Sunday, December 28, 2014

Some Late Fall Finery!

Most any Spring or Summer day we're in Illinois, it's easy to get a blog post by stepping outside with a macro lens.  In my book, most anything looks interesting when you get close enough!  However, in mid-December times are tough out in nature and pickings were pretty slim.  Last year I shot some interesting frost crystals, but even with the high humidity and low temps in the 20s, I had to go looking for any frost at all, grabbing the shot at left.  Taken with the macro plus extension tubes for a little extra reach, these crystals on a still-green leaf are shown at full-camera resolution.  They are just starting  to show some interesting hexagonal structure.  Will always look out for similar things in the future.  Am looking for stereo pairs for 3D, but not much of a display this time.

From our Summer visit I'm always spellbound by Queen Anne's Lace, which grows all over our area.  They were all gone by our September visit, and this trip, about all I found was a ball of seeds for future generations, gathered in a clump atop the head of  a former flower.  The seeds show nice detail (be sure to click for the full-size image), and while the seeds aren't thorny, it looks like they are designed to stick to clothes for distribution.

I'm not sure what plants these are, but the seed pods look a lot like flowers, so were a natural subject for macro shots.  The frame at left is a single shot taken with the on-camera flash to isolate it from the background.  At right (a different plant across the yard), is a 10-frame focus stack (10 exposures at slightly different focus settings, combined in Photoshop to extend focus).  I wanted to get at least some of the leaf in focus as well as the empty seed pods.  Natural light was used with a tripod for these shots.

That was about all I captured this last trip.  Not really disappointed, since there isn't much out there.  I would have shot snowflakes if there were any of those...  Maybe next time!

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