20/20 Photo Challenge : Macro

Still continuing with experimenting with “depth of field” for this month. The assignment this week is.

This week's assignment - We are looking at the shallow depth of field
 again this week to get close up to your subject. Use either a macro lens
 OR the macro setting on your camera to get in as close as you can 
and still retain a sharp focus

I have a macro setting on the camera, but it is a basic one and cannot get too close and still retain the sharpness. Jude has some excellent examples of sharp images taken with a macro lens.Take a look at them.

Here is a photo I took a while ago of Ned Kelly Grevillea after the rain. Using the macro setting, but I have to admit I cannot get this close. So I go as close as I can keeping in focus, then crop to the size I want. Is this cheating a bit?grevillea raindrops cropped_1987x1550

This is a photo I took yesterday of the Crucifixion Orchid from behind. The light was perfect and the flower was at its peak of perfection.flower closeups 035

But to see the details of these intricate flowers I then cropped it. Not as sharp as I would like, maybe I should use a tripod, but the wind is also a problem…flower closeups 034

As I took my morning stroll around the garden I noticed a very strange “thing” under a leaf on the “powder puff lilly pilly” (Syzygium wilsonii). Something I had never seen before. So I tried to take a macro/close up photo of it.

This was as close as I could get. It was very small, see my thumb and the ant for comparison. I would love to have Jude here to take it with her camera. So I cropped the image to see if I could make out what it was.strange insect eggs 007 croppedstrange insect eggs 001 croppedI think it may be insect eggs and those stringy bits are to keep ants and birds away. I have clipped the leaf and put it in a jar, and brought it in the house to keep an eye on it.

Anyone any idea what it is???

Then while I had the camera out and the light was good I decided to have another go at last weeks assignment using 3 different apertures. My last attempt was not too good. So I used the Banksia Spinulosa. at 3 apertures.flower closeups 010_4000x3000flower closeups 011_4000x3000flower closeups 012_4000x3000

Left to right 3.4f, 5.6f, 8f. I think it shows the difference if you look at the leaves in the top left hand corner and the small banksia in the background. Well it was fun playing around in the sunshine.


Jude has an excellent post with details about using “depth of field” here. Why not try it out…


  1. Love the effort you put into Jude’s challenges, Pauline! That pale orchid shot is just lovely and I love the soft pink/peach with the dewdrops. So much of photography is cheating, or ‘artistic interpretation’, but it’s the end result that matters. 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah yes “ artistic interpretation “ love that phrase Jo. I’m enjoying this challenge of Jude’s I do not do many of the challenges these days, so can put more time into the ones I do. Hope you are enjoying your summer and it is not too hot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • A lovely day today, Pauline. Off to crokuet soon (improvising that darn letter! 🙂 ) then a socially distanced gathering- I hope!- this afternoon. Into the 30s this weekend so I’ll be good for nothing 😦


  2. Well done! You didn’t ask for advice, but if shooting with the program modes I know some tricks. If you want me to share let me know! Although you’re figuring it out all by yourself and doing a splendid job of it!

    I’m really interested in knowing what the white stringy things turn out to be! I hope it’s not spiders!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Deborah I would really appreciate any tricks you can share with me and I’m sure anyone reading the comments will appreciate them too. There is so much to learn about the modern digital cameras if I want to move away from automatic. I really admire your photography too


      • If you really want to get out of Auto Mode I recommend Bryan Peterson’s book on Understanding Exposure. I have the 3rd Editon. I’ve been reaching for this book for decades. He’ll get you to understand how a camera sees and thinks in a few exercises. No doubt after reading and doing those exercises you’ll be shooting in manual mode and taking control of all your imaging! Really! If I can figure it out you can! I’m blonde. Really Blonde! I shoot in Manual mode all.the. time! I rarely use the program modes. They come in handy though and knowing when to use them is Golden!

        If you’re shooting in the program modes and it’s windy shoot in the Sport mode. You need a fast shutter speed. Sports mode is your friend here.

        If you want to tell an in-depth story like your close up of the flower or plant use portrait or baby mode. It will get in close and blur the background for you and focus on your subject.

        If it’s windy outside and you want to make an image of a blossom move to sports mode that will move the camera to fast shutter speed to stop action. Try pet mode too it may capture the action and blur the background better than sport mode. The program modes are your friend if you’ve never learned the camera’s language and limits.

        One needs to experiment with the program modes to see what they will and will not do. The food mode might be brilliant for a portrait! The low light mode in a restaurant for your food might be better than a portrait. Experiment! Have fun! Ask questions! Today’s cameras are amazing tools.

        I have a friend with an Olympus that does in-camera what I need editing software and plugins to do! I’m wrapping my head around that!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you so much for those hints Deborah. I do have some programme modes and did use them a little bit when I first got my camera. But then I have to admit I got lazy. I do not have a full DSLR camera I have made a note of Brian Peterson’s book and will see if I can get hold of it. I do also have manual mode capability on the programme mode dial, but have never used it, putting it in the “ too hard basket” maybe reading the book will encourage me to have a go. Along with Jude’s challenges. Thanks again


        • Thank you so much for those hints Deborah. I do have some programme modes and did use them a little bit when I first got my camera. But then I have to admit I got lazy. I do not have a full DSLR camera I have made a note of Bryan Peterson’s book and will see if I can get hold of it. I do also have manual mode capability on the programme mode dial, but have never used it, putting it in the “ too hard basket” maybe reading the book will encourage me to have a go

          Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve been able to find Bryan
          Peterson’s book in the library. Even though the libraries are still closed They have an ebook version which I have downloaded so looking forward to getting some tips from it.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I hit that link to Jude’s photos before l looked at yours.
    I am not going to comment on the technological differences.
    I really enjoyed both posts.
    I am going to comment on the photo of fly in Jude’s post.
    Pauline I drew your attention to those flies with the golden backs.
    Like spiders and snakes not all flies are to be judged as bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Superb photography Pauline… Loved them, and you can even see the tiny spiders web between flower heads No idea about the string eggs they are a first for me in the UK 😀
    Hope all is well with you both..
    Much love your way .. Sue ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely selection of macros PP. I love that Crucifixion Orchid – how beautiful. And your Banksia have come out very well. Deborah has some good tips there, I rarely use the program modes either, with the exception of the sport mode for moving objects and the sunset mode occasionally, but she has a point that some of them might be suitable for other situations. I have no idea what that stringy stuff is. I have had a Google but nothing close has come up in the search. Some kind of butterfly? Lace-wing? I’ll pop a comment on a friend’s blog and see if he can come over and have a look. And thank you once more for your perseverance with the challenges 🙂
    Jude xx
    PS Let’s hope they are not spiders…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your encouraging comment Jude. I’m surprised more bloggers aren’t giving it a go. Always a good idea to try new things. I like that tip about sports mode from Deborah, I will give it a try next time I’m attempting to photograph flowers in a breeze as the slightest whiff of wind gets them swaying. We have so many spiders this year that I’m putting my bets on them.
      I’ve also managed to find the book Deborah mentioned in the library and it is an ebook so, even though the libraries are still shut I have been able to down load it.
      Hope your summer is getting to be more like summer….


  6. I love the shot of the Grevillea after the rain. I’ve never had the time or motivation to learn proper photography–so resort to cropping for close ups, just as you do! Although, I’m finding that the camera on my phone takes some pretty good macro shots. Who knew? Hope you’re doing well. I haven’t been been stopping by blogs much lately, but I’m always happy when I check in on yours to catch up on you and Jack.

    Liked by 1 person

    • G’day Brenda, lovely to hear from you. I have recently bought a new phone must check the camera out. They have so many possibilities these days. What sort of summer are you having?


  7. I’m dying to know what your little find turns out to be! Your photos Re great Pauline; very thoughtful and of course it’s always great to see your garden.

    Hope Jack’s shoulder is healing well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • G’day Jo, lovely of you to drop in. I’m keeping really well, but having a bit of a break from the blogging community. I still occasionally read posts of my favourites to keep up to date. But the weather is absolutely gorgeous for gardening and art that it keeps me busy. Jack goes to see the specialist on Wednesday about his shoulder and we hope for good news. Hope all is well in your corner of the world. How is the virus? So far 🤞our State is opening up and no cases here at the moment. Hugs and best wishes to you. 🤗


      • Hiya darlin 🙂 🙂 Now that I read this I think you did say you were taking a bit of a break. Me being over-anxious because of your problems last year. Glad things are ok. Fine here too, but I’m upset but helpless that James has lost his job. And there’s nothing available right now.

        Liked by 1 person

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