getting flakey

We are half way through the month of tease, I mean March. It can give us a glimmer of Spring or full blown Winter. Consequently, I spend a buncha days trying to enjoy rainy/sleety/windy/snowy weather. Like today. 

Bleh. I try to keep in mind, we really need the moisture.

Inclement weather makes me think. It also makes me walk dogs in the slurry of it all. Good thing I don't mind walking in wet or cold stuff. It gives me a contemplative mindset. I spend more time indoors and get a few things taken care of that would otherwise have waited.

Things like discovering more about photography. Cue, photography speak.

I have avoided getting into Macro (close-up) photography. Not because I don't like it. It is actually an amazing way to see incredible nuances of nature. To achieve good close-up results, it requires yet another specialty lens and ideally a ring light. I decided early on not to fall into the endless glass trap. Instead, embracing multi purpose and range (aka zoom) lenses.

I really like snowflakes and the uniqueness they offer.

I like watching them, playing in them and even catching them. I have wanted to photograph snowflakes for a long long time. Close-up. My zoomy lenses don't do snowflakes justice. I've tried. So I saved up for a Macro lens and recently researched them.

I found out one needs a different Macro lens (for different photograph ratios) to shoot different kinda stuff up close.

I should have known. I have to decide what I want to shoot, prior to purchase. Easy decision, snowflakes! What if I want to shoot another subject up close, like insects. Nah. Creepy crawlies are not my thing. Flowers? Yes, please. I decided not to purchase any Macro lens. If I fall in love with shooting Macro, then maybe. Don't hold your breath. For dabbling, I settled on a much less expensive option. Extension tubes.

The kind that click onto your lens. Not the cardboard toilet roll kind you duct tape onto your lens. Ohh the things one learns when they hang around other photographers lol.

Can you say "learning curve"!?!

Not sure if I found it difficult because of the extension tubes or because it is Macro. Might be both. In my defense, I didn't get a chance to practice much. That 'ehem requires snow! The flakey pretty stuff. Not the icy pellet good for nothing crap we got most of this season.

I found out how hard it is to isolate ONE single snowflake.

Not just any snowflake. Nope. One must find THE perfect snowflake! When it snows there are SO very many snowflakes dropping at warp speed ~ and ~  they don't listen. 
Even if you yell and swear at them. 

I was reminded when it is snowing, it is almost always windy.

Like sideways windy. I must have looked like an idiot trying to catch a flake, then run for cover. Only to have the snowflake blown away or be joined by all it's flakey friends, during my attempt to whisk one flake safely under cover.

Getting flakey is tough!!

Snowflake #1
(January 2022)

I used my hat as a landing base. I learned I need to find a better base, get much closer and  ~ wow ~ is it hard to focus on a minuscule snowflake!

Snowflake #2
(February 2022)

I found a better base (my neck gaiter). It was still very hard to focus during my second attempt. The sweet spot in manual focus is a sliver of a turn. I learned to preset. My camera functions don't speak to my extension tubes.

Snowflake #3
(early March 2022)

Snowflake #4
(same snowfall in early March 2022)

I was also reminded when it snows it is almost always cloudy.

Hence the need for a light source. All those incredibly perfectly detailed snowflake photos you see floating around the 'net use one. Doubtful I will go that route.

There is a related tripod vs handheld debate. Always. I went the handheld route. I don't need the added frustration of adjusting a tripod over and over.

I do need to try out different focal points, angles and a lot more clicks. I took very few photos during the three above snowfalls.

I am looking forward to continuing to discover the unique delicate beauty of fleeting snowflakes.

One flake at a time.


Sherry Sikstrom said...

Yep exactly the reason I don't do more detailed photographs, also I don't have your talent

aurora said...

Well, I am not so sure about that but thank you for the nice complement. Macro is about as far away as you can get from action photography, my main interest. If it wasn't for snowflakes, I wouldn't even try. If only I could shoot snowflakes in action, when they are falling!!

Far Side of Fifty said...

My daughter took a photo of a snowflake on the hood of her car. You got some excellent photos!

Val Ewing said...

Snow flakes are hard! You know I have a macro lens.
However with the extension tube, think of bees on flowers or cool shots of flower stamens!
Fun for you.

These snowflake shots are incredible! Just think fungi and all of the good and weird stuff that will start to show up in a few weeks.

I would love to have a microscope to look at things too. Can you shoot a camera through a microscope? I don't know!

Shirley said...

Love your sense of humour!
I have tried the macro settings on my camera with limited success. Tubes? Whaaaaat? didn't know about that but then I don't think of myself as a photographer but as a snapshoter :o)
Love the snowflakes, they are indeed unique individually.

aurora said...

That is a good idea Connie! I should try to find snowflakes that have already landed on something, instead of trying to catch them.

Val, you take wonderful close-ups! My tubes are a set, so I've got options to explore. Tube results won't be as good as having an actual Macro lens. I plan to practice on other subjects, so I am better at shooting snowflakes next Winter.

I am here all day, Shirley ~ ha haa!! Extension tubes are hollow (no glass) they fit between your camera body and lens. I first learned about them years ago from another photographer at a botanical garden group outing. Otherwise I never would have heard of them.