Saturday, June 9, 2012

When the desert is in the doldrums, shoot macro

Though I absolutely love summer, even in the desert, I find June to be the most uninspiring month for landscape photography here in Tucson.  Quickly after sunrise the sun gets bright and hot, and stays that way until sunset.  It's before our summer monsoons so there is typically not a cloud in the sky.  It's just not inspiring.  So what can a photographer do?  Shoot macro!

I feel like one can shoot macro anywhere, anytime.  Even in the heat of summer there is life about, interesting elements to inspect at close range.  For me, this is an often-overlooked genre of photography, and I am telling myself now that in order to keep shooting when in the doldrums, mount that macro lens on the camera, and the flash too, if need be (to counter that bright light).  Both my macro lens and my 430EX flash have been among the least-used tools in my kit.  There's no excuse for that.

Backlit sago palm leaves, up close
So this morning I saw that bright morning light streaming through our east-facing patio door, illuminating our sago palm, and I delayed breakfast, mounted the 100mm macro lens (with Nikon 5T closeup lens already on) onto my 20D, and mounted the camera onto a tripod, sat on the floor, and looked through the lens at the amazing glowing green textures of the back-lit palm leaves.  There is magic to be found, even in the doldrums of a desert summer.

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