Spring is in the air, making it a perfect time for some macro pictures.
For these pictures I used a Raynox DCR-250 macro conversion lens on a wonderful old Topcon 200mm lens. The Topcon is seriously well built in the good old fashioned way with lots of metal and weighs a heap. It is not the best balanced thing on a tiny Sony NEX body and hand holding it with the Raynox only adds to the challenge. This combination produces huge magnification. To give some idea of the magnification, the centre of this little Capeweed flower is maybe one centimetre across.
The ant in this photo is one of those ubiquitous black garden ants (Ochetellus glaber) that get no bigger than 3 millimetres – small enough that I didn’t even notice it when I first started photographing these flowers. None of these photos are cropped, by the way.
The other challenge is the incredibly small depth of field (the part of the image that is in focus) you get this close and with this magnification. This is a larger ant – maybe a centimetre. Still a very small creature. Notice how its nearest eye is pretty much in focus, but the plane of focus is lost halfway across its head – depth of field is only a millimetre or two.
You can find some amazing macro images out there – including those that achieve good depth of field through focus stacking, where a series of images (sometimes 200 or more) are taken with tiny shifts of focus between them and then combined so all the in-focus slices are stacked on top of each other. I am not up to that level and you couldn’t do it anyway with most of these that have moving creatures or flowers swaying in the breeze. You need dead or otherwise immobilised insects or other controlled conditions for focus stacking.
So these are as they are – the miniscule area of focus becomes part of the challenge and the fascination.
Common dandelion flower and dandelion in seed.
The flower of a eucalyptus tree.
Three views of a tiny flower.
Rust on a railing post.
The remains of things past.
I was hoping this little creature would pose for me, but it was on the move and not slowing down. I think it is a slater – one of the Isopoda, also known as soil bugs, pill bugs and wood lice. The Isopoda are crustaceans – related to crabs, shrimp, lobsters and so on, but fully adapted to terrestrial life.
Thanks for looking :-)