Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Macro at the Mendel

I've been known to say "it's not the camera" when people equate good photographs with good cameras. I don't mean that in an insulting way, just that you can take good photographs with a basic camera, or bad ones with a fancy camera.

However, there are things that are hard to do without the right camera gear. One of those is "macro" photography - extreme close-ups. It seems a little odd that it's called "macro", which means "big", when it deals with small stuff. But the "big" that it's referring to is the photographs, not the subjects.

I've done a fair bit of macro type photography with my Tamron 18-250 zoom lens, but it's not really designed for it. I really enjoy this type of photography so I decided to buy a specific macro lens - the Pentax 100mm Macro.

There aren't many flowers or bugs around this time of year so I headed over to the Mendel Conservatory to try it out. I took a few shots on the way there. I'm amazed this one turned out so well since it was quite windy and everything was blowing around. I've taken photos of these fluffy seeds before, this is a close-up of where they attach to the stem.


There weren't too many flowers, even in the conservatory, so I took some photos of the cactus:


The depth of focus gets really shallow with macro photography, which can be frustrating when you don't get sharp photos, but it can also lead to some interesting effects:


The lens also works well at not so close range (although these are still small flowers).


It was a cloudy day which meant it was a little dim inside the conservatory so for some of the shots (like that last one) I was using the flash on the camera with a homemade diffuser (to make the light less harsh).

homemade flash diffuser

See all 16 photos as a slideshow or overview

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