As winter quickly transitions into spring, flowers bloom, trees become leafy again and the pitfalls of the frigid cold fade into (maybe not so distant) memory.
If you are anything like me, your home and surroundings may not be very inspiring to you anymore. I think it is human nature to lose appreciation for the things you see every day. And when that happens, inspiration close to home can be difficult to come by.
Thank goodness spring brings us so many opportunities to see the world around us – including those areas in close proximity to our own doorstep – in a new light with a macro lens attached to your camera. Such was the case with the image above.
Dandelions are probably as loved by photographers as they are despised by lawn care professionals, as beautiful as they are hard to get rid of. Once the quaint yellow flower sprouts its seeds, you can bet there will be another dozen or so dandelions appearing soon wherever the wind blows.
No matter which side of the fence you are on – whether you love dandelions or regard them with disdain – it's hard to argue with their appropriateness for macro photography.
The image at the top of this post was one of the easiest images I've created in quite some time. It was captured with relatively minimal gear, took about 10 minutes to complete (including setup and several different framings), and the flower was located within about eight steps from my front door. Gear used:
To capture the shot, I first inverted the tripod's center column so that the camera would hang beneath the tripod. This enabled me to more easily get the top-down perspective that I wanted. I used the 7D II's Live View to frame and focus on the newly forming stigmas of the flower at or near minimum focus distance. EXIF:
f/11, 1/100 sec, ISO 800
The overcast day provided a nice, even light on the flower. However, the subdued light combined with the narrow aperture I needed to obtain the depth of field I wanted meant that I had to push the ISO to 800 and use a relatively long shutter speed (relatively long considering the small bursts of wind occurring at the time). I could have pushed the ISO higher and used a shorter shutter speed, but instead I simply timed my shots to coincide with the small periods of calm in between small wind gusts. The shot headlining this post was my favorite out of the twenty or so shots I captured that day.
The image in the middle of this post and the one below were captured using a handheld Canon 5D III, 100mm f/2.8 Macro, and a 580EX Speedlite with a Roundflash Ringflash Adapter
In summary, great macro subjects are everywhere, and that's especially true as spring sets in. Grab your macro lens and capture inspiring images without having to travel farther than your own mailbox.
Through April 30, use promo code BLTAXDAY15
to recieve a 15% discount
on any gear rental.
Just posted: Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens Review
This lens turns in best-available 24mm optical performance in a very attractive package at an eye-catching price. B&H
has the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
available for preorder with "Coming Soon" being the expectation.
For a limited time, B&H
has the Beachtek DXA-SLR ULTRA - 2-Channel Active XLR Adapter
available for $249.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $469.00.
2nd Annual Tour for Photo Education Will Turn Camera Store Parking Lots Into A Full Day Photo Experience
April 13, 2015, Commack, New York - Tamron USA announced today that the national 2015 Tamron Tailgate Tour will commence April 13th in New York City. The fully equipped Tamron van is back by popular demand with all new free mini-seminars, hands-on experiences with the latest Tamron technology, portfolio review opportunities, excited new evening seminar program, and tons of swag. The tour will visit camera stores throughout the country, bringing the total Tamron experience to you. The Tailgate Tour strives to take the average seminar and turn it into a photographic celebration full of giveaways, prizes, lens specials, and valuable insight from the Tamron tech team of photographers. This casual and fun approach to photography education is designed to offer easy and free access to great information to anyone interested in photography. The schedule is continually updated and can be accesses at www.tamron-usa.com/tailgate
The Tamron Tailgate Tour will work with local photo retailers to deliver this unique learning experience. The Tamron van will pull into the parking lot and set up for a full day of education from 12pm to 4pm to help people with their photography questions. And each day will feature team members offering free mini-sessions under the Tamron Tailgate Learning Tent - "Achieving Perfect Exposure"12:00 - 12:45pm, "Portfolio and Image Review" 1:00 - 2:30pm and "Understanding Your Digital Darkroom" 3:00 - 3:45pm.
For those looking for even more tips to creating better photographs, Tamron will offer a two-hour evening seminar entitled "The Field Guide to Inspired Photography: See It, Capture It, Work It" taught by experienced Tamron tech team photographers. The cost of the seminars will be $25 dollars and will include a welcome bag with a reporter notebook and lens cleaning cloth.
Visitors will also see the latest in Tamron products, and will be eligible to enter the Tailgate Tour raffle contest, where three lucky winners can win any Tamron lens of his/her choice. One winner will be chosen at the end of each tour leg. Full contest details can be found at the Tamron Tailgate website on April 13th for the kick off of the tour. A Tailgate lunch will be served at most locations from 12pm to 2pm.
For more information and to find out when the Tamron Tailgate Tour will be in your area, visit www.tamron-usa.com/tailgate B&H
carries Tamron lenses