After spending some time focusing on the flowers, I decided to hang out around the poppies and photograph some bumblebees. Ordinarily, these bees do not sit still. After all, you might have heard of the term “busy as a bee.” So, the standard modus operandi would be to focus, take a burst of photos, and see if any came out. However, in this case, the bumblebee was loafing around. Actually, I thought it was dead. Maybe it was drunk on nectar, because it just did not move. When I looked again a few minutes later, the bumblebee had flown away by then.
This photo is more of the norm. This bumblebee is not going to hang around quietly waiting for me to take its photo. So, I selected a shutter speed of 1/4,000s to compensate for bumblebee motion. Fortunately, just enough of the bumblebee is in focus in this photo.
I’ve been meaning to visit the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden Center for a few weeks now, and finally found a few spare hours this morning. My last visit was in November when Gamble Garden had different flowers in bloom.
I love the serendipitous aspect of macro photography. Some elements, like the micro beads of water on the edge of the petal, were invisible in real life. I did not notice them until I viewed the photo at 100%.
I find flowers like this to be absolutely mesmerizing. When drawing a flower, the inner part may be reduced to a simple circle, but when we look at the photograph, we can see the individual structures that compose the center of this flower.
I recently returned to the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden Center. I wasn’t sure what to expect at an outdoor garden in mid-November, even in California. This being the tail end of autumn, most of the vegetable beds were empty. I did enjoy the fragrance from the few remaining flowers on the sweet osmanthus tree. I would love to plant one of those trees in the backyard.
I love chrysanthemums, as well as a cup of chrysanthemum tea. This yellow chrysanthemum was in bloom.
I was shooting in manual mode a few days ago and forgot to reset my settings. Last night, I spotted a small red dot roaming around the calla lily, and grabbed the camera. So, the aperture and shutter speed were for an entirely different event, but the exposure was not far off fortunately.
Later, I spotted this guy climbing up the telephone pole. I’m pretty sure that telephone lines are the equivalent of highways for squirrels–basically, paths that offer unfettered access to the entire neighborhood. The squirrels are free from ground-based predators, like cats, but probably have to watch out for hawks and other raptors. I wonder what would happen to the squirrels if the telephone and electrical lines ever transitioned underground.
Most of the spring flowers are gone from the garden. So, the lone target was a green onion. Unlike “regular” photos, using a tripod for macro photos is a hassle. Adjusting the height of the tripod and getting the camera in the right position just takes time. The trade-off is a more precise focus, though using live view outdoors isn’t the best experience. Had to drape a jacket over my head, like those old photographers, just to see the screen clearly on a sunny day.
I think I need to revisit this site while shooting on manual mode. On aperture priority, sometimes the shutter gets too slow. Unless you are shooting macro indoors, the slightest breeze can easily knock a flower out of focus.
After I bought my macro lens, it seems that every day has been a windy day. Or maybe it has always been windy and I just haven’t noticed until now.
When viewing macro photos, it might be difficult to determine the degree of magnification even for familiar subjects. At first glance, this may appear to be a photo from someone’s rock collection. However, this photo was taken at a playground. The rocks are really sand.
This bumblebee was a lot easier to track than the one who was busy pollinating the poppy. For poppies, the bumblebee would disappear inside the flower for a second or so and I had to guess the timing of its departure. Here, the bumblebee remained in the open the entire time.