Archive for March 26th, 2009



Lichen Horns: Acadia National Park

Lichen Horns: Acadia National Park

One afternoon in Acadia National Park last summer I had what amounted to a macro holiday. There were mushrooms and lichen everywhere, and they were particularly photogenic (who knows why). You know how it works. You get tuned in. If you see one, if you see two, if you see three…then you are going to see hundreds because now you are looking for them. You are in macro mode. You are in the macro groove.

I found several stands of fruiting (flowering?) lichen, with bright red horns, and took maybe a dozen shots during the afternoom…widely spaced out among all the mushroom shots. This is my favorite.

One of the great things about the Sony H50 is that, at the wide end of the zoom, it focuses to 2 cm. That is really, really close. (In fact, once while shooting in the rain and fog, the very similar previous generation H9 focused on a water drop on the outer lens element, just for an instant.) Macro focus at longer focal lengths is equally impressive. There are challenges to working this close, but it is really great to be able to do it at all without special attachments.

The other great thing about the H50 is the built in, sensor shift, image stabilization. Stabilization makes shooting hand held at low shutter speeds possible (or much more possible). In the subdued light of the forest floor, stabilization gives you the freedom to work quickly and naturally, without complicated tripod set-ups.

One of the challenges of working close is not getting in your own light. What made this day ideal for macro work was that the light level was fairly bright, but high overcast above the tree canopy made the light diffuse. No heavy shadows and enough light to work. Ideal. I could generally find a well lighted angle on almost any macro subject.

For this shot, I backed off a bit from closest macro, and zoomed up to about 40mm equivalent to frame the full cluster of lichen.

Lichen with the Sony DSC H50 at about 40mm equivalent. F3.5 @ 1/60th @ ISO 100. Programed Auto.

Only the most basic sharpening and presence adjustments in Lightroom.

From Acadia Shrooms and Lichen. The whole gallery is worth a look. One amazing macro day.

One more teaser.


Can you resist?

Can you resist?