Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Water lily leaves and macro lenses

click photo to enlarge
Over the years I've discovered that a garden becomes much bigger when you own a macro lens. If I were to photograph my garden solely with a 35mm or 50mm lens of the sort I used for many years with a film SLR the number and variety of photographs that my garden provides for me would be significantly reduced.

I enjoy taking macro photographs of plants, but the interesting thing is, even if you aren't using a macro lens at what we might consider to be a macro level of magnification the very fact that you have it mounted on your camera makes you look closely at smaller areas of the garden, at individual plants, single blooms or at one or two leaves. A camera with a wider angle of view and without the ability to focus at close range, though it doesn't always makes such shots impossible, usually makes them difficult, and more importantly doesn't give you the mindset where you go in close, focusing on small details.

Today's photograph is a case in point. I was in the garden with the 100mm macro lens with the camera on the tripod photographing individual blooms. Then, when I took it off the tripod, even though it has technically a telephoto length, I took several hand-held shots from no more than close range. The lily leaves in our small pond hold endless fascination for me. At this time of year the new ones are emerging from below the surface of the water, brown in colour, but soon to be green when they start photosynthesising. I like their shape and size, the way they look against the water and the submerged vegetation, and how the meniscus layer of the water is very evident as they slowly push upwards into the air and light. This isn't the first such shot that I've taken of these leaves and regular visitors will be relieved to find that I'm not going to provide links to those previous shots!

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 100mm macro
F No: f11
Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec
ISO: 640
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On