Raindrop Photos

songographyYou Can’t Always Get What You Want by, naturally, The Rolling Stones is Kathy’s song at You’ll-shoot-your-eyes-out Song-ography this week. Can I just say, I am not a Stones fan? I hope you don’t mind too much, but somehow I just never liked them or their music, except for the occasional song. Oh well, you can’t like them all either, right? So, back to the prompt: You can’t always get what want. True, but you should sure as hell try. And try hard, after all if it is something you want it is supposed to make you happy. And everybody likes that. Except for when you get what you wanted and then it doesn’t work out.

See, only a couple of weeks back, I got this fancy new lens. And I loved it. I took some fab photos with it and was happy. But then, I wanted to take different photos, raindrop photos. Well, first of all I didn’t get to do that, because the one morning there were a magnitude of raindrops, and no wind, but I had to go to work. By the end of day, the drops had vanished into thin air. No photos. Until Friday afternoon. I had left work early and, having a migraine, I did not want to do anything on the computer. So, I checked our plants out front and, guess what, a few drops of water had gathered. So, inside I went, got my camera and shot happily away – at last, raindrop photos!

When I finally started up my computer and transferred the photos and saw the previews, I was happy. Until I zoomed in to 100 % – fuzzy. What looked good in the preview, was really out of focus.

Slightly out of focus100 % - slightly out of focus

What to do>? You have to know that I have a somewhat difficult relationship with my tripod. It just is never there when I want it, but always in the way when I finally take it with me. But Friday was different. I was at home. So, do you care what the neighbors think – I don’t think so, I don’t either. So, I got my camera, got my tripod and outside I went again. Set up my tripod on an uneven ground, fiddled around, ignored cars driving and people walking past and – shot away happily. A little wary I transferred the photos to my hard drive and opened them up in Lightroom. Surprise! 100 % better! Not all of them, of course. Hey, I am experimenting you know, it has been a while that I owned a macro lens.

It is ‘only’ a 100 mm, but here I shifted the focus, it is a complete manual one, a teensy-weensy little bit, see how much it changes the photo…

Shifting focus by an 1/8 inch Shifting focus by an 1/8 inch

Or here, same thing, I shifted the focus a tiny little bit from being on the drops on the big leaf to the drops on the leaf, which hasn’t opened yet – by the way, I hope this year I am getting to eat one of the strawberries…

Shifting focus by an 1/8 inch Shifting focus by an 1/8 inch

Just in case you were wondering. Here are a couple of tripod photos plus the 100 % crop. See the difference to the photos without a tripod? Scroll up to compare.

Taken WITH a tripod100 % cropTaken WITH a tripod100 % crop

And then I turned around to our neighbors’ house and saw this beauty. A purple iris, loaded with raindrops.

Raindrops on iris

And in the last photo for today, I have done a little more editing, above photos are pretty much SOOC (except for the vignette). Yes, with a texture. But I also combined two photos into one. I just didn’t like the in-focus of the dirt and pot with a closed aperture (f/6.3), which on the other hand worked wonders on the drops and the leaf. So, I took the same photo and frame with aperture 6.3 and with 2.0. The latter at 1/100 of a second I could have hand-held, however, 6.3 at 1/8 of a second – no way. Good thing I was using a tripod, right?! Also, it made overlaying the two photos much easier. Here is the result. And pretty much how I feel about raindrops.

Angels & Raindrops

The lesson is: You can’t always get what you want, but… work towards it, because it will make you happy and if it doesn’t work out the first time, keep on working on it. You’ll never know what you may get. I can say that I am utterly happy about my last raindrop photos and cannot wait to shoot some more. For now I have got Dogwoods planned for tomorrow (if the wind is cooperative). And guess what I’ll be taking: My tripod. See you again next Sunday for another round of Song-ography. Hope to see you there. Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.

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16 thoughts on “Raindrop Photos”

  1. What you wanted was to get magical pictures like everyone else with that super-duper lens. What you got was a challenge – both your patience, and your skills. When I first got my 105 macro I thought it would be a snap to got those refractor images; snowflakes would be a piece of cake, eye-lashes a no-brainer. I learned quickly that even with “the” equipment, there is a learning curve and while on some level I was wanting ‘easy’ what I got was ‘better’. I’m glad it wasn’t ‘so’ easy because I’ve learned so much more about taking pictures as a result. These are great illustrations and you’ll be amazed with what you get even further down the road. Enjoy!

    PS – not a Rolling Stones fan either. Not much to look at, and if we’re being honest, Mick Jagger couldn’t win the pig-calling contest at the local fair with that voice.

    • Yep, you got that right, Nicki. It was a snap to get beautiful images, however to get them in a controlled manner and also the subject you want to get them of – that is entirely different. And way more difficult. But I wanted the challenge (to take other photos), which is why I got the lens in the first place and why I got the manual one. I know it produces great results, I just have to keep working at it. And I will.
      Hahaha – you are absolutely right with your sentiment about The Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger in particular 😀 Thanks for being honest!

    • Thank you, Debbi. Thank God, they were not moving! But I know what you mean, they rolled down the leaf and then just hung there, waiting to drop and/or disappear. Good luck with taking your water drop photos!

  2. I can see the difference for sure but still love these. I think, at some point I’d like to try out a macro lens but right now I’m really wanting a 50mm and also an all in one 18 – 200 mm, oh yeah, and a wide angle lens would be sweet too. But I read somewhere that because I have a cropped sensor on my camera the angle will never be as wide open as in a full-frame camera. So maybe, I need to upgrade to a full-frame body and then start building my lens collection. We’ll see… 🙂

    • There are a lot of choices for sure. Yes, with your camera, = a crop sensor, the 18 mm wide angle effectively becomes a 27 mm. Which still is a wide angle, just not as much. On my D200 the 17-50 mm was my ‘always there’ lens and it was good. You definitely notice the difference, but it depends what you want it for. Now I only use my wide angle for landscapes and in the city, but it will give you real horrible angles 😉 Hmm, why do you want the 50 mm? I have one, but more often than not, I am now using the 100 mm macro instead. Had I known, I guess, I would have gotten the macro only and not the 50 mm. It is almost as fast and also gives beautiful bokeh. And if you are already thinking of changing to full frame – a whole new ball game. Then again, I thought about going full frame for four years – LOL – it is a lot of money… (but worth it IMO)

  3. A good lesson for us to remember for sure — patience can often win the day! And you definitely did.
    The tripod set up is my next thing to learn once I got a better handle on all the manual functions of my camera.
    and we got a full moon coming up so I think it’s the perfect time to see if I have the patience (or rather the hubby since he is teaching me) to get what I want.
    I love that last one. I didn’t think to put 2 photos together! brilliant.

    • Patience, perseverance or plain stubbornness 🙂 who knows, but just don’t give up at the first sign of failure or less than perfect or what ever you want to call it.
      You will get to the point where you will overlay photos, I am sure you will at least experiment with it once. And the tripod – for a close up of the moon a must, unless you’re o.k. with blown out highlights

  4. Your images are really beautiful!! I just take pictures for fun and I use my Nikon like a point and shoot!! That’s really all I want right now, I am super content to just enjoy the simplicity of it all!!

    • Thank you, Debbie. Well, that’s the essence of it all, it should be fun and enjoyable. For you it is the simplicity and for me to challenge myself, although I do enjoy the simplicity of my iPhone 😉 But in the end we should all love what we do.


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