Thursday, May 8, 2008

Garden Safari

When I began taking photos which would stand alone as creative works themselves, not merely as records of events or other artwork, I found myself drawn to the tiny world of close-up and macro photography. My techniques changed as my equipment changed, from my Nikon 800, to the Nikon 5700, to the Canon dslrs, but the intent was always the same. To paraphrase Georgia O'Keeffe, "when you pick up a flower and really look at it, it becomes your world." I like that idea, that when you stare at something, it fills your vision and your consciousness in a very strange way. I can't really say that I don't see what's to the left or right, but I certainly don't notice. This "filling the world" with flowers and the busy insects that visit them is like taking a safari to a new and wonderful land, where the only passport we need is to step out our front doors.

I'm going to be putting up a new web page soon called "Garden Safari" on my web site at On it, I'll be posting my newest close up and macro shots as I progress through the summer. For now, I'll post some older shots and talk about how they were created. You can see more of my older close-up photos at

Bee on Grape Hyacinth. Shot with a 70-200 f/2.8 IS lens with a 500D closeup lens on it. The 500D is a great addition to the gear bag, since it will turn a long lens into a close focusing lens in seconds.

I used the same configuration to shoot this carpenter bee in flight.

A green bottle fly on stonecrop with the 70-200 and 500D.

This hoverfly was shot using a Nikon 5700 with the TC attached and a Canon 500D closeup lens in front of it (with lots of step-up rings).

One thing you might notice is that the smaller sensor on the 5700 often gave a wider DOF to the image.

The wolf spider was shot with the 5700, TC, 500D set up.

I'll take time to discuss more techniques if anyone is interested. Please feel free to leave comments. I'll answer them as soon as I can.

No comments: