More Macro Motions

I’m cooped up in the house and I’m trying to remain sane.  And in an effort to keep my sanity during this COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve tried to focus – literally and figuratively – on macro photography.  I’ve got the Nikon Df on the PB-4 bellows, which works wonderfully – and after I tried several different lenses and orientations, for now I’ll settle for an inverted Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 lens – one that uses a reversal ring so that I’m photographing through the opposite side of the lens.  It’s a poor man’s macro, but hey, I never claimed to be a rich man. And I don’t know anyone who plays their fiddle on the roof…

A few days ago, I went outside – for what seemed to be the first time in ages – and I found a pinecone.  I know where this pinecone came from – I picked it up WAY back in November 2019 when I did a photo excursion at the Root Glen in Hamilton College.  I took the grounded pinecone as a token of good luck.

Yeah, that’s not working out so well, is it?

Well, I can’t waste this pinecone.  So I set it up in my station, and photographed the top of the pinecone – and got some nice artwork out of it.

Pinecone. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 lens (reversed) on Nikon PB-4 bellows, several shots combined in focus stack. (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

My God, it looks like someone stacked a whole box of cookies in a swirling pattern.  Keep this for Competition Season 2020.  If there IS a Competition Season 2020…

Then I photographed the little seashell that I brought back from Atlantic City in 2018.  That was when the Stir Crazy team – for which I play when there’s World Tavern Trivia Nationals – won our second consecutive national championship.  Now THIS seashell is good luck.

Seashell. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 lens (reversed) on Nikon PB-4 bellows, several shots combined in focus stack. (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Yesterday, I tried to take a walk around the block.  I needed to.  There has to be some sort of exercise in my life.  And flipping the remote to watch Netflix shows does NOT count as exercise … unless Netflix suddenly picked up the rights to the old :20 Minute Workout exercise show.

I hoped there were blooming flowers along the way.  But no.  Just a few remaining mounds of snow and some old, straggly twigs.

I plucked one of the twigs and brought it home.

Okay, let’s see what nine photos, focus-stacked, will do for me.

Twigs. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 55mm f/1.2 lens (reversed) on Nikon PB-4 bellows, several shots combined in focus stack. (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Not bad.  I gotta work on the lighting, but at least it’s something worth gawking at.

Yeah, I’ll keep the pinecone one for Competition Season 20-whenever, and if I find any other flora out there worth capturing, I’ll do it.  Maybe this will keep me from going completely nuts with this COVID-19 situation.

Maybe.