Musings

“Let’s get Small”, 200mm Nikon Macro love

I am just back from a week teaching in Maine for Santa Fe Workshops.  We had a wonderful group of students – and for the first time in several years, great fall color!  I will be adding more fall color images soon but today I want to share my joy in getting down to the very very small wonderful world of macro.

One night, late in the week, a storm blew in and the wind managed to knock most of the leaves off the trees and onto the ground. Rather than give into disappointment that the color on the trees was diminished (besides, we already had those shots!) I was celebrating the many paths that were now very nicely blanketed in colorful wet leaves.  As they Path in Acadia Gardenssay, photograph what the conditions give you!  What the storm gave us were a gazillion opportunities to look very closely at leaves, raindrops, wet grass, puddles and reflections. I am always fascinated by the way raindrops adhere to the back sides of leaves and magnify the many intricate lines and veins that create the structure of the leaf.

These images were all taken with my Nikon 200mm macro lens. (Ok, Ok, not the one with the path – that is with my 16-35mm, I mean the close-up photos) This is one of my all-time favorite lenses, allowing me to shoot extreme close-ups with enough working distance that I don’t disturb the subject. Meaning, I don’t accidentally knock into the leaf, thereby disturbing all the lovely little droplets. If you are considering getting a macro lens, I highly recommend the 200mm if you shoot Nikon, or the 180mm if you shoot Canon. The internet is filled with reams of info, pros and cons, about all macro lenses – all I can say is that I love shooting macro, and I love my 200mm.  I will look no further, this is true lens love.penny for scale, 200mm

Now, It may seem odd to you that one of my favorite fall images is the one I processed to nearly black and white. Fall? Maine Coast? Great color year? Red and orange? Let me explain…. I have those shots, and you may see them in the following post, however, what really delighted me on this particular outing was the pattern of the leaf and water. Maybe I had already had my fill of brilliant color, and in this particular case, the colors of the back of the leaf – a pinkish red and pale yellow somehow bothered me. I realized that what I was most drawn to, and what compelled me to take the time to carefully compose the shot, was best conveyed to the viewer with the color stripped away so I processed the final image to reflect that vision. As we discussed in class, the final image is yours to make. Maybe it was color overload, and quite possibly it was a lack of caffeine, but this is how I like the shot best of all.

Go outside, take a close look around you and enjoy whatever the weather brings….

Path in Acadia Gardens
Fall leaves, Looking for the Subject on the Ground
Wet Leaves
Shot with color and added black
penny for scale, 200mm
Final composition with color
Final composition processed to black and white

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