In last week’s post about macro vs. MACRO I determined that adding extension tubes to my macro lens would allow me to take a photo of the hair between a fly’s toes. So… a few days and not terribly much money later, my Optika Extension Tube set arrived. There are 3 tubes (that’s it — they’re just cylinders that attach to the lens) that can be mix-and-matched to get as close in as you want. So… the next step was to find something that’s interesting that close up. Tougher than it sounds!

Sheep charm on wool

Charmed King of Woolly Mountain

With pressure mounting to post a 3rd photo for the macro challenge before it expires today, I spent several hours this morning scouting out possible subjects around the house, and came up with very little (no pun intended.) For awhile, this big horned sheep knit-stitch-marker on top of some yarn was the frontrunner.

But the subject that I chose in the end was a feather stuck to the family room window, left there by a bird that took off in the wrong direction from the bird feeder.

Setup for Feather Macro

Setup for Feather Macro

Taking the shot was far more work than it should have been. The feather was about 6 inches over my head, and to focus in so close without a lot of camera shake meant that I needed to use a tripod and the remote shutter release. I ended up putting the tripod on top of a card table, which meant that I couldn’t get close enough to the viewfinder to focus on the feather.

It finally occurred to me that the camera has a “live view” mode, which I’ve never used. This mode displays the viewfinder information on the camera display… which meant that as long as I could reach the focus ring on the camera, I could see what kind of shot I’d get. The camera manual was even so helpful as to suggest that I magnify the preview to 10x to make sure that all the little details would be crisp and clean.

So here’s the shot that I submitted. I dialed up the contrast, but otherwise left it pretty much as it was taken.




For size reference, here’s that same feather next to a penny:

Feather and Penny

Feather vs. Penny

I’m looking forward to summer when I can take macro photos of prettier, more colorful things. But for now I need to start working on the next challenge theme: “On the Move”.



One comment

  1. Wow!! Very cool!!

    I think winter is still a good time to take pictures, because the subtle colors put more focus on texture and quality. Maybe look for more stuff outside? There’s also things that are difficult to see normally, like snowflakes and whatnot, that the magnifying lens will make more interesting.

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