Fall Flower Show 2013

Of the 5 seasonal flower shows at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park, the one I visit the least is the Fall Flower Show.  Now I know why – it’s boring.  Some ordinary mums mixed in with some chili peppers and olives.  Since I didn’t feel like there was much to shoot, I decided to process the photos in a more dramatic style.  It helped, but there wasn’t much else I could do with them.



Low-Budget Backyard Macro

This evening I took my camera out into my backyard to try some macro-ish shooting.  I don’t have a true macro lens, just a Canon EF25 II extension tube that allows me to focus closer than my lens normally does.  I didn’t use a tripod, because you know, HATE, so not everything was totally sharp.  But I got a few good ones and have been playing with some of them in Lightroom tonight.  I’m still not sure I want a full macro lens although I have to admit that I’m very drawn to close-up shooting most of the time.  If I do get one, I have it picked out already: the Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP A/M 1:1 macro lens.  My main lens is a Tamron and the macro lens is about half the price of the Canon 100mm macro lens I had previously considered.  Won’t be getting it anytime soon, but it’s on the wish list.  Do I really want it though?  Will keep thinking about it.

I Hate Tripods

I hate tripods.  I really, really, really do.  I find them bulky, awkward, and a pain to deal with.  I just feel really limited when using a tripod.  I’ve never been much of a gearhead anyway – just want my one camera and one lens and I’m good to go.  I like to travel lightly – take the photo and move on.  However, I’m always trying to get the sharpest pictures possible and I know that using a tripod is usually the best way to get the image sharp.

I do own a tripod, a cheap one that I bought last year after making do for a while with my husband’s old tripod from high school (complete with video arm that stuck out in the way).  The new one’s not very good (kind of wobbly and difficult to easily adjust the head), thus I don’t use it much.  I bought a cheap one exactly because I don’t use them much – figured no use spending a ton of money on something I’ll barely use.  But it’s such a catch-22: get a cheap tripod because I don’t use it, don’t use it because it’s too cheap. Everyone tells me I need to get a cheap aluminum body (around $100) and then a good head, which can go over $1,000 for the best ones.  I’d much rather put that money into a good lens than a stupid tripod.

One of my interests in photography is macro and I’ve learned that in order to do true macro, you basically need a tripod most of the time.  So I may have to learn to at least tolerate tripods more.  However, I’ve also learned that in photography, rules are made to be broken.  For example, I once went to a presentation by a wildlife photographer who shot eagles in flight with a huge 500mm lens, hand-held, using manual focus.  No tripod.  Wow!!  I aspire to be more like that.

Taken with tripod at macro workshop with extension tube between 18-270mm lens and camera body

Hand-held with macro extension tube – same subject (back view)