Saturday, April 6, 2013

Focus on Life: Week 14 :: Up close!

Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime is hosting a year long challenge which is... sublime... as you'd expect with such a studio name. The challenge is named 'Focusing on Life' and every week Sally is sending a prompt on what should we focus the following week.

This week the prompt was... Up close!

The macro shot! 
Start exploring the details of the ordinary up close and glimpse a world that you may never have noticed until you observed it magnified! Get up close and personal with the subject of your choice and snap a macro shot! 
How close can you get?

Aah... a photographic challenge... the best part? I have 4 lenses on my Canon Rebel XT. Prior to this week I knew this much of them: one if for distance shooting (it snaps the most beautiful pictures in the distance), one is for gorgeous soft focus and 2 for normal pictures. Now... which one should I use?! I tried the soft focus one - while I give you it makes a wonderful blurred background it didn't allow for macro details. I (reluctantly) tried the 'big' one, the telescopic lens - of course it wouldn't work... The one I'm using every day is decent, but I knew it is not perfect.

At this point, instead of trying the 4th lens I decided to do the unthinkable: research! Funny enough the first link in google was for Canon lenses (not that the idea behind wouldn't apply to the others :)). And so I discovered I want a lens about 100 mm in length and f 2.8... in the meantime I had all my lengths and f-stops written down - and guess what? While the 4th lens will not go that high in aperture (it's a mere f 4-5.6) it was the only one remotely close in length (90mm).

Now I had my best-in-the-given-conditions lens and this is what happened (pictures are edited for contrast only, no colour correction, no nothing else):

I still have one blooming orchids from back in February! The most beautiful one :)

See how soft and delicate the petal is? quite amazing

This is more for fun than macro-style - the card my mom made for me for March 1st; she's into quilling and I love her snow-drops!

I promised myself I won't  buy flowers this grocery trip but they are mighty smart at our local store: they amass the flowers at the entrance. You come from the mostly chilly outside and get greeted by the amazing scent - and these freesia have a powerful scent! Only the yellow ones :)

Enough with the flowers - next we move to animal kingdom: the 2 African Dwarf frogs William got for his birthday :) I told him we can have frogs - no snakes, though! But I know another mom who said "it's either me or the dog!" and then she took care of one of our dogs for years :) that's a story for another time. If you click on the picture you'll get some interesting detail on his skin.

And last, but surely not least: the glass lizard William got from a gift store in one of our travels last year. We both loved his beautiful colouring!

There it was, my macro world of today.

Thank you for your visit - and thank you for stopping to chat, I love all our lovely conversations.

Please remember to visit the rest of the group - we have gathered at Miss Sally's, as usual. I am sure there are lovely pictures to be seen and interesting stories to be heard. Maybe some tips too!


  1. I have a wall in the bedroom with lizards that we have collected as we travelled. SOme of them are quite neet... the frog is cute but I agree no snakes... we had to fire newts one winter we found them in the pond when we drained it..figgy and newton the didn't even look back when we released them in the spring...

  2. great pics Alicia! I love the patterns on the petal! my daughter has been asking for a turtle ... I bought her a cute brass one for her 'statue' collection and called it good!

  3. Beautiful photos despite your camera dilamma. I love the freesia.

  4. wonderful photos, alicia! freesias are one of my favourite flowers - wish i could scratch and sniff that yellow beauty :)

  5. Great post Alicia :) Beautifully done and I love the details of the orchid petals.

  6. I love how you 'research' your projects to find out how best to approach this. Awesome! Your orchid shots are lovely in detail and color with the light shining behind. The glass lizard is so wonderful - my favorite!

  7. Great job Alicia. You are totally with the spirit of the challenge. To learn more about ourselves and become better photographers.Your orchid pic is amazing. The close up of the frogs is way cool too. I would pass on the snakes also.

  8. I agree about the snakes. We have frequent snake visitors on our patio this time of year. Love your glass lizard - it has happy colors!

  9. It is very hard to resist freesia...
    Snakes aren't that bad.

  10. Wonderful pictures, and amusing contrasts!

  11. Love how the color is shining through the orchid.

  12. Your little glass lizard is adorable. I love all the photos and your mom's card is awesome.

  13. Oh, what fun you had with your lenses; this challenge has been a great learning experience. LOVE that lizard...the glass one! :-)

  14. Ok, I am going to get a bit critical here....if this is a dSLR, it should give you better results :( Should have been much sharper.

    1. Not with the light conditions in the house at the time. This is a 10+ year old camera... hubby wants to get a new one - please don't give him any ideas!

  15. Pretty cool shots for a 10+ year old camera and all the 'wrong' lenses you mentioned - it's amazing what those dslr's can do when you know what settings to use. I'm afraid to get one because all the f-stop this and iso that and aperture something else confuses the daylights out of me. I might have to just stick w/my point-n-click Pan/Lumix w/super macro,'s basically fool proof - which is perfect for this little 'fool'! LOL!! Great post - love lizard pics!!

  16. Pretty pretty pictures! I have that macro lens and I love it, but I wish I had saved my money a little longer and got the one with image stabilizer. It's a whole new learning curve with a macro lens.

  17. LOL Alicia, when I saw the challenge word for this week, I said to myself, OH Boy more pics of Alicia's orchids. Thanks for not disappointing me. Great job on all of them.


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