Camera, Flash, Extension Tubes, Orchid, Plastic Water Bottle . . . . What do these things have in common, you ask? Well the camera, flash and extension tubes are easy to explain but the rest? Well, it was the result of a little time spent experimenting on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
My dear husband brought home an orchid the other day and I immediately starting thinking of the photographic opportunities. Orchids are interesting to look at and I was inspired to spend some time shooting the plant in different ways.
I also bought a flash a while ago and haven’t used it much. I did read a great ebook called Understanding Flash Photography by Bryan Petersen. Some of it went over my head. You see, I learn by doing. So it was time to experiment to see what the different settings actually did.
What are extension tubes you might ask? Well some say it is the poor mans macro lens. But, I like their flexibility because you can throw them onto pretty much any lens and turn it into a macro lens. How do they work? They’re essentially hollow tubes that attach to your camera between the mount and the lens causing the lens to move further away from the sensor. The extra distance between your sensor and lens allows your lens to focus closer. There are no optics in these tubes, so you are basically paying for a hollow tube or air. I have the Kenko Extension Tubes for e-mount which allow for auto-focus and normal control of aperture and shutter-speed. While they do have auto focus, I think macro work lends itself better to manual focus and the depth of field is pretty narrow. Also, my Sony NEX-7 has focus peaking which aids manual focus so it is a really slick set up!
Extension tubes look like this:
Here’s a look at what I shot:
It looks like an Alien to me.
So where does the plastic water bottle enter into this afternoon of experimentation? Well I was curious what would happen if I shot the flash off through the coloured water bottle and so this is what I got.
It looks like a blue glittery cave.
Then I shot through a red water bottle and made some pleasing abstracts.
It felt good to get the creative juices flowing in this way . . . until next time!