I was hoping to post fabulous shots of snowflakes today but, alas, while the snowfall we received yesterday was the right consistency (the light and fluffy kind), the bitter cold and gusty winds made an already difficult process pretty much impossible. (Those of you who have ever tried to shoot super-macro know exactly what I mean).
But since I already had my 3-Ring Extension Tube Set affixed to the 105mm macro lens, I went back to the Dianthus blooms to see what more of the love story those curly stamens might have to tell.
What’s this? Is trouble brewing in the mighty ‘Land of Dianthus?’ Gasp!
Now you must realize, these flowers are the size of a US penny (3/4″ or 19.06 mm), with the stamens as small as a straight pin!
Here lies the beauty of using extension tubes! While they contain no optics what-so-ever, they magically decrease the minimum focussing distance of whatever lens you are using, allowing you to get ‘all up in one’s business’, so to speak.
Now the closer one gets, the more consideration one must pay to the tiniest of details as they will be magnified ten-fold in the resulting image.
‘Hmmm, I don’t understand, Tracy. What are these tiny details of which you speak?’
I’ll explain. Down at the microscopic level (okay, okay, they aren’t that small), life can be well, quite dusty. I didn’t notice the dust before when I was shooting with just the macro lens, but now I found myself pulling small dust bunnies off of the stamens with tweezers! Seriously!
While you’re cleaning your subject, you might as well make sure your lens, CCD and focussing screen are also dust-free. (And hope the fantastic light currently illuminating the blossoms doesn’t decide to change!)
Yes, at times it can be frustrating but, if you persevere, you get a bug’s eye view into a secret world, where trials of love and betrayal play out on tiny colorful stages.
How will it end?
Stay tuned for our next episode of ‘All My Stamens’ to find out!