Hand Held Macro, Take 1

Two weeks ago I rented a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS lens to test out whether or not macro was a format I could dive deeper into, technology notwithstanding. After an initial meet and greet with the lens in the (relatively) controlled environs of my kitchen, confidence bolstered by the benefit of my tripod, a remote shutter switch, and nowhere else to be, I decided to give the stabilized lens a more real-world test. With only a couple hours to spare on Saturday (at high afternoon, no less), I took my camera back to UNM for a quick tour of the duck pond.

Generally speaking, this is a wide angle or standard lens location, full of students, fountains, ducks. geese, and families. While I wasn’t the only photographer on campus that day, I was certainly the only one crawling around the ground with a 12″ diffuser flared out behind my head like the feathers of a peacock.  (Definitely need to work on a less ostentatious approach to light control…) I hadn’t used my diffuser much to date, but it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with it- that little thing may just salvage many a mid-day photography opportunity– a great gift indeed in this land of very hard sunlight.

It took a while to get the hang of swaying my body front to back to fine tune my focal plane (though far easier than trying to manually fine-tune the lens focus while accounting for my natural motion) and eventually I got the habit of breathing out before taking a shot.  About 50% of my shots were technically acceptable on closer inspection, but frankly, while it was a fun outing,  I still wasn’t overall thrilled about my compositions or the lens. (That changed, thankfully- though the bolus of photos I ultimately took with the lens has completely jammed up my post-production workflow and I am still trying to get them ready for posting!)

I leave you with a small gallery of the images from that first hand-held macro trip.

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