Tag Archives: Macro

Macro Photography – shots of very small things!

The Cloverdale Jolly Green Giant

“From the valley of the jolly (ho, ho, ho)…Green Giant!”

How many of you remember that jingle for Green Giant brand vegetables?  I sure do!  In fact, we still eat Green Giant canned and frozen vegetables fairly often.  (We especially like their corn nibblets and baby peas.)  We’ll be eating some of the corn nibblets tonight, as a matter of fact.

The jolly Green Giant of the vegetable variety is precisely that: a large, green humanoid who wears a pointy green hat and funny clothes and strange shoes.  He doesn’t look very menacing, but if he stepped on you it would bode well, my friends!

Today is a photo of a green giant.  Well, not really,  He only appears to be a green giant because it is a macro shot.  On Sunday afternoon, this dead critter was discovered in the back yard.  I meant to shoot him on Sunday afternoon (but forgot) and then again on Monday afternoon (but forgot).  For better or worse, I remembered today.

I think this is actually a member of the grasshopper family, though he looked a bit different than the kind of grasshopper I’m familiar with from the great state of Iowa.  He has bulging red eyes (spooky!), long, droopy feelers protruding from his head (scary!), his body is plated with armor that can deflect high velocity rounds from an M-1A Abrams tank (well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration) and he can fly (faster than a speeding bullet, or maybe a slow bullet?)

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the Cloverdale Jolly Green Giant!

Forget “Bigfoot”…This Monster Flies!!!!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 42 BC, Marcus Junius Brutus, a leader in the plot to kill Julius Caesar, committed suicide when his cause was lost and he was defeated in battle at Philippi by Marcus Antonius (Anthony) and Octavian (who would later defeat Anthony and become known as August Caesar).

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: all you arachnophobes (people afraid of spiders) will be thrilled to know there is an average of 50,000 spiders in a one-acre patch of green, grassy land.  They are, though hated by many, very beneficial as they consume over 100X their number in other insects.

Stop Bugging Me!

Where do you suppose that saying came from?  I would entertain suggestions from the readers of the blog!  I suspect that it came from nasty little bugs (like flies or mosquitoes or no-see-’ems or black flies) that just persist in tormenting us!  Someone probably got fed up once and shouted, “Stop bugging me!”  I don’t know.  What do you think?

Bugs can be beautiful (witness butterflies and some moths), but they can be as ugly as all get out (witness cockroaches, potato bugs, and other things that go skitter in the night.)  Bugs are not very often the favorite animals of human beings, nor, I think, of animals as a whole.

Here’s a bug I found on his back in the house this morning.  He was still squirming, so I just left him there, thinking that by the time I got around to shooting a picture of him, he’d probably be dead.  Not so.  Persistent little devils, these things called bugs!

But, I went back downstairs and picked him up on a piece of paper and brought him up to the office where I fired away.  Don’t you think he’s beautiful?  Nah, didn’t think so.  I don’t think so, either.  Nevertheless, we should name this little rascal, don’t you think?  What about Buford or Mortimer?  Suggestions, anyone?

Oh, depending on your browser, I encourage you to double-click on the picture to see it in more detail!

Yum, yum, yum….dinner is served!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: Emily Dickinson died on this day in 1886 in Amherst, Massachusetts at the age of 56.  Though she wrote more than 3000 poems during her lifetime, only seven were published prior to her death.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: bugs hold a special place in the hearts of the Japanese.  They will keep insects such as crickets, beetles and fireflies.  They claim that their sounds remind them of a simpler, less hectic age.

Sweat the Small Stuff

You know that old saying about “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”  Baloney.  Hogwash.  Horse-feathers!  Don’t believe it!

Stop and think about it.  There are so many small things that can “get you”.  For some reason, since we moved to Georgia, we seem to have been sick about as much as we’ve been healthy (at least I have).  Thankfully, Laurel has been healthier than I have been.  But right now, we’ve both on the rebound (me more than Laurel – she’s still pretty sick) from a nasty virus that’s been hitting around here.  She got it first: runny nose, coughing, headache…and that turned into an upper respiratory infection, sinus infection and ear infection.  Now, though she’s not over that, she’s also got nausea.  She’s been one sick puppy.  She’s a tough cookie, but she’s been in bed all day long today.  I’ve had the same things (without the infections noted above) but I think that I’m turning the corner.  Why do we say it’s a virus?  Because she went to the doc and they put her on a broad spectrum antibiotic (“whatever it is, this’ll take care of it”), but it hasn’t helped.  Viruses don’t respond to antibiotics as I understand it, but the antibiotic can prevent your weakened immune system from falling prey to bacterial infections.

Virus, schmyrus.  I’m sick of ’em!!!  I want to feel good again!

I don’t have the photographic gear to take a picture of a virus, so I had to settle for something else small today.  This is a macro shot of a small blossom I picked off a tree in the back yard and I put an ink pen with it to give it scale.  Oh, one more thing: while macro photography opens up an entirely new world and way of seeing things, it is a P-A-I-N, quite literally.  Even with a tripod, you are hunched over, twisted, etc., until your lats or back start to ache.  I sure hope you all appreciate the lengths I go to in order to give you a picture like this!!!!! You may be seeing more macro shots in the future because here in Georgia there don’t seem to be the wide open spaces to photography like in the west.  There’s too many trees!!!

Flower and pen…

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: remember Vaseline?  That smelly stuff that your grandma and mom used to rub on your chest when you had a cold?  It got its name on this day in 1878 when it was patented by Robert A. Chesborough.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: a baby in the womb will react to a light that is shined on the mother’s abdomen at 4 months of age.  They respond as if startled and they turn away from the light.  They also react to sounds in similar ways.

Yuck

OK, this will be short and brief.  I’ve had the flu pretty much all week and today was the worst so far, but I think I’m starting to turn the corner tonight.  I’ve been pretty much flat today, so I didn’t shoot anything.

On the photo list for today, we’re supposed to take pictures of something tiny or small.  I’m digging into the archives for today’s picture of a dead fly I shot a while back.

Fly Eyes!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1869, Daniel Bakeman, the last surviving Revolutionary War soldier died at 109 years of age.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Richard Cadbury created the first Valentine’s candy box in the late 1800’s.

Up Close and Personal

Yesterday I share a photo of a flower that was close enough so that you could see the imperfections in the petals and talked about how that was like people: the closer you get, the more of them becomes clearly visible.  From a distance, all may look great…but when you get close, you begin to see flaws.  But, at the same time, if you don’t get closer, you will never be able to enjoy the fragrance of the flower (or the beautiful aspects of people).  I promise that I’d post a macro shot of the same flower, so that’s what you’re getting today.

This is the center of the same flower…do you see the beauty and mystery that would not have been visible without really getting VERY up close and personal?  Maybe this is the lesson here: from a distance you don’t see the flaws, from closer you do, but if you get close enough, there is enough beauty and mystery that once again, you don’t see the flaws so much! Maybe people give up on one another too soon…they like what they see from far away, move closer, but never really get close enough to see the real person – and they miss all the beauty that is there and awaits those who have the patience to get close enough to really SEE them in all their wonder!

If only people could get that close…and appreciate the beauty we do see and ignore the flaws.

You gotta get up close and personal...

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1928, Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovered the antibiotic effect of penicillin mold.  His discovery save countless lives.  He received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1945 for  his work.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: at full speed, kittens can  hit 31 miles per hour and cover over 3 times their body length in a single bound!

Stuck Again

Well, this day certainly didn’t go as planned.  It was one interruption after another.  It was one of those days where you feel like you accomplished nothing of lasting, or even fleeting, value.  Some days are just like that, I guess.  Maybe tomorrow will be better!

Because of all the interruptions, I was stuck doing things that I really didn’t want to do, nor had I planned to do them.  I wasn’t able to shoot any pictures today, either, because of all the interruptions.  So, I am stuck sharing another old picture with you.

And speaking of being stuck, this is one of the first macro pictures that I ever took.  Macro pictures are photos of very tiny things that are made to look big because you zoomed in and focused on such a small object.  There are special lenses for this kind of stuff…and mine is a cheap one, but it still gets me some very interesting pictures.

Do you know what today’s picture is?  In particular, what is that object that is nearly in the center (up and to the left just a bit), that appears to have sharp points on it?  I’ll tell you in a minute what it is, but see if you can figure it out first.  No, that’s wrong.  No, that’s wrong, too.  Are you stuck?

Well, you could be stuck by this object because it’s a common sand burr!  One time a couple of years back, when my wife and I were over in Mendocino, she was going into stores to shop and I was hanging around outside with my camera and I wondered if this would be a good subject for a macro photo, so I pulled out the macro lens and merrily shot away.  I was very happy with this result!  Looking at it closed, it’s no wonder that we don’t like to get sand burrs in our shoes or socks!  That thing looks downright dangerous (sorta like kryptonite is to Superman).

 

Behold, the mighty and fearsome sand burr!

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1913, the Internal Revenue Service began collecting income taxes.  A dark day in history, indeed!

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies are Interstate Brands Corps., most popular products.  Each year, Americans alone eat over half-a-billion of them!!!!

 

To Bee or Not to Bee

When I was a young boy living on the farm in Iowa, I went up into the hay mow one day in our typical, red-painted Iowa barn.  It was a common enough place for my sister and I to play – it seems now to my fading memory that we probably were up there playing several times each week, either climbing up a ladder on the outside of the barn, or the ladder that built up from the inside of the barn.  During the winter time we would get up into the open hay mow and jump out of the big hinged door into the snow banks below.  During summer, we would build forts out of hay bales up in the top of the barn.  On occasion, when we felt especially brave, we’d climb up to the very peak of the barn and look out the small window that was at the north end.  Great memories…that is, except for one…

One fine summer day before we were to drive into Jefferson, Iowa for our swimming lessons (I couldn’t have been much more than 6 or so), I was up in the hay mow.  I don’t remember my sister being there, but she might have been.  She’s about 2 years older than I, but I think she was in the small getting ready for the lessons.  As I was playing, I could hear my mom calling for me to come down out of the barn when I saw a bumble bee flying around.  My eyes must have gone the size of saucers when it flew up under my shirt (which wasn’t tucked in) and started to sting me.  OUCH!  And of course, the bad news about bumble bees is that they can sting you over and over…so I got smacked by that bee several times!  I remember crying and climbing down out of the hay mow and making my way across the barnyard toward the house.  By that time, my mom had heard my crying and was coming out to see what was wrong.

You know what?  I still had to go to swimming lessons!

Here’s a picture I took last night of a dead bumble bee that I found in the attic of our son’s house in the Atlanta area.  I am bummed that I didn’t have my tripod, but I tried to shoot some macro shots of it anyway.  The quality isn’t the greatest because without the tripod to hold things absolutely still so I could get a longer exposure, I couldn’t get a very good depth of field, but I thought the wings were interesting anyway.

 

An Old Nemesis...

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: In 1936, the first Billboard listing of top songs was published.  Joe Venuti, a jazz violinist, was at the top of the chart with a song titled, “Stop!  Look!  Listen!”

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: By 1965, the minimum annual salary for a major league baseball player was just $6000, only $1000 more than it was in 1947.  How things have changed since then!!!!