Ready For My Close-Up
January 25, 2008

I began snapping photos with a crappy little 110 camera that my grandmother gave me. She won it at some event or another and thought it was more or less a toy. When I showed her the pictures I'd taken with it, she was shocked. For a 110 camera, they were really nice ... she hadn't expected that I would actually use it or that it would actually take anything with any degree of clarity.

For someone who has been pushed into the box of writer my entire life, I'm also an extremely visual person. I write fiction the way that I do because I can see a movie of the action playing out. And with that first camera, I was set to have my own little newspaper - text and photos together as they were in my head. I spent days skulking around the neighborhood like some demented Harriet the Spy (demented because unlike Harriet, I did not actually peer in windows nor clamber into people's homes). I took "stealth" photograph after stealth photograph of the construction going on right behind our house. An expose on how messy and wasteful the construction workers were.

I joined the photography group in junior high and took pictures for our ninth grade yearbook. I specialized in the candid shot ... and the staged "candid" shot. I wanted to continue with it in high school, but my mother refused to pay the lab/film fees for the class ... and since I was not allowed to have a job until after graduation ... I didn't have a way to pay for it myself. I tried to pick it back up for myself in college once I'd moved out of the house. I bought an awesome old camera with the "ring and stick" version of focus, fine tuned with a prism in the center. The first few years with it were great ... but I unfortunately discovered a difficulty in focusing which plagues me to this day. I'm never, ever, ever sure that I have my shot in focus. That causes me to lose a lot of shots just due to timing ... and even more that I thought were focused only to find out that once again I had squinted my way into focus instead of using the lens. Luckily my favourite type of shot is landscape and I usually didn't screw those up.

So, at the first chance, I switched to digital photography where I at least don't waste money developing crappy film. Today I have a Nikon Coolpix 8700 that I adore. It's auto-focus, but has manual options ... the zoom is great ... the size is great. And while I still screw up some close-range shots, thinking they're clear in the viewfinder or the screen, they are fewer and further between. Plus I take about 10 times as many shots since I don't have to pay for developing film! (Factoid nine about the other half: taking multiple shots of the same scene or item drives her NUTS.)

This week, I finally got a new toy that I've been wanting to try for ages ... a 10x macro lens for extreme closeups. Here's some playing around I did just to get the hang of the lens and how to use it:

Lego IndianaJones

Yep, that's Indiana Jones in LEGO form. These sets have just recently come out and they are SOOOOO cleverly done. I thought this might be a good way to practice up close details.

Cute Jabba the Hutt

Who ever thought Jabba the Hutt could be cute????? This is Jabba in the Galactic Heroes line of toys - Star Wars toys for pre-action-figure crowd. The figures are really clever and cute ... but really ... a cute Jabba? Must be the eyes....

Marbles ... found 'em!

Okay, attempting to leave the toys behind and start playing a bit more with some artistic type shots ... this little plate of marbles, I must have shot 10 times from different angles, distances, et cetera. This is one of my favourite shots.

I call this one "Nestled" ...


The next two I call "Relief" ... again just playing around with focus a bit more than trying for a perfect composition. But I kind of liked the aqua coloured gel capsules on the green wood.

Relief 1

Relief 2

One of these days, I'll set up my little studio in a box and take some shots playing with lighting as well. Just playing around ... but it's been fun so far. I'm looking forward to setting up some better shots in the future. Like maybe after the snow is gone and it's above 50 degrees again....

Posted by Red Monkey at January 25, 2008 4:30 AM | Vacations and Photos | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


Jackal said:

Good to see you experimenting.

January 25, 2008 11:03 AM


PandoraWilde said:

I suck at taking pictures. Any good ones I've ever put on my blog have been sheer luck. Since a big portion of my art is based on smell, I need better pictures to translate at least part of what I do to an audience. Hopefully someday I'll improve enough to get some nice stuff.

January 25, 2008 5:39 PM


kelly said:

Wow. You are really good. I have always had a secret dream of being a photographer, but alas, I'm just not that good.

January 26, 2008 1:08 PM


Claire said:

Me likey!

There i commented.

Hmm when have you ever commented on my blog?

January 26, 2008 1:14 PM


Dan said:

Great photo's.

I would really like a macro lens.

January 26, 2008 1:25 PM


Michelle York/umauma said:

What a great site this is..I'll have to check it out...your camera is amazing. your photographs are soooo clear. I'm going to have to find out about the closeup really works great!

January 26, 2008 2:51 PM


Jodi said: freakin talented! When I hear jabba the hut, i always think of spaceballs..jabba the pizza hut...LMAO!

January 27, 2008 8:47 AM
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