Monday, May 8, 2017

A Macro Kinda Weekend!

Uh Oh, slipped again. Not surprising is it??!!  I always have such great intentions and then I so badly fail. I think blogging is a habit that you establish and just like any habit it takes repetitive action to making that habit become a regular part of your life. About the only habit I am actually quite good at is crawling into bed at night. Not so good at crawling back out in the morning, but I usually manage to get up between 7:00 and 8:00 AM and then coffee making is an absolute must, Drinking at least 2 cups prior to starting my day, whatever that may bring, is a habit.

But I did have to rise and get moving this past weekend. I enrolled in Mike Moat's Macro Photography class months ago and this past weekend I enjoyed 2 days of listening to him and practicing macro photography. Mike is a down to earth kind of guy, t-shirt, casual pants, comfy shoes, stubble on his face, and usually a baseball cap on his head. He is self-taught, and has truly made a success of himself. Appears regularly in photography magazines, won awards, sells many of his prints, and makes a living with this and teaching workshops both in person and on the web. He doesn't use fancy equipment, in fact I have a more recent camera than he does, he still uses NIC software and Photoshop Elements to edit his photos. So he is a proven example that you don't have to have the fanciest and best of everything to be a good photographer. And he shoots strictly JPEG instead of RAW.

Look at all those little specs, I am assuming they are dust. I could go in and clone all of those out, but no, I am not doing it. I am not placing this image in a competition. Just an example of how clear and precise you can get with a tripod and your F stop set at the highest level or closed,(which always confuses the heck out of me) depending on your lens.

The thing absolutely must use a tripod to take these close-up photos with everything clear and sharp. Now I don't have a good relationship with my tripod(s). You notice that tripod was plural which means I obviously have purchased more than one on my photography journey as well as ball-heads.  I have purchased multiples of those as well. But I heard this past weekend that this happens to many photographers, so it made me feel a little less guilty over my legion of tripods. I would like to become "as one" with my tripod, but I'm afraid that's not gonna happen until my hands become so shaky that all of my shots are total blurs. I feel so restricted using a tripod, and for some reason it's difficult for me to compose a shot using a tripod. I know, call me crazy, but I'm afraid I will still only use a tripod when the circumstances are such that there is no other option.  IE; this weekend, when we were shooting at 32 and 40 F stops to have everything in focus. No way can you hand hold a camera at those settings and get a clear shot.

However with an F-stop at F/5 or F/ 8 I can get clear shots of my subject with a nice soft background without a tripod.

Most of my photography is accomplished with natural light, outdoors usually and I honestly don't want everything in focus for the kind of photography I enjoy. Night photography is a must for a tripod, so I will definitely use my "current" tripod for any night photography that I might encounter. Sunrise - sunset are also easier accomplished with a tripod.

These last few images are what's happening now in our neck of the woods. The dogwoods are in full bloom, the wildflowers are peeking out and my lilacs which bloom later than the old fashioned kind are still in tight buds. We have had a lovely Spring, more than enough rain (4 inches last weekend), some warm days, some cooler, but all in all one fine Spring season.

Have a great week.

Until next time.....


  1. I always enjoy your blog posts even if there is a gap between postings. :) These are beautiful macros.

  2. I have really been enjoying your Macros! So crisp and soft..I hope to be there one day! Thanks so sharing!

  3. Sounds like an interesting class and bet it was informative! I just got another tripod today.. my 3rd, so hope this is the charm. Nice to see you here. Can't wait for colorado

  4. I appreciate you and an expertise that I know I won't ever obtain.
    I use my iPhone or iPad to take my pictures . . .
    I am amazed at the clarity you can create with your cameras.
    The yellow flower for example.
    The focus on the teeny tiny hairs . . . amazing.
    Further more, each photo . . . pieces of art.
    I loved seeing your post today, always wonderful.
    Happy Mother's Day Deanna . . .

  5. Beautiful images, great post, and I love Mike too!

  6. I hear you with the tripod - mine is 30 years old (literally taking them at their word that when you buy high quality it lasts) - but they have become more sophisticated and lightweight so at some point I need to break down and get a new one. And speaking of those specks, try as I might with being extra cautious with changing lenses, I have some cleaning to do (if only we had a camera shop close by).
    Your images are impressive (love the clock pieces) and how wonderful to get the opportunity to attend Mike Moat's course.

  7. Wonderful macros, Deanna. I have the same attitude to you concerning tripods and I feel totally out of control when I try and use them (any of the three I own!) I agree with you concerning the F-stops you mention. I like working with those as well. Your dogwood is beautiful!

  8. These are so amazing! I love the open watch!

  9. Gorgeous detail, Deanna. I'm pretty sure you could teach that class at this point. ;-)

  10. I actually compose better with a tripod, because I can take my time and I always use live view when on the tripod. But like you I don't haul it with me often and when I do bring it I don't usually get it out of the car, but I know I should. Sounds like a great workshop.

  11. Deanna, these are gorgeous!
    I especially love the dogwood and the watch.
    Have a wonderful rest of the week.

  12. I confess that I gave a little gasp of amazement (and joy, truth be told) when I read "he shoots strictly JPEG instead of RAW." I shoot JPEG, yes after all these years, and I often feel like I SHOULD shoot RAW because "everyone else" does. Maybe I will let go of that now. :-) I love macro but hate my tripod and almost never use it. I bought it around 1970 and it wasn't a particularly good one even then. Would I use it more if I had a newer, lighter one? I don't know, and therefore can't justify spending the money to buy one. Oh, well. Like you, I manage nicely handholding the camera for the kind of images I take the most, anyway. You got some wonderful macro shots here. My favorite is that feather, so delicate against the black background.

  13. Your macro work is SUPERB. Thanks fo sharing. I am sorry these days I do not have the same time to comment on all your posts due to recent events but I appreaciae you posts and your comments on mine.

  14. I came to visit to see more of your macros, Deanna. I've never been good at that, probably because I dislike using my tripod. It's such a drag to have to deal with it, but I know shots would be much sharper with one. I'm taking some low light shots while at the beach and trying to use a railing or other support to keep the camera steady. I really enjoyed your macros!

  15. Awesome post Deanna. I love the shot with the little "dust" particles, give it more character. - Also your flower shots are gorgeous. I rarely use my Tripod (who wants to lug one around all the time) but I can see where it might be needed for certain photos.

  16. Beautiful photos. My tripod is like a giraffe....all legs.

  17. Gorgeous detail, Deanna. I'm pretty sure you could teach that class at this point. ;-)

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