Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring is Macro Season

Bee on Lylac Bush 2
Spring is a great time for macro photography.  Actually, any time is a good time, but with flowers budding and insects emerging from where ever they happen to go in the cold season, there are plenty of very interesting subjects (if the mosquitoes decide not to return to DC, I will not be disappointed).  I have not mentioned macro photography on the blog before mostly be cause I have a crap macro lens and have therefore not concentrated much on taking macro photography.  However, I have my eye on the new Canon EF 100m F2.8L IS USM Macro (for Sue – hint, hint…let me know if you need a link so all you need to do is press “buy”).  All the reviews I have read are very positive and suggest this lens also doubles as a very nice portrait lens.
So, what is macro photography?  Even if I did not provide a definition, I’m sure the photographs featured in this post give you a reasonably good general impression…macro photography is close up photography.  A more traditional (read geeky) definition is that the image projected on the sensor (or film) is roughly the same size as the subject.  By this second definition, the images shown here would likely be ruled out.  However, yet another definition commonly used would classify these shots as macro.  That definition says that an image can be considered macro if when printed at 6x4, the image of the subject is larger than the actual subject.
Crab on La Orchilla
Honestly, I don’t really care about the definitions.  Here is the important thing – each lens has a minimum focusing distance.  This distance ranges from nearly touching the front glass in the case of a macro lens, to meters with non macro, long focal length lenses.  So what does this mean?  It means that only certain lenses will allow you to take truly close-up photographs.  Many point and shoot digital cameras have a “macro” mode.  I have no idea what type of quality you would get from a point and shoot in macro mode, but if you don’t have a macro lens for your DSLR, why not give it a shot?
Pineapple Cactus Flowers
I hope you enjoyed this small sample of close-up photography.  Subjects are abundant during the spring, so…
Have fun and go make some great (macro) photography.

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