Mini Macro

This flower was about 1/2" across in person

This flower was about 1/2″ across in person–iPhone with macro lens attached

This morning, when my alarm went off at 5:15, I decided I didn’t want to get back into my full-blown exercise routine too quickly.  After all, biking and rowing 3x in a week after several months off is a pretty strong start.  I re-set the alarm for 7:00AM instead of going for my bike ride.

About as tight as I could get with my 100-400mm lens on my DSLR

About as tight as I could get with my 100-400mm lens on my DSLR

When my alarm went off the second time, I was sound asleep and dreaming–it was as if 5 minutes had passed from the first alarm.  I felt like I could have slept another 7 hours easily.  But, this time I dragged myself out of bed.

The same flower as above shot with the iPhone with the macro lens attached

The same flower as above shot with the iPhone with the macro lens attached

Since I need to try to bump up my bird count for the Birdathon and there was a storm yesterday, I took my binoculars and camera on Tisen’s walk.  Bird migration often follows cold fronts moving in and sometimes birds literally blow into an area during high winds.  However, when I got downstairs, I realized the temperature hadn’t actually dropped any.  I prepared myself for disappointment.

Water droplets covered these tall grasses

Water droplets covered these tall grasses

Not a single bird I hadn’t been seeing for weeks presented itself.  Tisen was disappointed, too.  He wanted to turn around and go back inside immediately.  Seems like he’s been nervous ever since the storm moved through last night, bringing lightening and thunder.  It’s almost as if he thinks there is a causal effect between walking in the park and thunderstorms.

I couldn't get far enough away from this violet to frame it properly with the macro attachment on the iPhone

I couldn’t get far enough away from this violet to frame it properly with the macro attachment on the iPhone

As a result of the lack of birds, I decided to photograph the amazing beads of water on some grass.  The problem with this decision was that I had my 100-400mm lens on my camera.  The 100-400mm lens is not the lens I would choose for shooting subjects like water droplets.  For starters, it has a minimum focusing distance of about 5 feet.  That means I can’t shoot from closer than 5 feet away.

More water-covered grass

More water-covered grass

It’s kind of tough to get interesting shots of water beads from 5 feet away, even at 400mm.  The second problem is that shooting at 400mm while hand-holding requires a really fast shutter speed.  Especially since there was still quite a bit of wind.  I managed to get a very fast shutter speed by setting a slightly higher ISO and opening the aperture all the way (the max is f/5.6 at 400mm).  While I wouldn’t hang these on the wall, I do like that you can see the coating of water droplets on the blades of grass.

Brightly lit yellow flower shot with iPhone and macro attachment

Brightly lit yellow flower shot with iPhone and macro attachment

This evening, I decided to try out my macro lens attachment on my iPhone to see how it compared.  Interestingly, auto focus doesn’t work.  In case you were wondering how you manually focus an iPhone, you moved the phone further and closer until you find the point where the image is sharp.  This is much easier to achieve when Tisen isn’t pulling on the leash, determined to get back home.  But, with a tripod, the iPhone might have done better than the 100-400mm lens did in some cases.

Tisen seems very happy to be at home

Tisen seems very happy to be at home

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