… my recent post about close up filters.
When I was in my teens (many, many years ago), my mother tried to encourage me to take an interest in gardening. She was a gifted gardener and spent hours each day on her knees, cultivating her flowers, and probably even communing with them. I suspect she was hoping the pleasure she found in gardening would rub off on me and maybe, just maybe, I would become a gardener too. However, as I wrote in one of my recent posts, I (unfortunately) did not become a gardener. Instead, when I retired from teaching and had some extra hours to pursue a hobby, I took up photography. While I appreciate the vibrant colors of flowers and the beauty of birds and butterflies, I find my joy in walking the trails of local parks and the streets of my community with my camera over my shoulder and, after I return home, keeping a blog about the things I’ve “seen along the trail.”
Regular visits to the blogs of other photographers also provide inspiration for my growth as a photographer. In my last post, I mentioned that I have been inspired in recent months by Weekly Fifty, a blog by Simon Ringsmuth, an educational technology specialist at Oklahoma State University, and a blogger who writes a weekly post based on pictures taken with his 50mm lens. Some of his posts have focused (no pun intended) on the combination of the “nifty-fifty” lens and a set of close up filters. I don’t own a good quality macro lens, but I do own two sets of close up filters, one for my 50mm lens and one for my zoom lens. Reading his weekly columns has inspired me to consider a project with my close up filters and “nifty-fifty” lens.
I have enjoyed photographing birds for many years, but for this project I turned to flowers, and my first step was to find some flowers I could “borrow.” My son-in-law, Mike, is a gifted gardener, so recently I visited his garden for my first set of close ups. Here are a few of Mike’s flowers:
That was so much fun, I wanted to try some more close ups, so yesterday, even though the weather was steamy and threatening rain (It actually did rain for a few minutes, forcing me to find shelter), I went with Bob to change the sign in front of our church, something he does each week. While he changed the sign, I took a short, slow trail walk (actually more of a wander) down the sidewalk along the street next to the church where every summer another gifted gardener creates a flower garden that many of us admire.
Despite the occasional raindrops, there were butterflies, bees, and an unidentified insect enjoying these flowers:
Although the flowers are perfect, even the few that are past their prime, I know the photos could be improved. The focus of a few of them is anything but “tack sharp”, and the bees wouldn’t hold still for their photo opp, but I had fun experimenting with the filters. Every time I go out with my camera, I learn something new. This was no exception, and in a day or two, I will hit the trail again, enjoying the beauty of God’s creation and hoping to bring home some images to share on my blog. Thanks for joining me along the trail today. I hope you will take a few minutes to click on the link to Simon’s blog. Maybe it will inspire you too.