Much of my time is spent indoors and I love using cut flowers as my photographic subjects, sometimes in Still Life but mostly exploring them in macro.
I don’t think I’ve spoken much here about the cameras and lenses I use. Some years ago I decided to upgrade from the simple auto ‘point and shoot’ cameras I was using because , although they do take marvelous images, I wanted to achieve more. I was, and still am, an avid reader of helpful articles and tips – I wanted to learn all I could to develope my camera skills.
I asked for advice in a Parks camera shop what camera to start with and the Olympus Stylus1 was recommended, so that’s the one I went with. I couldn’t really afford to go for an all-out DSLR and lenses – too heavy for me anyway! So it was a matter of initially learning what I could with this camera before moving on when I felt ready to buy a camera with separate lenses.
As the Olympus Stylus had served me well [and I still use it for convenience when I’m out] I decided, mainly because of it’s light weight, to stay with Olympus. Started with Olympus OM-DE-10 and now learning to use the Olympus OM-DE-10 mk lll. My favourite lens is the 60mm macro – used for these shots.
The big nuisance for me though are the over-complicated menus , which, at my age and the accompanying tired and less efficient brain, are a pest to navigate and remember. I’m awful with the techy side of things and hope I can get by with the artistic side instead. [I learned about composition, colour,texture etc when I used to paint almost every day!] And now, over time, certain camera settings have become a habit with use and practice , so it’s easier to find things !
I often admire the work I see from other photographers and find myself looking at the equipment they use and it’s very tempting to think ‘if only I had the cameras and lenses they have, I could achieve so much more !’ But, as the saying goes ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ and I’ve learned to be content with what I have and thank the Lord for His creative gifts … ha ha – there’s no way I’d have the strength to hold that heavy DSLR and goodness me – those Lenses !!!
Well, that’s all for now dear friends, hope I will have helped someone who may be just starting out on the same journey , Eileen
After a long absence from My Photo Blog, but not my camera, I’ve quite a bit of catching up to do here!
I thought I would start with some pics taken with my new Lensbaby Composer Pro 35mm. I’ve found it difficult to get the hang of, but when I get it right I’m very pleased with the artistic results ….
The lens itself is moveable so that you can choose the part of the subject you want in sharp focus. Much depends on your distance from the subject as well as the f/ used. For ages I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t change my f/ number using the usual dial on my camera, till I realised I had to change it on the actual Lens – silly me !
It seems particularly suited to flower subjects – at least it is regarding the 35mm. Lensbaby have a whole variety of different lenses available and I’d hankered after owning one for ages, but as I can’t necessarily see the subtle differences between them and they tend to be very expensive, I don’t think it will be likely that I will buy any more – I’m very happy with what I’ve got ! I’d treated myself to this one as a Christmas pressy.
Ha ha – this looks like a rogue macro of the same rose, but no matter – I’ll need to look up the techy info to check, which I can’t seem to locate here ….
Well, I’ll leave it at that for now and will post some more macro flowers next I think. Bye for now, Eileen
I must admit I was quite shocked to see how many months have gone by since I last posted here – so now I must catch up and will start with some Hawthorn blossom.
I went over to the Pond last week , but it was very cold and very lean pickings for any water birds etc. The saving grace were lots of blossoms on the many Hawthorn trees around. They were actually all white but I fancied doing something different with them and discovered a set of ‘Retro’ effects in my PSP that I haven’t used before. I was pleased with the lovely pink colours and that it harmonised the background colours too….
I bought myself some tulips – I love their sculptural qualities and strong colours. The black background suited them very well I thought.
Other tools I haven’t really used are the Dodge and the Smudge Brushes. I really enjoyed using them to get these blending , softening effects.
I will endeavour to post again soon. blessings, Eileen
Better late than never – so here are my belated Teasel pics. Taken over the Pond. In my ‘flower arranging’ days when I entered lots of competitions, teasels were a great favourite – especially at Christmas time when they looked great sprayed silver or gold.
I don’t think I’ve ever caught them when they first come into bloom so I must make a mental note for next summer to look out for them again.
The first pic does show some flower but the actual shape looks a bit deformed ….
Here are some more pics from my visit to the Mill. I’ve converted this one to a black and white image – it seems to suit this old Mill which dates back to the 1840’s. However – the first mention of a mill in Ifield was in 1274. I can’t quite make out from the Brochure exactly when the present [restored] Mill was built, but there are recorded mentioned owners throughout the 1600’s and 1700’s. Volunteers have done a wonderful job of restoring it from 1973 onwards , with the waterwheel being restored in 2008.
The next few pics are from the hedgerows along the path leading to the Mill.
Time to say au revoir and see you soon dv, Eileen
These dominoes must be from the 1930s/40s I think. They were my father-in-laws originally. I thought they would make an interesting still life subject as well as lending themselves to some macro shots too.
I must say that I’m really enjoying using my macro lens….. after struggling for a while on my own to get to grips with my Olympus camera and macro lens , I managed to find someone who could spend a couple of hours with me and explain its mysteries. It was well worth the tuition cost to have practical demonstrations and have questions answered. It’s simply a matter of much practise now so that it’s embedded in my brain rather than keep having to look up my notes all the time. Mind you, the old memory ain’t wot it used to be!!
Bye for now Eileen
I’m really excited to have a new macro lens for my new camera! So – I went on an indoor macro spree. I’d bought some fluffy feathers from a craft shop and tried spraying some water drops on them. This took a bit of time in itself as the water flattened the feathers down somewhat. It’s marvelous how the droplets stay put and God created feathers, skin etc to be waterproof!
Another post will follow showing less ‘abstracty’ pics …. see you soon Eileen
I love the sculptural quality of tulips because they make such clean, simple images … you can’t go wrong really, can you? I find this type of flower lends itself well to using a black background. Removing a petal allowed the stamen etc to be photographed from the front instead of from above.
One of the challenges of photography is to present something that is a common and favourite subject for photographers in a fresh way – otherwise it can be a case of ‘if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all’. As with all ‘Art’ – in the end it’s all about Ideas.
Could have been a little bit sharper, but I quite liked the softer look – a bit more dreamy perhaps ….
That’s all for now folks, see you again soon I hope. Your ‘likes’ and comments are always very appreciated, Eileen
I recently upgraded to an Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera with a kit lens, but really wanted a macro lens, as that is where my interest lies for my flower subjects. However- the lenses can be as expensive [ or even more] than the actual camera , so I’ve been trying to justify the outlay. It’s not as if I’m earning my living from photography – it is only a hobby after all – but I can’t help hankering after getting the best pics I can. Then I remembered my birthday is coming up, so that is my justification for buying it … there – that’s made me feel better !
The image above is part of my learning process in how to handle this beautiful, neat lens. The thing I like most is its light weight – so good for arthritic hands. I’d read reviews which were very good, but there were the odd few that mentioned the difficulty of the lens finding its focus. However – now I’ve tried it out, I think that may be because there are several settings/options to choose from and you need to use the right one for the situation of course.
So – as you can see from the image – ideally it would have been nice to get that main water droplet in sharp focus – but Lol – let’s pretend that was my intention ! It’s a huge learning curve for me as I need to get my head around choosing and adjusting my camera settings for the best results, which can become stressful and frustrating if I let it. I’ve never been good at maths [ can you be maths dyslexic?] and that hasn’t improved with age I can tell you ….
The instructions that came with my lens, as usual with cameras/lenses these days, is extremely sparse and unhelpful. So I’ve had to search on line again for help. I managed to find really clear info about the lens settings and what to use for what, so I’m truly grateful for that.
This image is slightly more successful I think. I did a crop on both pics, and they seem to have survived that quite well. I’m looking forward to more practise and creativity – maybe outdoors – although it seems a tripod is essential. That’s ok in my little garden, but not practical for me if I go out and about.
I would truly appreciate any helpful suggestions or to hear of your own learning experiences – also, if this site will let you – feel free to show your own macro pics.
bye for now, Eileen