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Macro Hack for Photographing Your Blooms

By greene
October 26, 2013

Use a hand lens or jeweler's loupe to obtain extreme close-ups.

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Oct 25, 2013 7:13 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I like this tip, thank you for sharing! Since ATP is so heavy on photos, we should publish more articles that teach the members how to improve their photo skills.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Oct 25, 2013 7:22 PM CST
Great tip! I have a loop I had forgotten about.
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
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virginiarose
Oct 25, 2013 7:27 PM CST
I do not know what a loop is! Can I use a magnifying glass? Confused
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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Horseshoe
Oct 25, 2013 7:45 PM CST
Great idea and one I'll try. When I use my zoom feature on my camera it doesn't always give a nice clear shot (then again it could be my shaky hands!) I'll try my magnifying glass next, and will let you know, virginiarose/Susan.

Shoe
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
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nap
Oct 26, 2013 6:28 AM CST
I need to try this tip along with my Macro lens! Can't wait to see what I'll get! Thanks for the great tip!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Oct 26, 2013 10:15 AM CST
Virginiarose, it's actually spelled "loupe." Jewelers use them to look closely at gems. They're used in several other professions as well. Here's a link to an article in Wikipedia, if you're interested:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loupe
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
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virginiarose
Oct 26, 2013 11:19 AM CST
Thanks, they look expensive though. Sad
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Oct 26, 2013 11:42 AM CST
Wow, this is fun! I actually took a close up of Ruby Glow with my magnifying glass. This is wonderful for viewing small flowers because you see a lot of detail you would not other wise notice. Thanks for the idea,. I think I will check into the Loupe.


Thumb of 2013-10-26/virginiarose/723f26

Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Oct 26, 2013 12:01 PM CST
Another little trick I use with my inexpensive point-and-shoot camera is to take the photo at high resolution from a little farther away (even with a macro setting, it seems to focus better from a bit more distance), then enlarge the heck out of it.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Oct 26, 2013 12:25 PM CST
That is what I usually do, I have a point and shoot also and I just do everything on computer. But I have not been able to get a picture of this flower before, even with. This was cropped does it look better?


Thumb of 2013-10-26/virginiarose/af5cf6

Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Oct 26, 2013 6:18 PM CST
I've been using my Loupe for a couple years now. Got the suggestion a while back from another photographer buff. Works great!!! Thanks for sharing that idea with everyone here!

Susan - Looks terrific! Cool, huh?!!!
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Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Oct 26, 2013 6:53 PM CST
Becky, very cool... Thanks!!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Oct 26, 2013 8:00 PM CST
That cropped image looks sharper. Did you do something else as well?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Oct 26, 2013 9:16 PM CST
Thanks everyone for the praise, but it was my son-in-law who supplied the idea. I just took the photos.
The last image I just cropped it to eliminate the edges of the magnifying lens. Here is a photo only partially cropped.
Thumb of 2013-10-27/greene/77f30a

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Oct 27, 2013 5:34 AM CST
Looks good Green! Green Grin!


Woofie,
I took about 15 pictures because it was windy, only a few came out good enough to crop or enlarge. I like the soft glow that the magnifying-glass gives it, but other than that I did nothing except turn down the brightness on some that had a glare.
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 19, 2014 7:46 AM CST
I'm hoping someone will look in on this thread since it's been dead for awhile...

I've used a jeweler's loupe with my sempervivum seedlings -- that was the only way I could tell some of them had sprouted -- and truly, it shows some of these that are really teeny to be perfect jewels.

My questions come from perhaps not understanding some of the previous posts here: Do you focus the camera on the loupe itself, or just use the loupe to guide you? (My eyesight is fine -- these are just really tiny!)

And secondly, is there a way of focusing when the camera shows a blurry image? Sometimes even when I use the camera with the tulip and circular dial to zoom in, the image stays fuzzy. Maybe I need an even fancier camera to do the kinds of closeups I'm looking for? Confused (I hope not! I have a hunch that's something that won't get through the budget discussions... *Blush* ) MR
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Sep 19, 2014 8:04 AM CST
My son-in-law came up with the idea to use the loop/lens in conjunction with the camera, but he never said how he did it.
I just used the 'trial and error' method, focusing in different ways (thank goodness for digital),

I found that if I had three hands it would have been easier, but after a few dozen tries I learned that focusing on the magnifying lens worked the best.
Look through the loop, moving it forward or backward until the image looks large and clear enough, then bring the camera to about 5 -6 inches focusing on the loop.

If I had...something like a goose neck illuminated magnifier or one of the tools called 'third hand', catching the images would have been a bit easier. I think the illuminated magnifier would be good because my trial and error method had a ton of shots that were not lighted all that well.

Of course, this whole hack is not needed if one buys a really, really good camera but I make to with what I have on hand. Thank You!

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Mother Raphaela
Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery NY (Zone 4b)
Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator Seed Starter Permaculture
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York Sempervivums Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge
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MotherRaphaela
Sep 19, 2014 8:41 AM CST
greene said: Of course, this whole hack is not needed if one buys a really, really good camera but I make to with what I have on hand. Thank You!


I agree And Thank You! for the input. I might be able to get one of those clothespins attached to a flexible gooseneck -- and I'm going to set up ./////////m (that's my cat settling on my lap with paws on keyboard) one place in my room as a sort of mini photography studio where it stays warm. I've used it that way from time to time already, but I'm going to move the light cord etc. that I have to erase from the background for the larger photos...

Again, Thank You! MR

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