I was about to sell my Olympus 60mm Macro lens because I didn't think I was going to like macro photography, but lately I've come to really enjoy this lens and this style of photography. This lens is not only good for getting real close and capturing worlds we can barely see with the naked eye, but it is a fantastic portrait lens as well. Very sharp and superb quality images. You'll probably see more from me with this lens in the future.
It's early February here in Okinawa and the cherry blossoms have been out for over a week now. Cherry blossoms carry a special significance here in Japan, with it symbolizing the start of spring. One thing I've noticed different from the cherry blossoms here in Okinawa vs. the ones in Tokyo, they seem to be more red in color. The ones in Tokyo are a very light pink; almost white.
There are numerous festivals and celebrations in locations with lots of cherry trees. I decided I wanted to avoid the crowds and found a small park near my home with a few trees with cherry blossoms. I grabbed my camera and the 60mm macro lens and started shooting from a lot of different compositions. It was a fun time to practice getting focus with this lens when you are only a couple inches from the subject. Of course the beauty of macro lenses are the ability to get the wonderful bokeh (background out of focus). With a 120mm equivalent focal length and usually only 3-4 inches from the blossoms, I can get the background out of focus even at f8 - f10. I kept the processing only in Lightroom this time because there was no reason to use anything else. Please enjoy the gallery below.
This morning I was taking our dogs for a walk and shortly after we started, the rain started to come down. I quickly turned around and returned the dogs to our house, but as I was entering our building I noticed a number of flowers blooming. I then thought I would grab my camera and my macro lens to see what I could do before heading to church. The first one above is an example of using the water drop as a fisheye lens. You can see our apartment building and more flowers in the bubble (of course everything is upside down). Another thing I wasn't expecting was how the water seemed to encapsulate some of the pieces.
Working on trying to get better with macro photography. The one thing I learned was a tripod is important to get clear photos of such minuscule subjects. Fortunately, the built-in stabilization on my Olympus OM-D camera is very good so I was able to get this in focus.
Working with my new Olympus 60mm Macro lens. Getting real close to very small subjects.
Decided since I already posted a couple butterfly photos a couple weeks ago, I would do something different with this one. Since I had its wings spread I really wanted to bring it full wing-span into focus. Even with the background blurred out, I wanted to do more to set it apart. Therefore, I converted it the B&W and then brought the color back in the butterfly and the two flowers under it. It's a pretty easy process once you know how.
As I mentioned in my last couple posts, I went for a long walk this past Saturday. One part of that walk was on a nature trail through part of Okinawa's MANY forests. While walking on this nature trail, there were butterflies EVERYWHERE. Time to test the new camera again on its ability to get sharp photos on a difficult subject. Once again it blew me away. One of the lenses I have is a 14-150mm lens. Since with the Micro 4/3rds cameras they have a 2X crop factor it is equivalent to a 28-300mm in standard 35mm measurements. Basically it can zoom way in. Even with so much zoom it is extremely difficult to approach a butterfly/moth and photograph them closeup so all these photos are not only fully zoomed out to the max of 150mm but I cropped them about 30% as well.
Who says butterflies/moths look better after they emerge from the cocoon. This one is pretty ugly.
Yesterday I mentioned I borrowed a Canon 8-15mm Fisheye lens from a friend for the weekend. The photo I posted of the waterfall was made with that lens. The way I composed the shot and the fact I was zoomed out to 15mm made the scene look like a typical super wide angle vs. the "fisheye look" one expects from that type of lens. On the way back to the cars, there was a long row of flowers so I decided to try the fisheye to its full potential. I brought it all the way down to 8mm, leaned in to about 2 inches from the primary flower and took the shot. I'll be honest, I really didn't know what I was going to get, but once I saw it I loved it. It is definitely a different look. It's not something I'm going to do very often, and I'm not about to lay down $1K+ for this lens, but it was fun to play with it for a little while.
I really loved the light on this flower. This was taken near a beach where I went to get some sunset photos. On the way to the beach I came across these flowers that were lit so beautifully by the low setting sun. Fortunately, the flower shots were good, but the beach shots didn't work well in this location (it was a new place).
This is a macro of some wet leaves at Shuri Castle here in Okinawa. We came to this castle while my in-laws were visiting. Unfortunately for tourist purposes, it was a rainy day so we had to do quick visits between downpours. Fortunately for photo purposes, the rain left beautiful drops on all the plants.