Archive for the 'macro' Category


2/6/2011: Rosehip in the Snow, Parson’s Beach

Happy Sunday! A play of textures, set off by the contrast between the brilliant red of the rosehip and the white of the snow. I also like the way the red of the rosehip has absorbed enough heat from the sun to melt the snow around it and create a little frame for itself. The thorns, to my eye, give it an extra appeal.

For this shot I used the tele-macro on the Canon SX20IS, shooting from a standing position and well back, but still getting the macro effect. 560mm equivalent field of view, f5.7 @ 1/800th @ ISO 80. Snow Mode.

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom. Cropped from the left to eliminate a distracting out of focus twig, and from the right slightly to more or less restore “rule of thirds” composition.

This is part of the sequence of grand snowscapes I shot on Friday. You saw one of them yesterday, taken only a few moments before. As part of my photographic discipline I have trained myself to always, in every situation, spend at least some time looking down, looking close, thinking small…even when the grand vista is compelling. There is often something worth my attention right at my feet. No…there is almost always something interesting right at my feet, if I take the time to look. And often, looking close produces an image which opens out with as much contrast and texture and pattern as the full landscape.

Without trying to stretch the metaphor too much, I think there is a spiritual truth there. I would not like to think that, in the grand and thrilling sweep of eternal values that opens to the spiritual eye, I would ever lose the intimate details, the small beauty of what is right at my feet. The poets say the universe is contained in a single grain of sand…or, say I, in a rosehip in the snow.


1/12/2011: macro flora of the Heath

Certainly this is the only plant flowering in January at Saco Heath, and you have to look down in the cracks between the broken boards of the boardwalk to find it. Not that it is hard to find. That red really stands out, especially against the dusting of snow down there in the crack.

Canon SX20IS at 28mm equivalent and Super Macro, f2.8 @ 1/400th @ ISO 160, Programmed auto.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity.


12/14/2010: Little things 1

On my photo walk last Saturday, the lack of grand landscape and towering skies turned my focus close, to look at the little things…small details of the landscape that have their own story to tell. Ice formed at the high tide mark by a mixture of sea and fresh water, half a mile up a small tidal creek, surrounds your typical Southern Maine gravel mix for some interesting textures, patterns, and subtle colors.

Canon SX20IS at about 230mm equivalent and macro. F5 @ 1/320 @ ISO 127. Programmed auto. I love the tele macro feature on the SX20IS. No stooping for macros anymore for my old knees. 🙂

Processed for intensity and clarity in Lightroom.


10/3/2010: Peat Bog details

Happy Sunday!

As I said yesterday, the peat bog at Quoddy Head State Park is a vibrant habitat. I don’t know how it looks in spring or summer, but in fall, the dense mix of mosses and lichens, in shades of red and green (and even white) form a rich carpet, dotted with an amazing abundance of pitcher plants, most of which in this season are deep red or even purple. The closer you look the more inspiring it becomes. The contrasts of color and texture and form, and the variety packed into every square foot, are, to my eye, wonderfully beautiful.

It makes me want, as few habitats to, to study…to find out what all these plants are and how they are related. The carpet of the bog is so alive…I want to know how it works. There has to be a fascinating story in anything so intricate and so beautiful.

And, of course (being Sunday), while there is certainly a science that makes up the story, for me it will always be the story of a Creator from whom I inherit the eye and the heart that can appreciate such intricate beauty: that can stand in awe and respond in worship.

This is the kind of environment and the kind of work that brings out the best in the Canon SX20IS. This set of shots runs from one end of the macro zoom range to the other; several would have been very difficult, shooting from the narrow boardwalk, without the lip out LCD viewer; and the detail shots, in the dim light of foggy day, are all at an impressive ISO 200. And I can fully appreciate the beauty in Canon’s accomplishment as well.


Of course, I do plan a trip back to Quoddy Head in the spring to see what the peat bog looks like then!



Wood Nymph

Along the Bridle Path where I have been doing a lot of digiscoping and general photography this summer, there are hundreds of these Wood Nymphs. I have never seen so many. In fact, until a month ago I am pretty sure I had never seen any…I had to look my first one up in the New England Nature Guide on my iPhone…though it must be a common butterfly in Southern Maine. Just not looking I guess. They rarely sit still long enough for a good portrait.

Canon SX20IS at full zoom and macro, 560mm equivalent field of view. F5.7 @ 1/320th @ ISO 400. Programmed auto.

A touch of Fill Light in Lightroom, Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance, Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Around Home 2010.



Watered Yellow Rose

We only have very few roses in our yard…they don’t do as well as Daylilies…but we enjoy the ones we have. This bright yellow was in full bloom and I caught it right after an afternoon shower with the beads of rain still on the petals. This is another example of what I love about the Canon’s telephoto macro.

Canon SX20IS at full 560mm equivalent and macro, f5.7 @ 1/400th @ ISO 100. Aperture preferred.

Some Recovery in Lightroom. A small amount of Fill Light and Blackpoint right. Added Clarity and just a bit of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From The Yard, Kennebunk ME.



Deep Purple (and too Yellow!)

Yes, still with the Daylillies. They never stop. Smile

Of course they will. We have to enjoy them while they are here. This is purple cultivar we bought a few anniversaries ago. It is not as vigorous or as prolific as the native plants and some of our other cultivars, but it has its own beauty. It is not easy to photograph. That yellow is simply too intense, and tends to burn out before there is enough light on the purple petals. Open shade held it all together here.

Canon SX20IS at 560mm equivalent field of view and macro. F5.7 @ 1/20th @ ISO 100. Aperture preferred, ISO set at 100. (Which meant I was pretty much dependent on the Image Stabilization for a 1/20th second hold!)

In Lightroom, some Recovery for the Yellow, Fill Light for the purple, added Clarity and and very little Vibrance indeed (the yellow blocks up with much saturation adjustment). Blackpoint just slightly right. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From The Yard: Kennebunk ME.



Double Daylilies

These are one of the mysteries of our yard this year. My wife insists she transplanted them from one of our normal clumps of Daylilies…and that they were normal when she transplanted them. This year all the lilies on the far side of our driveway are double…with a second lily blossom sprouting inside the first. Most of the second blooms are weirdly distorted, as you see it here, but then the whole thing is just weird anyway.

Both shots were taken in deep shade, and the camera wanted to boost the ISO, since I had it on Aperture preferred at f5.6. I set the ISO manually to 100 and relied on the Image Stabilization for handholding slow shutter speeds.

Canon SX20IS at about 500mm equivalent and macro. F5.6 @ 1/25th and 1/15th @ ISO 100. Aperture preferred.

In Lightroom, a touch of Fill Light and Blackpoint right. Added Clarity and just a tiny amount of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From The Yard, Kennebunk ME.

And here, from my Canon SD4000IS, in better light, is the most prefect of the double blooms we could find. But wait…is that yet another bloom unfolding at the center. Weird!




Happy Sunday!

The peach Daylilies have finally bloomed in the yard. We bought these as an anniversary present to each other several years ago and they are pretty faithful to bloom on or about our anniversary every year. These shots are in subdued overcast morning light but they do a good job of capturing the subtle color.

Here is one later in the day, late afternoon actually, when the sun broke free. I like the inner light look.

Canon SX20IS. 1) and 2) 28mm and Super-macro. F5.6 @ ISO 80. Aperture preferred. 3) 400mm equivalent and macro @ F5.6 @ ISO 160. Aperture preferred.

All received about the same treatment in Lightroom. Touch of Recovery. Touch of Fill Light. Blackpoint just barely right. Added Clarity and a bit of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From The Yard: Kennebunk ME.

And since it is Sunday, and these are anniversary daylilies, I am reminded that photography for me is about celebration: celebrating beauty and blessing. I go out with an attitude of worship and generally come back feeling like I have participated in creation. I am thankful to my Creator for giving me eyes and a heart like his, and my Savior for opening them wide again…and not a little in awe of such love. Smile



Wood Lily

I don’t know how I have missed this beautiful native lily all these years, but this is, if memory serves me right (and it may not) the first one I have ever seen. A single plant growing beside the Kennebunk Bridle Path on the ocean side of Route 9.

This is a good example of “why take one, when you can take 3?”…and, of course, these are just the 3 I kept out of about 10 different shots, and 10 different angles on this single bloom.

Canon SX20IS. 1) 560mm equivalent @  f5.7 @ 1/640th @ ISO 400. Aperture preferred. 2) 28mm equivalent, macro @ f5.6 @ 1/360th @ ISO 80, Aperture preferred. 3) 28mm equivalent, super-macro @ f5.6 @ 1/2500th @ ISO 125, Aperture preferred.

All processed in Lightroom. The top two my standard treatment: Blackpoint right, added Clarity and a bit of Vibrance, and Sharpen narrow edges preset. The bottom one required a lot of Recovery for the sky, Fill Light for the lily, as well as the standard.

From Around Home 2010.