Park.

Lupine in the morning dew, Mt. Rainier National Park.

The rainforest in Olympic National Park, Washington receives what it thrives on: water!

The rainforest in Olympic National Park, Washington receives what it thrives on: water!

The Theme is Simplicity!   15 comments

Standing camel thorn snags mark a former watercourse in the Namib Desert.

Standing camel thorn snags mark a former watercourse in the Namib Desert.

This is another themed post.  It’s not that I don’t have ideas of my own to post, it’s just that Ailsa seems to come up with awfully good ideas for travel themes.  Check out the other entries at Where’s My Backpack.

Enjoy the pictures.  If you’re interested in any of the images just click on it to be taken to purchase options for the high-res. version.  These are copyrighted and not available for free download without my permission, sorry.  Go ahead and contact me if you have any questions.  Thanks!

Droplets of dew decorate a branch.

Droplets of dew decorate a branch.

Glinting

Glinting

Chilies dry on the Windowsill in Khumjung, Nepal.

Chilies dry on the Windowsill in Khumjung, Nepal.

Ice Drops along the ski trail in the forest of Oregon.

Ice Drops along the ski trail in the forest of Oregon.

a strange desert ornament, Baja Peninsula, Mexico.

a strange desert ornament, Baja Peninsula, Mexico.

Tiny fairy bells, coastal forest of Oregon.

Tiny fairy bells, coastal forest of Oregon.

Spring-fed sandy wash in the desert, southern Utah.

Spring-fed sandy wash in the desert, southern Utah.

The iconic bloom of the Pacific Northwest's Cascade Mountains is bear grass.  Here it is spotlighted by a beam of light in the forests of Mount Hood, Oregon.

Bear Grass is blooming now in the forests and subalpine meadows of the Cascade Mountains.

Macro and close-up subjects are probably easiest to create simple compositions from, but in nature’s bounty it’s not as easy as it seems even among the small.  In larger views, deserts and seascapes can offer simple compositions, and so can the great plains and steppes of the world.  But here again, simplicity must be sought out.  Happy shooting!

Cape Mendocino, California: A lighthouse designed for a cliff that is already tall can be stubby and simple.

Cape Mendocino, California: A lighthouse designed for a cliff that is already tall can be stubby and simple.

A Dose of Macro Fun   5 comments

The signature flower of springtime in forests throughout the Pacific Northwest of North America: the trillium.

The signature flower of springtime in forests throughout the Pacific Northwest of North America: the trillium.

 

A little time-out from normal place-based blogging for some miscellaneous macro images.  I’ve been out hiking lately, as the weather has turned gorgeous.  And when I’m hiking, well let’s just say that I’m easily distracted by the small.  So here are a few close-up pictures from recent days.  Enjoy…

 

I think this is a goldenrod spider, which can change color depending on what flower they choose to wait for their prey on.  In this case he's camped out on an arrowleaf balsamroot on Surveyor's Ridge above Hood River, Oregon.

I think this is a goldenrod spider, which can change color depending on what flower they choose to wait for their prey on. In this case he’s camped out on an arrowleaf balsamroot on Surveyor’s Ridge above Hood River, Oregon.

 

Delicate forest flowers, I think they're called fairy bells, blooming along the Oregon Coast.

Delicate forest flowers, I think they’re called fairy bells, blooming along the Oregon Coast.

 

Remember to go to the high-res. versions, where there are easy options to purchase these as a fine print or download, simply click on the image.  They aren’t available for free download, sorry about that.  Go ahead and contact me if you have any questions or comments.  Thanks a bunch!

 

The feathery seed heads we used to blow with a wish as children, in a grassy meadow near Mt Hood, Oregon.

The feathery seed heads we used to blow with a wish as children, in a grassy meadow near Mt Hood, Oregon.

 

The lovely purple sheen of a grass widow decorates meadows in the drier parts of Central Oregon during early springtime.

The lovely purple sheen of a grass widow decorates meadows in the drier parts of Central Oregon during early springtime.

Frosty Photos   2 comments

Frost makes for beautiful close-up photography in the garden.

Frost makes for beautiful close-up photography in the garden.

This is a short post on a favorite winter-time photo subject of mine: frost.  I used my Canon 100 mm. macro lens for these shots, but a regular lens with close-focusing would work too.  I also sometimes use my Canon 500D close-up lens, which screws on like a filter.  Combined with a wide-angle lens it gives you the best of both worlds: close focusing and wide angle.  Your depth of field is limited though, just like with macro lenses.

Red berries make a festive frost-covered subject.

Red berries make a festive frost-covered subject.

The weather recently gave us cold fog that collected in the valleys overnight.  It does not often drop below freezing in Portland, Oregon, but when it does, the area’s heavy plant cover offers abundant opportunity for photos of frost-decorated plants.  I took these pictures in the gardens of my neighborhood, including my own, while walking my dog.  That is as simple as photo shoots come.

Frost coats a branch.

Crystalline frost coats a branch.

PHOTO HOW-TO

As with most macro shots, the right depth of field and the right background are your main concerns.  I shot these hand-held, an unnecessary challenge given the fact that there are these things called tripods.  What can I say, I like challenges.  Actually, there is a technique to this that will help when you are hand-holding shots of people and still life.  Set your lens on manual focus and frame your subject.  Set your focus manually, then move the camera (and your body if necessary) back and forth until you have your subject in perfect focus.  I like to use the focus confirmation light in my viewfinder to see when I have focus and can press the shutter.

If you want, you can try to use burst mode to increase the likelihood of a perfectly focused shot.  Burst mode seems a bit like cheating to me, and I only use it in special circumstances (such as action).  I see a lot of photographers shooting with burst on all their subjects.  That seems rather strange to me.  It’s as if they do not trust their ability to decide when to take the picture.  I think it’s a bad practice.  I will shoot a burst when a breeze is moving my macro subject, so I’m not anti-burst.  I just think you use burst with forethought, not in “spray and pray” mode with all your pictures.

Get out and shoot some winter macro!

Beautiful decorations on the garden plants are the result of a frosty January morning.

Beautiful decorations on the garden plants are the result of a frosty January morning.

%d bloggers like this: