30 Photos in 30 Days — Day 20

Going macro

Connection — Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 50mm, f/5.6 for 1/50 sec., ISO 100

For the past week or so I’ve been looking for an opportunity to take a close up or macro photo. I also found myself still on the lookout for colour with red being very visible to me today. I saw the Canada Post mailbox, a red cup, a Coke can, and then, a fire department connection next to a staircase on the side of a building. Truth be told, I didn’t pay much attention when I first saw it. I walked right past it. I stopped a few doors down and decided to go back to take a closer look. I had been drawn to the cover on the connection pipe, which was bright red. It didn’t produce an interesting composition though as it was flat plastic. That’s when I turned my attention to the base plate, which had a lot more character.

I wanted the AUTO SPKR letters to be in focus but the pipe to be out of focus. I started with an aperture of f/4 but had to increase to f/5.6 to keep the letters in focus. At ISO 100, a shutter speed of 1/80 sec. was indicated as correct. I stopped down by 2/3 in order to get the true deep, red colour of the base plate. I also turned my camera in order to have the letters span the composition and to include the entire hole that has developed next to the base plate instead of having it butt up against the edge of the photo.

I think this shot turned out great. The red colour catches my eye, my eye is drawn into the picture by both the curve of the base plate and the blackness of the hole. (What’s in there?) The result is more rewarding knowing that I almost walked right by and had to convince myself that there was a subject worth shooting.

What I learned

  1. There’s no harm in taking a look at a subject and trying a composition. You just might like what you see.
  2. The camera doesn’t need to be parallel to the ground. Choose an angle that works for the shot.

I’m shooting 30 photos in 30 days to jump-start my photography skills. If you missed it, check out my introduction in my day 1 post.