Tag Archives: close-ups

Job’s tears revisited

Early this year I posted a couple of close-up images of the well winterized Job’s Tears plants we had growing in the yard. This year’s plants were especially nice, and catching them before the winter rains set in makes for cleaner looking seed pods and dry leaves. The pods are commonly used as beads.

Job's Tears close-up

Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. 1/80 second at f/2.8, ISO 100.

Canon T2i working the Nifty Fifty.

Psychedelicized aloe bloom

I’m a relative newbie to digital photography so I spend a fair amount of time checking out other people’s stuff and reading photography blogs. There’s lots of great information to be had, but one thing that bugs me is all the silly bickering about the post processing of images. If I look at a digital photo I’ve taken and think it might look more interesting tweaked, I’m going to tweak it. If I like the result I’ll post it. I liked the way this one turned out.

Aloe bloom psychedelicized

Canon G11 on ‘shrooms.

Aloe saponaria

We have a patch of cool looking African aloe on the edge of the driveway next to our house. It’s a super sturdy and very prickly aloe–not something little kids should play near. In May it shoots up 2′ to 3′ tall spikes with multiflowered, salmon colored heads. Here’s a close-up of a recently opened bloom.

African aloe bloom

Lens: Canon EFS 15-85mm at 50mm. f/5.0 for 1/250 sec, ISO 200.

Canon T2i recording the homestead species.

Pole bean gnarl

This past weekend we had a free day to start work preparing the soil and plotting out our veggie garden. Early May is tomato planting time here in Northern California so we’re getting a bit of a late start. Typically, we leave some things to winter over because it provides the birds with food and perches. The pole bean teepees were still up, so I grabbed some experimental close-up shots with the EX 12 II extension tube between the lens and the camera. I’ve only used the extension tube a few times, but I’m liking the weird results.

Last year's pole bean gnarl

Lens: Canon EFS 15-85mm at 85mm (with Canon EF 12 II extension tube). 1/250 at f/5.6, ISO 200.

Canon T2i focusing on the gnarl.

Red tulip

A very cool feature of the Canon G11 is its “Macro” function. I’m not exactly sure how close the lens can be to the subject and still focus, but one to two inches away focuses pretty much every time. However, getting a “keeper” close-up, especially handheld, is a bit of a crap shoot. My method: take six to ten shots and hope for a good one. I think this very tight shot of the sexy bits of a red tulip that just bloomed next to our driveway is a good one. The image is virtually straight from the camera–no color or saturation tweaks, no black point or contrast boosts, no overlaying of layers, no clone tooling of fly specks. I did crop it slightly on the bottom and left side, but that was the extent of the post processing.

Red tulip close-up

Camera settings: Manual mode, Macro function, 6.1mm, 1/125 second at f/4.0, ISO 100.

Canon G11 getting real close.

Spring forward

Other than changing the clocks for daylight savings time, one sure sign that Spring is coming to Northern California is blooming sourgrass. This afternoon I grabbed the G11 and walked the perimeter of the house looking for some nice patches for close ups. While on my hands and knees snapping shots of the yellow blooms, I happened on this fresia (the first one to open in the yard) and got up close and personal.

Fresia core

And for the sourgrass:

Sour grass flowers

Canon G11 getting close to Spring.