Macro Moments Week 26: Chardon Marie

We’ve all seen Milk Thistle extract in health shops – it’s supposed to be good for the liver – but it’s much less common to see the actual plant that it’s extracted from. As the name suggests, it’s a variety of thistle (the French name is Chardon Marie) that grows to quite a height. This one was a good seven feet tall.

I found this example, which had obviously just released its seeds, in a herb garden in the nearby village of Montrol-Sénard.

milk-thistle

Nikon D800 with Nikkor 24-70mm ƒ2.8 lens at 58mm. 1/000 at ƒ5.6 ISO 250. Cropped and edited in Lightroom.

Macro Moments Week 26

Macro Moments: Week 24 – A slice of fungus

It’s by no means unusual to see strange and rather sinister things growing on tree trunks. However, this fungus was unusual in that it looked as if somebody had cut a segment out of it, revealing the dark, almost liverish, interior – which was, if anything, even more unsettling.

This photograph was taken in the garden of George Sand’s house at Nohant, in central France.

fungus

Nikon D800 with Nikkor 24-70mm ƒ2.8 lens at 70mm. 1/90 at ƒ5.6 ISO3200 (it was quite gloomy among the trees). Cropped and edited in Lightroom.

Macro Moments Week 24

Macro Moments: Week 23 – Purple

Don’t ask me what plant these berries are from. All I know is that this photograph was taken a few years ago in the Botanical Gardens in Sydney.

purple

Nikon D300 with 18-55mm kit lens at 55mm, 1/100 at f5.6 ISO 200. Cropped and edited in Lightroom.

Macro Moments Challenge Week 23

Macro Moments: Week 22 – Poppy

I didn’t even notice the wasp until I’d downloaded this close-up image of a poppy onto my desk-top:

poppy

Nikon D800 with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 48mm. 1/125 at f8, ISO 100. Cropped and edited in Lightroom.

Macro Moments Week 22

Macro Moments: Week 21 – Claw

While on holiday in Australia a few years ago, I chanced on a lizard soaking up the sun on the back of a bench in the grounds of a hotel in the Hunter Valley. With these talons, there was no way it was about to fall off.

img_0949

Nikon D300 with 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens at 55mm. 1/640 sec at f5.6 ISO 200. Cropped and edited in Lightroom.

Macro Moments Week 21

Macro Moments: Week 20 – Butterfly on Buddleia

Back in the summer, our buddleia bushes were, as usual, hosts to many butterflies. This was one of them that I managed to isolate and get back-lit.

butterfly

Nikon D800 with Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 lens at 200mm. 1/250 at f6.7, ISO 500. Cropped and edited in Lightroom.

Macro Moments Week 20

Macro Moments: Week 19 – Elephants

This week, Susan at Musin’ With Susan has come up with what I think is an inspired idea for her weekly Macro Moments challenge. Under the heading ‘Broaden Your Scope’ she invites us to use our Macro lens for anything other than macro.

It’s a great idea because I suspect that I’m not the only one who feels that they don’t get enough use out of their macro lens, or at the very least ought to resort to it more often. I read somewhere that a macro lens can be very effective for portraits. However, the resolution means that it can also be quite – shall we say unforgiving – for this purpose.

Perhaps it’s not too surprising to discover that even non-macro images can indeed be noticeably sharper when taken through a macro lens (specialised and innately more expensive than a standard kit lens, decent enough though they can be). When I tried it out this afternoon, the quality difference and superior sharpness was quite obvious: analogous to the difference between just brushing your teeth and brushing, then rinsing with Listerine.

Anyway, here is a very small selection of Madame’s collection of model elephants:

lens

Nikon D800 with Nikkor 105mm f2.8 Macro lens. 1/125 (flash) at f19, ISO 4000 (!)

And just to prove that this really wasn’t a close-up, here’s the uncropped, unedited original image:

elephants1000

 

Macro Moments: Week 18 – Oil-lamp

This is a detail from the body of an antique oil-lamp, part of a collection on display at a local exhibition of crafts and hobbies that we attended last Sunday.

I cranked up the ISO so as not to have to resort to flash, which wouldn’t have done any favours to the warm glow of the metal.

oil-lamp

Nikon D800 with Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 70mm. 1/90 at f8, ISO2500. Cropped and edited in Lightroom.

Macro Moments: Week 18

Macro Moments Week 17: Berries

Early morning raindrops add interest to this bunch of bright red berries.

berries

D800 with 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 70mm. 1/90 at f4, ISO 140. Cropped and edited in Lightroom.

Macro Moments Week 17

Macro Moments: Week 16

Earlier this year, a grasshopper strayed through our open door and before we released it back into the wild I took the opportunity to reel off a few pictures as it explored its temporary accomodation in an upturned glass.

grasshopper

Macro Moments: Week 16