Hi art friends.

This is near the end of the Light Room-processed image from my July neighborhood walks. Today’s post features random floral images and even less technical info than usual. Instead, I’m focusing on what I’ve learned from last month’s photo expeditions.

What I’ve learned from the July Macro Shoots

I love macro photography. Okay, that’s not big news, but I was getting the itch to upgrade my camera and buy some fancy lenses. I was feeling that my 12 year old Canon Rebel didn’t have the capability to deliver the imagery I have in my mind.

Turns out, it was my lack of experience and not enough focused experimentation. For years, I’ve taken a single photo of some random subject that caught my eye. The result was a lot of boring photos of random stuff.

I started making headway when I joined Awake and Kaizen but I focused more on improving my Photoshop skills.

You can’t make a boring photo interesting, no matter how many actions, filters, overlays and other Photoshop tricks you throw at it.

After several false starts, I’m finally moving away from auto settings. I use it at the start of my day’s shooting to get the feel for things but then settle into the work and start adjusting the manual settings. I’m blown away that my inexpensive Canon 50 mm lens + a combination of Kenko extension tubes has opened up a new, tiny world of photography to me.

I’ve always been drawn to photographing flowers but I feel like I’m connecting to them in a whole new, artistic way. By taking more photos of a single bouquet, I feel like I’ve gotten to know these flowers before they wither and fade.

I could leave off the presets, the grungy layers and still really like these photos. There are still plenty of less than great compositions and blurry images but I’m liking the results of my photo field trips than not. And that is very exciting.

I finally feel confident saying: I am a photographer.

The images

“Sunflower Bokeh” a happy accident with my 50 mm lens + Kenko 20 mm extension tube. I’m amazed at the details on the bloom, the little specs of what? Dust? Pollen? The wee details of the flower. The transition from the center to the petals. The blur. The bokeh. Delicious.

“Sunflower bokeh”

“Buttercups” I want to like this more, but the background is rather busy. I tried to blur it a bit more. Not totally happy with it, but I took this image before I dove into the 2 Lil Owls classes and taking more photos of a single subject from multiple angles over capturing a lot of images. Shot with my 25 mm lens. I do like the background blur I get in these photos.

Looking at this image tonight, I made a note to experiment with aperture when shooting a patch of blooms using the 25 mm lens. I don’t know how well it will work until I try it, but I’m curious. My plan is to shoot with the aperture wide open and closed to see how it looks. How does it affect blur? Maybe throw on an extension tube and shoot through my new, inexpensive materials.

What I do like with these buttercups is the blurry foreground flowers with the middle ground flowers in focus. Now that I see it, I want to push those edges more and see where I can take it. I may or may not like the results, but I won’t know until I try.


Lastly, “Macro Sunflowers” I really love the blur on the foreground flower, which was due to camera shake. I was holding my camera and using the 50 mm lens probably the 20 mm extension tube. The blur was likely due to my taking a breath when I released the shutter. I love the murky, almost abstract-ness of this image.

“Macro Sunflowers”

Still a lot of unprocessed images from July neighborhood photo shoots, including more images from the shoot through items found around the house experiments. Expect more flowery posts when you see them.

Happy creating!