Middle Aged Gardening

I never thought I'd become this guy. But something about making the back garden thrive with greenery and life just makes me smile. It has taken some time to get the garden to a state where I feel it's ok to show somebody, mainly due to it being a new build house. We basically got a square of grass and a few basic slabs leading to the back gate. Much time, a patio, shed and a few raised beds later I've finally been ready to plant something! Whilst I'd love to go off-grid like Tom and Barbara Good, to not end up with a garden that looks like an allotment, I think we have to temper the amount of edible produce. However, a starter-for-ten were the eighteen strawberry plants I stuck in in March. It has been a success! They are delicious. I'm fairly sure they're only about 20% better than can be bought from the supermarket. But they're all shapes and sizes, I took care of them, and they're just better. Like having chips out of the paper. It wasn't even a g

Quarantine Macros

Needles to say, I had a very relaxing Saturday morning messing about with the camera! (sorry).

Well… I've gone as far as I can with the DIY aspects of converting my garage into a home office / studio. After putting the skirting boards in last weekend, the only thing left to do is to get the carpet down. I'm getting someone else to do this as it's way beyond my skill! Due to the current covid-19 situation this has been postponed and I've had to entertain myself in other creative ways.

In the meantime, I thought I'd fill my isolation time by trying to pull off some of my more elaborate photography ideas. Since I was indoors this naturally meant I went to macro shots. I'm sure the following idea has been done before, but it was fun to pull it off from a technical perspective. Cross stitch combined with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon lead me to try and get a rainbow of thread passing through the eye of a single needle.

Two barbeque skewers, some gaffa tape, a box of screws, a 2x4" plank and an hour of fiddling with cross stitch floss later,  I managed to rig it all up.

I tried shooting in a few different ways, but here are the highlights.

These are all shot on a Nikon D810 with a 105mm f/2.8 VR macro lens. This lens is utterly fantastic and very reasonably priced for what you're getting. See here for Ken Rockwell's full assessment.

For this dark shot I used only a desk lamp in a darkened room with a very high aperture f-number, and a very long exposure time. 

6.0s, f/51, ISO100
For a lighter shot I kept the lamp on, room light on, flash on.

1/25s, f/8, ISO100
I ended up taking a few more at lower depths of field from the side here and here.

All this made for a quite a chilled Saturday morning just pottering around. In these torrid times I think it's vital we take the time to unwind with a hobby and (in my case) about four cups of coffee and a teacake.


Unknown said…
How you can make something so mundane look so good is beyond me.