Monday, September 17, 2012

A New Way To See The Little Things

The last two weeks have been incredibly busy, but so fulfilling!  It seems every time there is a class I want to take, there's always another class that comes up at the same time!!  I had signed up for Big Idea Festival at Big Picture Classes when I received an email about a macro class with ShuttterCal.  I've been wanting help with my macro images, so I wanted to take the class. Against my better judgement, I signed up for them both!  It hasn't been as hard as I thought to keep up in both classes. I've  just been very busy and creative each day!!
The macro class is the first class I've taken with ShutterCal, but so far it's been helpful and instructive. It is a month long class where we receive an email each Monday covering a certain topic and then we practice all week. We can submit from three to five images to be critiqued. That critiquing business worried me at first, but everyone is very complimentary and there hasn't been any negative comments.
In our first lesson Jesse, our teacher, explained the different ways to obtain macro images. He did present an interesting way to achieve close-up shots and I just had to try it...a magnifying glass! I never would have thought of that. I took a very inexpensive magnifying glass, found me some lichen and played.  I was impressed, really impressed!

This is how I did it.  I placed a TV tray near a window for a good source of light.  I made a stack of books and placed the magnifying glass between them. I also used my tripod, with my camera looking straight down, and my remote. I didn't want any movement if I could help it!

This is the one I posted, because I liked the way you can see the magnified and unmagnified lichen and the edge of the magnifier.  I was pleased with Jesse's comment. He said "Wow, Cathy this is fantastic. A great subject and very interesting framing. I love the transition from normal to magnified. It looks absolutely alien under the glass. If I had to critique something I would say I wish there was a bit more lichen in the non-magnified section rather than just bark, but that is completely nit-picky. Great first photo!"   I agree, a little more of the unmagnified lichen would have made the whole image more impressive. When I read his first comment, I knew this class was going to be good. He showed me how I could have made a better image, very kindly!!  I do want the critiquing, he certainly has more experience than I have. I just didn't want it to be harsh and it wasn't!!
Lichen is fascinating isn't it?  I loved the little hairs that stick out and all those little tubes!
This one looks like something under the sea to me!
These images are examples of why I love macro photography and why I want to improve at it!  I'm stunned and amazed every time I upload macro images from my camera to my computer. I just can't get over how they are so beautiful and so filled with color and texture!!  I'll be back in a couple of days and show you the rest of my pictures from week one.
"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station
 through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in."
George Washington Carver


  1. What an interesting concept, to use a magnifying glass to further explore your macro subjects. And you used it to such wonderful creative effect. I also your "magnified/unmagnified" image - I agree that it is imaginative framing. It seems like this class is going to be well worth your time and effort.

  2. So great! Love your image that with the edge of the magnifying glass- good on you for taking on 2 classes!

  3. I loved how you figured out how to use the magnifying glass. The pictures look great. You are learning so much and you are a willing student. I am so proud of you. I tell everyone about your pictures.

  4. awesome shots and very cool to see how you set them up! usually mine involve some kind of kitchen or yard gadget. :) haha

    i too signed up for the BPC big idea with high hopes, but i just couldn't keep up. i've watched about half the videos, but haven't had time to do any of the activities. to be honest i thought it was going to be more like last year - kind of a scrapbooking thing.

    looking forward to more macro shots!!

  5. I think you have found your specialty, Cathy! I always enjoy your macro images, and this is just phenomenal. Thanks for sharing the set up for's so interesting.

  6. This is so cool and so much fun! Thanks for sharing it.

  7. Wow, amazing to see in such detail. So happy you're finding time for this course and sharing the images. Nature. Always so glorious.


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