Photo Challenge Entries

Red Flowers

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When I saw that the theme for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge was red flowers, I thought it would be a good time to try out the lens I got for Christmas – the Sigma 30mm f2.8 prime lens. I bought a bouquet of red Gerbera Daisies and took them into my backyard.

I quickly got discouraged. You can’t get close to anything with the 30mm lens. Maybe what I really wanted was a macro lens? I don’t know and I guess that’s the problem! The reviews for the only Sony E-mount macro lens weren’t very good and the Sigma was one of the top recommended lenses in my price range, so that was what went on my Christmas wish list. This is the best I could get with it.

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In other shots, the background was too in focus, distracting and choppy, something I didn’t expect with an aperture of f2.8.

My 55-210mm lens didn’t do well with the Gerbera Daisies either, mostly because you have to be so far away from your subject to get a close-up with it and I just couldn’t get far enough away in front of a decent background.

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So, the winner of this competition was the kit lens that came with my camera!

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I didn’t get real crisp focus on the center of the flower (something I often struggle with) but the bokeh created from sunlight reflecting off of the leaves in my hedge was just what I was hoping for.

*Saturday, I took the Sigma lens out for a spin and got a few really crisp shots and magnificent color so I feel good about my choice now. (I’ll share those photos in another post.) I think it’s a good lens, just maybe not the best choice for close-ups. Then again, maybe it is and I just don’t know how to use it. To me, that’s kind of exciting! It means there’s more learn and more to discover.

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22 thoughts on “Red Flowers

  1. I got a new camera for Christmas as well but I haven’t really explored what I can do with it yet. I took it out on our walk today but I clearly need to sit down and read the manual.

    1. I’ve had my camera almost a year now but I still feel like I need to sit down and read the manual! There are so many functions I just have no idea how to use. Congrats on the new camera!

  2. Hi Trisha. I really liked the your red photos. My eye was really drawn to the fuzzy stem one, second from the bottom. Just something about the lighting. Happy photographing!

  3. What gorgeous bokeh that new lens has.

    You should be able to get close enough with a 30mm lens. My ex macro lens was 100mm F2.8.

    I can get much closer with my 18-200mm DSLR telephoto lens which is one of the reasons I love this lens so much. With the telephoto zoomed right in at 18mm I can get fairly close to a flower and with it zoomed out to 200mm, a bird in a smallish tree.

    You should be able to isolate a flower by gently bending the others to one side and tying some loose ribbon around them, but to be honest, photographing several at once is no bad thing. You might need to bob down a little or move a few inches this way or that, to get what you want with a prime lens. f2.8 is about as low as I go photographing flowers with my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens, but turning your camera to aperture priority and putting the aperture on about f3.5 would probably give you a slightly better amount in focus (and amount blurred).

    The other thing to do is put your Sony on ‘flexible spot’ and then moving it around so the spot/square focal point is on the flower stamens (or whatever flower part you want in focus) should give you what you want.

    Personally I love the first image. You’ve captured some light on the flower petals.

    I’m assuming your Sony a5000 can do what my Sony a6000 can do.

    I wish I lived close so could give you a few tips in person. It’s hard to explain things in writing.

    Both of us having FM and pain/brain fog would mean “2 heads are better than 1” 🙂

    1. Okay, I see where I can change the focus to “flexible spot.” Thank you! Changing the focus area isn’t something I’ve played around with yet, although I’ve been meaning to experiment with it. I would love it if that would help me get the center of flowers in sharp focus! I’ll play with the Sigma lens inside and see if I can get it to focus on something close but, so far, once I get fairly close to anything it won’t focus at all. I was surprised by the lovely bokeh I got from the kit lens, so maybe with the help of “flexible spot” that will be my close-up lens of choice anyway.

      I, too, wish we lived closer!

      1. I play around with my cameras and lenses all the time indoors. Even with food – probably best to do this when the “boys” aren’t in the room so you don’t feel too self-conscious.

        Let me know how you go with the flexible spot thing. Don’t hesitate to drop me an email direct if you’ve got any queries which you think I might be able to help you with. Happy to help to the limit of my experience (of course).

        Since I’ve got 2 cameras, I might be able to put one on a tripod with a remote shutter release and photograph my hand, camera and a flower example or something like that. 🙂

        1. Thank you for telling me about “flexible spot!” I looked at all those focus mode options and had no idea where to start. I think I understand how to use it but I will definitely ask if I have any questions. It seems a very useful function to know!

  4. There’s so many features on the new camera I got for Christmas two years ago that I’ve never bothered to figure out… I’m just a point and shoot, zoom in, zoom out picture taker. Heck, I still haven’t figured out how to work the flash on it! That’s why the pictures I take inside my house all look a bit fuzzy…

    1. I like fuzzy pictures more than flash pictures anyway. Flash is overrated!

      I probably wouldn’t be interested in photography if I had any artistic talent. Photography is the only way I can create (well, mostly just capture) beauty. Anything I draw, paint or craft looks like it was made by a preschooler!

      1. When I first started dabbling in digital art 8 years ago, I drew a LOT of things that would pass for preschooler art, or maybe even whatever comes before preschool! I have no idea how I stuck with it so long to become as decent as I am now given my general impatience and ADD. I obviously haven’t had that patience to learn photography…

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