Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

March 20, 2011

Close-Ups for Scott’s Assignment

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 3:42 pm
Tags: , ,

I don’t need a photo assignment to want to take close-up or macro shots, but when Scott’s assignment came along this month, you knew I’d want to be a part of it!  One of the first things I did last summer when I took my brand new Rebel out of the box was try to figure out how to get close, as this is a totally different way of thinking from using a point-and-shoot on macro mode.  I keep trying to get closer and more interesting shots all the time.  Prepare for a pretty photo-heavy post today!

Last weekend at the Spring Bulb Show, subjects for close-ups were many!  But so were the number of people visiting the greenhouse.  Before I visited, I asked advice from Tracy, Michaela and Danielle about the possibility of using extension tubes without tripod.  I knew there would be no room available for a tripod but I wanted to get as close to flowers as I could.  Their general consensus was that I might be able to get some focused shots with plenty of light and maybe 1 tube in place.

I started out just taking some zoomed shots with my 55-250mm:





After Jennifer and I toured the whole greenhouse, I went back in with the 31mm tube attached and hoped for the best.  Here are a few of the shots I took with the tube:





This is originally where this post was going to end, but then St. Patrick’s Day turned out to be such a lovely day around here, I was drawn outside with my camera to see if I could ferret out any other interesting close-up subjects.  I brought the tripod, extension tubes and the Raynox macro converter outside and tried different combinations.  One of the more interesting subjects I found was a watering globe for a potted plant my sister had given me a couple years ago.  Here it is with only the zoom lens:


The globe here is about the size of my fist, to give you some idea of scale.  This is about how closely I could focus on it with just the zoom.  Next I tried with all three tubes attached:


Ooh, look at that nice dirt I didn’t think to brush away!  Then I left the tubes in place and snapped the Raynox on the front of my lens:


You can see the scratches and imperfections in the glass at this level.  Imagine how personal I could have gotten with a flower if I’d been able to do this at the Spring Bulb Show!  Watch out flowers-to-be in my yard – you will have no privacy this spring!


  1. You had a good time, didn’t you! I am a fool for orange, so I was always going to like that one. It will be very interesting to see what you make of your garden this summer.

    Comment by Gerry — March 20, 2011 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

    • A greenhouse is one of my happiest places, so yes, I had a very good time! Thanks Gerry.

      Comment by Karma — March 21, 2011 @ 7:28 pm | Reply

  2. Well they certainly all turned out very nice indeed… Have to love all the colours and details, and certainly admire the new world opened up by macro… It most certainly is quite a testing area of photography dontchafink ??…

    Comment by FS Photography — March 20, 2011 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

    • I do fink! 😉
      Thanks Brian.

      Comment by Karma — March 21, 2011 @ 7:29 pm | Reply

  3. Btw… Thank you so much for agreeing with my ladybird argument… lol… 😉

    Comment by FS Photography — March 20, 2011 @ 5:49 pm | Reply

  4. Your flowers were so lovely that you could almost feel them. Smell them. You did good on the assignment, Karen! (My favorite is the third one.)

    Comment by Kathy — March 20, 2011 @ 7:33 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Kathy. You always leave a thoughtful comment! 🙂

      Comment by Karma — March 21, 2011 @ 7:30 pm | Reply

  5. […] enough to get to the Smith College Spring Bulb Show and we both had the challenge in mind. You can see the her results here, which are pretty awesome with her cool DSLR and extension tubes. I thought my little […]

    Pingback by Photo Challenge – I’m Ready for my Close-up! « Bread & Putter — March 20, 2011 @ 9:13 pm | Reply

  6. Oh, I really like those orange ones. I love the repeating patterns. You did really well with the extension tube even with all those people jostling us around! Love that purple hyacinth too. It’s like I can smell it from here!! The purple and dark pink ones smelled the best.

    Comment by Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) — March 20, 2011 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

    • Those were in the jungle room!
      Yep the jostling presented extra challenge.
      Thank you!

      Comment by Karma — March 21, 2011 @ 7:32 pm | Reply

  7. The orange tulips and hyacinth are my fav’s. I have crocus in bloom that I will need to see close up soon!

    Comment by Becky Sue — March 20, 2011 @ 10:39 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Becky. The orange weren’t tulips though – those were on some big leafy plant in the jungle room.

      Comment by Karma — March 21, 2011 @ 7:33 pm | Reply

  8. Je savais que tes photos seraient merveilleuses ! Toutes sont belles mais j´aime particulièrement les tulipes, une délicatesse incroyable. Bravo Karen.

    Comment by isathreadsoflife — March 21, 2011 @ 3:37 am | Reply

    • Merci Isa. Tu es très aimable.

      Comment by Karma — March 21, 2011 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

  9. You did really well with the extension tubes! Love all of these! You make me want to buy flowers for my camera! 🙂

    Comment by thedailyclick — March 21, 2011 @ 6:58 am | Reply

    • Thanks Michaela – I was lucky it was a bright day when we went to the greenhouse, so I was able to work with the tube.

      Comment by Karma — March 21, 2011 @ 7:37 pm | Reply

  10. My favorite photo is 4th from the top. I also like the yellow and white orchid. The 55-200 does a pretty good job with closeup photography.

    Comment by burstmode — March 21, 2011 @ 7:35 am | Reply

    • Thanks Burst – that orange photo is popular today! I think the yellow and white one was actually a tulip with one of the petals flopped down.

      Comment by Karma — March 21, 2011 @ 7:39 pm | Reply

  11. These are wonderful, Karma! My favorite is the fourth one, probably because orange is a color that is appealing to me lately.

    I can’t wait to see what else you come up with as the flowers start blooming. 🙂

    Comment by Robin — March 21, 2011 @ 3:35 pm | Reply

    • Thank you Robin!
      I can’t wait for the flowers to be blooming!
      PS – I don’t think I’ve ever seen your avatar with socks on!

      Comment by Karma — March 21, 2011 @ 7:40 pm | Reply

      • My feet were chilly. 😀

        Comment by Robin — March 21, 2011 @ 9:24 pm

  12. Beautiful photos! I too love the orange, it is so lively and optimistic.

    Comment by Giiid — March 22, 2011 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

    • Thanks so much Giiid. I’m not normally a person who is drawn to orange, but this flower seemed to beg to have its photo taken.

      Comment by Karma — March 22, 2011 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  13. Looks like spring! Wonderful macro shots!

    Comment by milkayphoto — March 24, 2011 @ 1:14 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Tracy – now if it would just start feeling like spring!

      Comment by Karma — March 24, 2011 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

  14. Great pictures! My favorite is bulbs2. I have a hard time getting yellow and red colors to come out right. Goof job!

    Mary W.

    Comment by marysquilt — March 25, 2011 @ 9:38 pm | Reply

  15. Whew…what a ride. I marked my fav on flickr. You and Tracy have convinced me to get a set of extension tubes this year. Next time you go where you don’t think you’ll have room for a tripod, think about getting a monopod. I found the one I used at the crowded zoo to a big help.

    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — March 27, 2011 @ 10:02 am | Reply

  16. […] took us on a tour, a close up tour, of bright flowers.  Something a few of us all needed as the winter continues to hold on in the northeastern US. […]

    Pingback by Assignment 12 Recap | Views Infinitum — March 30, 2011 @ 6:36 am | Reply

  17. You had some pretty subjects but *how* you photographed them showed them at their very best. Your compositions are excellent.

    Comment by flandrumhill — March 30, 2011 @ 7:27 am | Reply

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