Hooray for spring!
Red Rock Canyon Open Space
Colorado Springs
June 3, 2007

After a few weeks of heavy rain, Red Rock Canyon is now greener than I have ever seen it. The grass is taller than our dog in many places! We walk in this canyon near our house several times a week, and it’s more beautiful than ever right now. I decided to take a camera on our walk today, to document all the wildflowers that have sprung up along the trail. I brought my 100mm macro lens, and gave myself a challenge to see how many different colors I could find along our stroll.

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Actually some point-and-shoot cameras have excellent macro capabilities. My point-and-shoot (the Canon G7), has a 1cm focusing range! Phenomenal.

Re: Paintbrush

The Audubon Society puts out a great “Field guide” for the flowers you find around North America. I highly recommend it. You can identify the flowers by color then go look up the information on the flower in the back.

It has a vinyl cover so it goes easy in a bag or backpack.

Re: Paintbrush

Good to know, thanks!

Paintbrush

It’s the reddish orange one.

They usually don’t come out until late in the summer unless that’s a different flower. It sure does look like it though.

Don’t confuse focal length and minimum focusing distance. They are not related directly. For example my two 50mm lenses, the Macro one as a minimum focusing distance of 0.228m while the other (f/1.4) has 0.45mm. 50mm is the focal length.

The macro mode on the Point&Shoot IS designed to allow the short focusing distance that the lens permits. There is not such thing on a DSLR, for a good reason: it does not make sense is it tied to the lens.

Thank you so much. That info was so helpful! I was actually using a Canon Powershot A95 for the pictures I originally talked about (close ups of flowers) and I know that’s like a little dinky camera compared to the pro stuff, but through some research I found that it has a macro setting! This will help so much when I go to take pictures like this next time. But I also use the Digital Rebel sometimes, so that’s got me salivating over these lenses. Anyway, I realized what my problem was. I think it’s sometimes confusing on these cameras that have the manual and automatic shooting modes…so many options, I get lost trying to find how I can control what it’s doing. πŸ™‚ Anyway, thanks a bunch.

Yeah, that’s just how they were growing. I loved them, too!

I do know lensbabies lenses, and they are really cool. I don’t have one, because my style tends to be more crisp and vivid, but I’ve been tempted to get one for the occasional funky shot.

Yeah, and the 100mm is MUCH easier for someone without much upper-body strength. πŸ˜‰

I agree. My 85mm 1.8 is tack sharp, and it’s a $350 lens. It’s much sharper than my 24-70L at its periphery.

I’m enamored by the picture of the yellow flowers in a grid. They’re beautiful. πŸ™‚ Was that a natural occurrence?

I love these pics, so clear and well composed. πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to get more lenses (other than the kit lens) for my D80… Just learning so I can’t justify the prices just yet.

Have you ever heard of a lensbabies lens? I saw it the other day and wondered if anyone had tried them… kinda neat

Then compare it with the 70-200 f2.8 L at 100mm πŸ™‚

For that one I’m curious, but I suspec the 100mm will win, even thought he 70-200 won’t be far.

That’s because you are too close to them, closer than the minimal focusing distance.

For that you need a *macro* lens. Not a zoom with a “macro” label on it, but a real Macro lens that will be a prime. There are 3 Canon macro lenses that are affordable: the 50mm f2.5 Macro (I own this one), the 100mm f2.8 USM Macro (the awesome one Charlotte use, that I had on loan from a co-worker a couple of years ago), and the EF-S 60mm f2.8 USM Macro that only work on EF-S compatible bodies (like the Digital Rebel).

The Digital Rebel is perfectly fine otherwise.

There are other options like extension tubes, but I don’t consider them to be the easiest.

The L lens is a bit of a urban-myth.

Take the 50mm f/1.8. It is like a cheap $100 piece of plastic (I hate if for that), but the optical quality is amazing. The f/1.4 looks much better and still amazing. Both beat hands down most of L lenses.

Not that I want to devaluate L lenses, but surely there are several non-L that are simply awesome πŸ™‚ They are all primes.

Hmmm, I haven’t tried it for portraits, but I should give it a shot. I’ve used it a couple times for closeups of babies, but that’s about it. I should definitely get my money’s worth more than I do.

When I had one on loan, I used it as a portrait lens too. I wish I still had it. Shooting bugs with extension tubes is no fun… (and actually very hard)

They thought cell phones and maybe the pesticides or combination of things. I guess the same thing happened in the 60’s. They are having a hard time figuring it out since they don’t possess any of the dead bees to research it.

Considering that lens isn’t an L series, it is remarkably sharp!

Thanks! My 100mm macro is my most under-used lens, so I had fun putting it to good use that day.

So true! I hadn’t noticed that.

I need to photograph six different colors of coffee mugs next. Coffee is definitely love. πŸ˜‰

This year’s disappearace of the bees is really weird! I wonder what’s going on.

Aw thanks! I hope so, too. πŸ™‚

Re: Holy Lens Lust, Camera Girl!

Thanks for the tip! He has some beautiful images.

Calla lilies! Gorgeous stuff there, Thumper. πŸ™‚

Which one is the indian paintbrush? I don’t know anything about these flowers. Thanks!

That’s exactly right. Every lens has a minimum focusing distance, and most can’t focus at less than a meter or two. Lenses (or point-and-shoot cameras) with macro settings are able to focus much closer than that. My 100mm macro can focus at 0.3 meters, which makes photos like these possible.

The bee butt is cute, and that second bee shot is unbelievable. I’m in awe of your camera/lens’s focusing capabilities.

Charlotte will know far better than I, but I suspect your issue is the focal length of your lens. This site has a touch of detail on this:

http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/key=focal length

Basically, Charlotte has really good equipment for this sort of thing. You and I have mediocre stuff.

Oh man, these are awesome, especially the one with the bee! And the color is just fantastic.

So, I have a question. (I think it is my camera….maybe if I used the Rebel this wouldn’t happen….) but I was taking pictures of the flowers around my house last week, and for some reason it really doesn’t want to let me focus on anything that’s too close to the lense. Like when I try to take large photos of flowers close up like these they aren’t as sharp as I want them to be. Do you have any advice? Or could at least tell me why that happens? Thanks so much!

100mm Macro goodness. Mmmm. I really miss that lens.

very nice shots!

that first row of pictures reminds me of the colorbars that are in a lot of people’s livejournal profiles. it’s the pictures and below it says ‘___ is/are love’. this post could definitely follow along with that. ‘spring flowers are love’. πŸ™‚

realy lovely!! πŸ™‚

Honey bee! Ours haven’t come out yet or they’re dead. I haven’t figured out which is it.

Nice work.

Simply stunning.

No matter whether it is pictures of people, animals or landscapes, your pictures always blow me away. πŸ™‚

I hope someday to have a reason to hire you as a photographer

Holy Lens Lust, Camera Girl!

I’d like to see what you do with flowers in a formal setting. Or if you like the natural light and don’t want to pick them, use a sheet or piece of foam core as a background.

Then again, I just saw Ron van Dongen’s book titled “Bloom” and it made me weak in the knees. http://www.ronvandongen.com/colorflora.php if you’re interested.

I posted a few of my own last night… πŸ™‚

Pretty! πŸ™‚

Looks like you had some nice light to work with on those shots.

Wow, indian paintbrush is out way early this year.

You’ve photographed a lot of flowers I haven’t seen in many years. Perhaps our drought finally has been lifted. At least for this year anyway.

Ah, the bluebells of my youth. I don’t remember the last time I saw them.

Charlotte Geary

CHARLOTTE GEARY

Lifestyle, event, and portrait photographer with a vibrant, joyful style and 17 years of professional experience.

Located in Reston, Virginia near Washington, D.C. and available for travel.

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