Winter doldrums: How to get some camera time - page 1

My guess is that like most photographers who live in New England, I take far fewer photos during the cold months than during the warm months.  Using the wonderful filtering tools available with Adobe Lightroom, I found that during the last 12 months only 3% of my pictures in total were taken during the three coldest months of the year (I've assumed that would be December, January, and February).  No wonder my shutter finger is feeling some "cabin fever"!

During these winter months I find myself from time to time grabbing my camera and photographing anything, even closeups of stuff around the house.  A recent pizza party at work was fun to take pictures of, but I promised not to post any of the pictures. I understand that. No one likes to see pictures of him/herself eating.

A couple of weeks ago, it was finally time to take down the Christmas tree and pack up the ornaments.  I decided it might be fun to do some macros of a few ornaments, using the lighted Christmas tree as a blurry backdrop.

What made this fun was the hodge podge of equipment I enlisted for the task.  I used a Sony camera, a Tamron manual lens, and an Olympus flash.  Since none of these pieces "talked" with each other, the fun was to get them to all work together (manual mode on all of them is required) to get a "good" image.

Below are two pictures of my set up.  These two images were taken with the wide angle perspective of my cell phone, so the foreground looks proportionally bigger than it really was, and the distances are difficult to guess. The glass front element of the 90mm Tamron macro lens was about 3 feet from the ornaments, and the ornaments were about 7 feet from the tree.  I used F2.8, though this created a depth of field of only about 1/4" according to the app on my cell phone.  This was quite obvious on some of the more three dimensional ornaments. As with human portraits I focused on the eyes.

And here are some of my results:

I really like these.  I get so "pulled-in" by macros, as I see details I wouldn't notice without the magnification provided by the lens. I'd like to do some more of these next Christmas.  A nice little manger/creche scene would be very attractive, I would think.

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