New Lens Fever

‘Oh, let’s just pop into this camera shop to see what advice they can give me about macro lenses shall we?’ I said, innocently.

MWAH! HAHAHAHAH! See how the boy humans fall into my trap without a thought for their own survival! They think we are ‘just looking’, but they are so very wrong! They couldn’t be more wrong if they were wearing white shoes and yellow trousers! (which is a sin, punishable by publishing a photo of said get-up on Facebook for all the world to see, of course). 

It was a lovely Saturday in early Spring, surprisingly warm and sunny, even in the centre of London. No ordinary day, last Saturday was the thirty-fourth anniversary of my FAB hubby attaining his hallowed status as Husband No. 1.

I like to keep him on his toes – it does wonders for the early morning cups of tea and weekly bunches of flowers. In all that time he’s hardly missed a week when there aren’t new flowers to replace the old, withering ones. And I could probably sail away for a year and a day on the ocean of tea that he’s brought to me in the wee hours. If you’re over fifty, you’ll probably read a double entendre into that last statement. You’d be correct, but let’s not spoil it for the youngsters, eh?

So, our 34th wedding anniversary required recognition, if not actual celebration (we don’t really do the cards/champagne/romantic-meal-for-two thing these days. Although, I have thoughts about how to revive that tradition perhaps… ). We traveled by train to the Capital once more (third time in two months!) but this was to be a day of whimsy, whatever we felt like, when the mood struck us.

The Globe Theatre, on the South Bank of the Thames, is well worth a visit.
The Globe Theatre, on the South Bank of the Thames, is well worth a visit.

We decided to visit the Globe Theatre, home of the inestimable William Shakespeare, thanks to the tireless, tenacious efforts of Sam Wannamaker (father of Zoe, who played Madame Hooch, the broomstick-riding, quidditch-reffing, witch-professor at Hogwarts in all the HP movies). It was a fantastic idea and worthy of an entire blog post itself, which I’ll get to later.

We had The Neanderthol in tow, much to his chagrin I fear, as the previous evening had seen him celebrating his friend’s parents’ new acquisition – the Station Hotel in Pickering. He’s a teenager, having a sleep-over with several other teenagers. In a pub. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that his *headache* and *sore eyes* had little to do with the mystery virus that he was trying to persuade us to acknowledge. We’ve all been there sweet-cheeks!

So, actually, I’m taking a liberty when I try to suggest that going into the camera shop was in fact my idea. It was his, of course. He wanted to find information about what equipment he needs to shoot his student movie, with minor details like how much it will cost and where he can get all the gear from.

I had NO INTENTION of buying a new lens when we entered the hushed interior of The Camera Shop on The Strand. Not a single thought crossed my mind.

Or did it?

MWAH! HAHAHAHAH! … oh, this could get tiresome people, let’s just get on with it!

Whilst I was waiting, and since the chap was busy-doing-nothin’, I enquired about a macro lens for my Canon EOS400D. I want a new way to visually describe the world around me and macro seems to me the way to go. That or a fish-eye. So I chatted with the chap. Y’know, like a conversation. I discovered that the fish-eye is out of my financial reach just now, coming in as it did at around £1200. We spent a little more time discussing the various options for a macro lens.

My new lens... isn't it lovely?
My new lens… isn’t it lovely?

So, when I said, ‘What, £600? I’ll take two!’ he surmised that I meant the purchase was agreed and I found myself with this wonderful new toy to play with. I was probably unresponsive to requests for conversation with my FAB hubby and The Neanderthol for a while, so enamoured was I of my fantastic, sHiny new toy. Cars wHizzed past me at great speed, but I was oblivious to them (actually, not a true part of the story – as anyone who’s ever tried to get ANYWHERE in Central London on a Saturday afternoon will attest to!). I was in my own little world.

For those of you who give a fairy’s fart about these things, it is a Canon Macro Lens EF 100mm 1:2.8 USM toy. This means very little to me, except that I can now get REAL close and personal with my photographic subjects.

I took a fair number of photos  on Saturday, but in my over-excitement, I accidentally adjusted the white balance settings on my camera to ‘fluorescent light’, so all my pictures have an ethereal blue-hue and thus require extensive Photoshop attention.

I’ll maybe post a few with the Globe Theatre recount (coming soon to this blog!).

But this afternoon, as the sun shone once more, warming the tender shoots of spring, I popped outside and snapped a few shots of various floral offerings that Mother Nature has bestowed upon us. I’m quite pleased with the results. Have a look yourself…

This first one is of a daffodil, grown in a container by my FAB Hubby. I was delighted that I could get close enough to see the droplets of water from the earlier damp air. Then, this fly landed just as I clicked the shutter! The tiny bug just in front of him (probably soon to be his lunch) was out of focus.

The Fly dropped in at the last moment...
The Fly dropped in at the last moment…

Next, I was captivated by the rosemary that I started growing last year – I thought it had died over the winter but, sure enough it has come back stronger than before. The itty-bitty bluey-purple florets are exquisite, looking like miniature orchid flowers growing between the stalks of herb. I also cropped and zoomed in on this plant to see this even more clearly. I love my lens!

A stalk of new rosemary
A stalk of new rosemary
Close up of the tiny florets; they look like little orchids!
Close up of the tiny florets; they look like little orchids!

I took lots of other shots too, but I’ll leave you with my favourite of the day. There’s a low wall separating the patio from the lawn and over the winter, when it’s too cold, damp or just plain miserable to get out there and do some gardening, the moss grows in great abundance. I got down low, level with the top of the wall to catch this shot. if you look carefully, there’s a teeny, tiny little bug a-wandering through the forest of moss-trees. I love macro lenses!

The Giant Moss Forest, conquered by a bug!
The Giant Moss Forest, conquered by a bug!

Thanks for reading! As ever, your comments are welcomed.




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