Red anthurium

red anthuriumOne of my gifts this year was the Canon 500D close up lens. I put it on my list because I’ve been interested in getting into macro photography for a while, but the macro lenses are quite expensive. This close up lens is a relatively inexpensive way to introduce yourself to macro photography and attaches to your existing lens just like a filter – it screws on.

So on Christmas day I started playing with it and took some shots of the table decorations. The picture at the top of my Xmas post was one of my first attempts and this one above, another. I’m quite pleased, but really need to get out with it (if only it would stop raining here!). In reviewing this, I wish I’d put the focus on the stamen rather than on the leaf.

With this and the Xmas post, I touched up the images in Lightroom to add the punch and contrast. In this image I used a simple technique to give some pop to the image by desaturating the background and leaving colour in the anthurium only. I did this using the Adjustment Brush tool in the Develop module of LR. I then added a vignette to give that final touch (you’ll note that I’m quite fond of vignettes…). The whole thing took about 5 minutes or less – and most of that time was used being careful with the adjustment brush in those fiddly areas around the edges of the anthurium. In the Xmas post image, I did a similar thing but for a more restrictive area as the shiny green cracker in the background was distracting.

The image below shows before and after views in Lightroom.

lr2-compare

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2 thoughts on “Red anthurium”

  1. Have you ever toyed around with extension tubes? A friend of mine had a few that I got to play with, and they give another pseudo-macro functionality without having to blow the bank on a macro lens. I got this picture of her with one of the extension tubes on. It really shortens the depth of field — if you look at the larger size you can see I accidentally focussed on her hair in front of her eye and not her eye a centimeter or two behind the hair. I wouldn’t get that kind of behaviour out of a regular f/5.3 lens.

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  2. Never tried with extension tubes. I read around before I went for the close up lens as most comparative accounts and reviews said that the quality out of the close up lens was good and even better than extension tube (there’s a bit of light loss with extension tubes). And there’s not that much of a difference in price as you need to go for the ones which can talk with both camera and lens, not just for AF but also for the lens information to fill in the EXIF headers.

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