Come a little closer…

The WPC this week is not really a challenge for me as I am always taking photographs close up. Rocks and lichens have been my most recent subjects on here, and there has even been a dragonfly, a bee and a zebra in the past.

Worker Bee
Up close and personal

Flowers feature frequently over on the Earth Laughs in Flowers blog. Stunning osteospermums and gazanias are enchanting close up, but structural or textural plants such as succulents or grasses can look completely different if you ensure that pattern details fill the frame.


But let’s step away from nature and turn to a man-made object for a change and get a little closer. Would you have noticed that pattern as you walked by?

Rusty pattern

And the difference between Macro photography and a close-up? Well a close-up image will fill the frame as my lock does above and can generally be done using any type of lens including cameras with a macro setting. Macro photography on the other hand, although a form of close-up, is usually only achieved using a special (and expensive) macro lens. A macro shot, allows for bigger magnification and shows the finest detail in focus. A real macro lens has the capability of achieving in the least a 1:1 magnification. Having just taken delivery of a new camera I am looking forward to buying my first real macro lens and getting even closer.


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I live in the UK, but when I was younger I spent several years travelling the world followed by a period living in South Africa. I look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

64 thoughts on “Come a little closer…”

  1. Some old favourites and a few new ones too. Great detail in those shots Jude.
    Did you get the Olympus MFT system in the end, or go for something else?
    Regards as always, Pete. x

    1. I did Pete! I finally bit the bullet and went for the Olympus. The smaller one though (which was still eye-watering) with a couple of lenses. Been testing it and so far I like it.

        1. My theory is that once I have the macro I may not need any other lens. Just in case OH has been given BIG hints on future birthday and Christmas gifts…

  2. Hi Jude, These are truly beautiful. My favourite is th B&W succulent – I love the way you’ve captured the structure of the plant. And thanks for the explanation, I’d been wondering.

    1. Thanks Jill. I love finding plants with patterns and that one is a good example. I get a bit annoyed at the way some of the WP challenges are misleading.

        1. Thank you 🙂 I suppose I am still looking for that excellent, competition winning image. Keeps me motivated I suppose 🙂

    1. You should see how many dragonflies went into the bin! The bee was much easier, it was so drunk on pollen it just sat there washing its face for ages. Thanks Elaine 🙂

  3. That bee, surrounded by dusty pollen is just the bees knees! And I am totally on your page re close-up not being a synonym for macro! BTW, I am itching to know what your new camera is…. Do tell 😀😀

    1. I liked my bee too. Once entered it into a competition but was told it is not sharp enough. Although the blurry feet washing the face is fine, the face itself should have been in focus. I think it was that critique that made me realise I was wasting my time trying to win photography comps with a non-DSLR camera. Anyway, after several years of dithering about which one to buy I have followed your lead and gone for an Olympus OMD but the 10 model with a couple of lenses. 14-42 and 40-150. It is a much smaller camera than I initially intended on buying, but it is nice and light and I can (with the smaller lens) get it in a pocket. I’m now trying to justify buying the macro lens! I did find it weird not to have the zoom capability of my Fuji bridge camera when I took it out during the week, but I guess I shall get used to it 🙂

      1. Oh, excellent, glad you’ve made your decision! And I rarely use zoom lenses now, having been wedded to my Nikkor 18-200 for long enough! I love the sharpness of Primes now, interesting because that’s how I started with my film cameras, never owned a zoom for years.

        1. I can highly recommend the Olympus 45mm f1.8, it tends to be my ‘go to’ lens for a lot of shots, and for street photography I use the Panasonic 14mm pancake lens, nicely unobtrusive!

        1. Not a clue….but it’s politer than the puppy’s privates …. Could be that these things are all about playing with language, whether it be rhyme, alliteration or whatever

    1. Thanks Sammy. I haven’t posted any images from the new camera yet as I have only tested it around here, so the same old same old. Waiting for the weather to pick up to head somewhere new…

  4. I think the dragonfly is simply exquisite and after reading the other comments, I can confidently conclude I will never be tempted to enter a photography competition 😉

  5. Hi Jude, I’ve been trying to convince myself for a while that a macro is a must however I just can’t part with the amount of money they cost. However a friend of mine told me to buy a reversing ring so I can use my lenses backwards. It cost me £2 and although it takes some getting used to it produces great macro shots. I’ve generally been using my 35-70mm and although hand held is tough it’s worth the pain. A tripod helps mind you!

  6. Where to start? I had no idea of the difference between macro and closeup. I’m anticipating tiny pleasures as you start playing with the new camera. Will you introduce us? Now for the photos. That dragonfly is particularly wonderful, and the bee amongst its pollen.

  7. Amazing photos Jude. And many thanks for your excellent explanation of the difference between a close up and a macro. I really hope to pursue photography more seriously at some point, and will bare this in mind when that day comes! How fun to have a new camera, I look forward to even more amazing photos than these, if that’s possible 🙂 xx

    1. I want to go out and use my new camera. I mean what IS the point of buying one and not being able to use it? Doesn’t look promising until the end of the week though 😦

      1. You’ll have to do a home feature! The camera must take indoor shots too. Come on- lets see your potted plants/dining table/whatever? 🙂 Did you make it to the Cavalry?

        1. I just noticed that the house we were gazumped on (Christmas 2013) and which was finally sold for the same amount we had offered in April last year is back on the market. At a £30k increase! Makes me sad (and mad), BUT things may be looking up 🙂

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