550 - Beautiful Surprise

It must be spring, I have no other explanation. I am not a typical macro shooter, but now, out of four pictures in a row, we have three macros, and don’t forget that on Sunday we had that sun drenched yellow moss as well.

This morning it was sunny, but a little bit windy and not too warm. Well, I was not bothered by having to wear something over my T-shirt, but it is amazing how much movement you have in everything that grows. Though the flowers and the blossoms on the trees and shrubs don’t really sway in the wind (it was not that windy), you see sort of a fast micro-movement. The nearer you get, the more everything moves.

Normally I like to set my shutter speed as low as it gets. This can be very low with wide angles or my stabilized 18-200 (1/30s on the long end is quite common, 1/60s if I have a shaky day), or more in line with the usual recommendation of one over the effective focal length. For the Sigma 70/2.8 Macro that I am again back to, I use 1/100s, which perfectly fits the effective length of 105mm. This lens is so incredibly sharp, I really don’t want to lose anything due to motion blur.

Guess what, it did not suffice today. I had to go to 1/200s, Auto ISO put me at ISO 800, and that was only at f4. Of course I could have used my macro flash, but of course it is in Carinthia, and of course I wouldn’t have used it on my way to work anyway. I don’t like to scare off people with something that looks like a laser gun.

Macro shooting is always interesting, because you never know what you get. In this case I was quite surprised by the outcome. These are really tiny yellow blossoms on a brownish brush and I had not much hope of getting anything special. Well, automatic white balance was completely fooled by the colors. These images were taken on a sunny day, in the shade on the underside of a brush, from memory I’d suggest 5500K would be about correct, the camera missed that big time and selected 3850K. No problem, that’s what RAW is for, right? Right, only that I actually liked what I got. In fact I liked it so much more than the boring reality, that I decided to keep it that cool. Now here we are. In macro shooting there’s always a surprise.

The Song of the Day, “Beautiful Surprise” is from India Arie’s 2002 second album “Voyage to India”. Hear it on YouTube.

There are 2 comments

Stacey Huston   (2008-04-16)

Wow what beautiful and vivid photos. i can't wait to for the leaves to bud and the flowers to start to bloom so I can try the macro.. thanks for sharing

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Bill Birtch   (2008-04-16)

Oh yeah, no need for adjustments on this image. Very nice indeed. I'd say we're about a month behind your growing season but this provides a vision of things to come.

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