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Macro Photography . . . on the Cheap

I’ve been taking pictures for several years. In the beginning I had an inexpensive film camera, then was given an much nicer Canon SLR, although I had no idea what that meant, and still used it on automatic, as a point and shoot. Once digital took over, I went back to small point and shoots.

One day, everything changed. My mom gave me an Olympus SLR for my birthday and this time I knew what that meant . . . It took me a few years before I was brave enough to shoot in manual, until, two years ago, I took a course on DSLRs for beginners. I was hooked.

Right from the beginning, my natural instincts were to shoot things as closely as possible. I very badly wanted a macro lens but with a with the price tag hovering around $1000 that wasn’t going to happen! One of my instructors mentioned using a zoom lens zoomed all the way out gave you somewhat of a macro feel and my love of zoom lenses was born . . .

The last year or so I’ve fallen for photography in a big way. It is fast going from hobby to passion and my longing for a macro lens has gotten stronger and stronger.

Looking at all the amazing macro shots wedding photographers have been posting lately hasn’t helped either . . .

I still don’t have $1000 lying around though so what’s a girl to do???

Enter my newly acquired macro tubes! I’ve heard about them over the last year, but for the life of me could not figure out how they worked until I stumbled across this Youtube video . . .

Ohhhh! Now I get it!

I was on Amazon minutes later, but they still ran at least $60 or more and after all the equipment, workshops and software I’ve been collecting, even that was out of my price range.

Enter Mininthebox. For $32 including shipping, I was the proud owner of a set of extension tubes.

Whoo Hoo!

I saw the mail carrier deliver a small box this afternoon and I was out there opening the box at top speed. I had those rings on my camera in short order, anticipation humming through my entire body.

And then I looked through the view finder. All I could see was a big white blur. I switched out lenses and tried different combinations with the various rings. Still a big white blur.

I looked in the distance. A big white blur. I looked at things a bit closer. A big white blur. What a letdown!

I sat down and wrote an indignant email to the seller, telling them I wanted a refund as their product was defective. I sent it. Then it occurred to me to Google how to use them . . .

Yeah. I wasn’t doing it right . . . Arghhh. You have to get really close to see anything in focus, because, you know, it’s a macro lens.

For crying out loud!

I still can’t seem to get it to work with my favorite zoom lens but it does work with the inexpensive 2nd hand 50mm I bought from Julianne. (Thanks Julianne!) It struggles a bit to focus, but as I started to do a bit of research, it seems that’s common with macro photography. It looks like I’m going to have to learn to focus manually.

There’s going to be quite a learning curve as the area in focus is tiny and finding it’s a challenge.

None of which matters, because people . . . I can now take macro photos!!!

Here are some from my first attempt:

I’ve got a 10th anniversary shoot on Monday night . . . I see macro shots of their rings in my future . . .

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