Up Close and Pedantic

As is my habit lately, I am attempting to weave the bar conversation around Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Today, Linda is letting us off our chain, as it were:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘your favourite word.’ What’s your favourite word? Write about it, base your post on it, or just write about the concept of having one. Enjoy!”


If we were having a beer, you would be teetering on the edge of giving me a compliment.

“I notice that you’ve been back on the search for the macro mode on your camera.”

“Yeah, that feature has been bugging me.”

“Does the camera actually have a macro setting?”

“It has several macro-ish features.”

“Macro-ish? It’s never easy with you is it?”

“Never easy with Dan? What are you talking about? Dan, how would you like a nicely dressed Corona?”

“That sounds great, Cheryl.”

“See, easy-peasy. Now, what about you?”

“I can be easy too, Cheryl. I’ll have a glass of wine and a snifter of seltzer.”

“Done! Coming right up.”

“Can we start over? You apparently figured out how to take close-up photos – what’s the secret…RTFM?”

“Reading the…manual was involved, but it wasn’t that simple.”

“One Corona, one Meiomi and a snifter of seltzer. I hope it didn’t involve the standard male approach to problem solving.”

“Thanks Cheryl, for the beer, but what exactly is the standard approach?”

“Take it apart.”

“No, I didn’t take it apart. I did take a lot of pictures, though.”

“How hard can it be?”

“It shouldn’t be hard at all, but 90% of my close-up pictures were blurred.”

“Blurry.”

“Huh?”

“I think you wanted to say blurry, not blurred. I’m sorry for being pedantic; words are a thing with me. Please, continue.”

“OK then, as I was saying, most of my close-up attempts would end up – blurry – even though, it appeared that they would be nice images.”

“What does that mean? I mean, it’s a digital camera, right?”

“It is, and I would get the image looking good in the preview, but it would turn out to be blurry.”

“Oh, that makes a difference.”

“What are you talking about? What difference?”

“If the camera was doing something to the image, blurred was the right word.”

“What difference does it make? They mean the same thing.”

“Yes, but there are slight differences. You can usually use either one, but not in all cases.”

“Geeze, listen to you two, arguing over grammar. When does football start?”

“Three months, Cheryl. Say, you take wonderful close-up photos. Has it ever been a problem getting the focus right?”

“I love macro photography. You might be trying too hard with the focus, depending on what surrounds your subject, you’re going to have some blur – if I’m using that word correctly – but I love that effect. Anyway, I was just wondering if you boys want some food, or if you need another round. “

“If my young friend is interested, I would like a pizza today.”

“Pizza sounds pretty good.”

“Two smalls or do you think you can agree on one large today?”

“We can’t even agree on blurry or blurred. I don’t think there’s any hope for pizza toppings.”

“Give us a minute Cheryl. I think we can settle this.”

“The blurred thing…or the pizza?”

“The pizza.”

“While the old man figures this out, Cheryl, it seems I do need another beer.”

“Finally, a clear thought from one of you.”

“Speaking of clear…what’s the secret solution to your camera problems?”

“Apparently, the macro feature doesn’t work in all shooting modes.”

“Isn’t there a button, or an indicator?”

“There is a button and an indicator, but it doesn’t always work. Also, sometimes, the macro feature is turned on by default.”

“What, when the camera sees a bug or a water drop?”

“No, when you choose close-up mode, or one of the portrait modes.”

“So why do you even need a button?”

“The button works at – some – other times.”

“Here’s your beer. Did you guys decide on a pizza?”

“I suggest a large pie with just pepperoni.”

“That’s sounds good to me.”

“Wow, you guys actually agree on something. I’m going to put that order in now, so you can’t change your minds.”

“At the risk of setting off one of your long-winded explanations, if you know all of this about your camera, why has it taken you three years to get decent close-up pictures?”

“It’s complicated.”

“Duh.”

“Even if you’re in close-up mode, or have the macro button on, the feature is disabled at certain zoom levels, and it only focuses within a certain distance from the subject.”

“So if you move the zoom…”

“…or the camera.”

“Pizza’s in. This Corona has found a lime, and you need to set the AF Lock on your camera.”

“The what?”

“AF – Auto-Focus – tell it to stay focused on your subject.”

“How do I do that?”

“RTFM.”

“Thanks Cheryl. That may be the missing piece of this puzzle.”

“Well, I’m glad you figured that out.”

“I didn’t know you liked my close-up shots.”

“It’s not that.”

“What then?”

“If you’re taking close-ups, you aren’t taking pictures of Hartford from that boat dock.”

“Speaking of which, I got some great ones of Hartford in the fog yesterday.”

“Hartford? Blurry?”

“Yes, blurred by fog.”

“Correct! You catch on fast.”


Today’s gallery has a few more attempts at close-up photos and some of my old favorites. Be sure to check Cheryl’s site – she’s made those hush puppies and will be posting later today.

73 thoughts on “Up Close and Pedantic

Add yours

  1. I think you have a money maker here – t-shirt with RTFM on it. :-) Love the macro shots – looking good. Maddie looks like she is pretty content with the warm weather. I love the Korean Dogwood. Can you tell me approximately how tall it gets? I’ve been looking for a dwarf dogwood, and the prices are out of my budget. Happy weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I could wear that t-shirt at work. People are always asking for help with things they should know or could easily look up.

      That Korean Dogwood is about 6-8 years old. They grow slow and top out at about 20 feet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Over at John’s, I chose the word ‘money’ so i could buy his copyright fella in the story. I think that word would work out here too! The ‘money’ could buy the beer and pizza and even a camera with an easy macro mode (because I have trouble finding it on my camera too!!).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. When you figure it out – come by and teach me mine!! I’ve taken 5 pictures of the books I need to add to my YTD library and each one is blurrier (did I use that right) than the last!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to go look that up (again), Pam. I think I look that word up every time I see it and then say “oh, that’s right.” I’m glad you like the dandelion. I know some people don’t like seeing them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL – love the RTFM! Does AF really work best for you? I’ve found that M works best and I adjust the ISO…but I’m no pro, and I just enjoy the fun of just playing with the camera in manual mode to see what happens. Happy macro-shooting to you!

    1. Thanks Shelly. I have been playing with the focusing options. The camera has a mind of its own, and it seems to enjoy thwarting my efforts. My daughter would tell me to use manual mode more often. Actually, for most of these close-up, I could go inside and grab my old DSLR, the last camera where I truly understood the manual settings. I don’t carry it because of the bulk and weight.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. It’s a learning experience I should have started earlier. The mud and the logs were interesting because I had been there as the logs floated in, did their damage and got hung up in the park’s features and when the river rose and flooded the parking lot. It’s a tough place to have a park.

      Whenever I see fog over the city on my way south, I hope it hangs there until I can cross the river and get to the park. It’s amazing how many times it burns off before I get there. It’s only a few minutes, but sometimes, that’s all the time the sun needs to ruin my picture.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. That’s the natural progression. You’re going to get good at doing macros with that camera and one day you’ll demand something out of it and find you’ve hit the limit, and will need something else.
            I outgrew my first DSLR in 7 months, but stayed with it for a year and a half before moving up.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. This was the third attempt to get a point & shoot that would give me most of what I liked about my DSLR. What I didn’t like was carrying it. Also you can’t bring it into a professional sporting event. I wanted something I could stick in my pocket. But, you give up a lot for that.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. A timely article about improving your Macro photography arrived in my email this morning. I’m not sure if you subscribe to any Photography sites, but this one is good for teaching techniques to improve your photography.

              Two tips I do not regularly use, one b/c I almost always am on a tripod, the other is using Live View for macro photography.
              When I began to use it for my Landscape photography I have seen improvement, so will add it to macro photography.
              Something not mentioned that helped me: Adding a macro rail to my kit – that helps me get critical focus! I don’t always take it though it’s a big bulky item.
              Here’s the link to the article.
              https://digital-photography-school.com/5-camera-settings-macro-photographers-should-know/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DigitalPhotographySchool+%28Digital+Photography+School%29

              Like

  4. RTFM is going to be the new OMG or LOL! They all get blurred, or is it blurry, after a while!

    Love the Korean Dogwood. Your close up shots look great to me, especially of Maddie. You would never have time to get a close up of a dandelion in my yard because I pop those bad boys out as soon as I see one. Lol.

    Hope you and the Editor and your hairy kids get to enjoy a relaxing and/or productive weekend.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. It’s hot and sticky here, but I have some work to do. Maddie and I had our walk, before 7:00am to beat the heat. She’s comfy. We’ll probably end up sitting in the shade this evening. The korean dogwoods have bland blossoms, by comparison to our other dogwood, but they really are pretty.

      Like

  5. RTFM… something I am loathe to do. I want to watch someone do then do it myself. I hear ya’ with that close-up setting on your camera. Sometimes if you hold the button down (but don’t press it all the way), it works. The mushrooms look great! As does Maddie….but she never takes a bad picture. Have a good weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. I use the “press and hold” method, but I guess that works or doesn’t work, depending on the AF setting. I’m learning, and it’s fun trying and sharing the attempts with you guys. Honestly, the manual wasn’t all that helpful. When I see phrases like “does not work in all modes” with no further explanations, I just shake my head.

      Like

  6. Mmmmm….pepperoni pizza….oh! Thanks for the plug. I will be posting my puppy venture later. I do love those river shots. Wow. That’s a lot of mud. There was hail in parts of Georgia last evening. 🙈
    The zoom for macro is my favorite methos although, as you stated, it can be tricky. I keep toying with the idea of a macro lens; but the guys at the camera store always talk me out of it, saying it is essentially a waste of my money. Love your flower shots, espcially that yellow one! Very nice. And I always have my rapid fire multi shots option on so that if I am photographing something I don’t want to miss, I can fire off half a dozen shots and at least one will be good. The worst thing that happens to me in zoom is when shooting a moving target where other moving things are around and it keeps trying to focus to the point I lose the shot. Thankfully, not too often. Have a great weekend Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cheryl, and thanks for the input. The AF lock did help with that flower. My first attempt failed, but I changed the setting for the one you like.

      I don’t have as many options as I did when I carried a DSLR, but I have my camera with me way more often now, so I think it’s a good trade off.

      Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Based on these photos, I’d say you’re getting a handle on this macro thing. They all look pretty amazing to me.

    Now I have to admit I’ve never used my macro mode. Nor have I ever explored off AF mode. I feel you nudging me out of my comfort zone …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joanne, Frustration nudged me. I had so many photos that I was sure were going to be amazing, and they were just fuzz. I’m no expert, but at least I have options now.

      Like

  8. Pizza? Am in the right place? :-) I thought I’d stop by before I have to head into work. Maybe it’s that I got up early, but it took me a moment to figure out what RTFM meant. I’ve been know to take macro photos with my telephoto lens…from a distance. :-) My iPhone take pretty good macros, too, but I do have a macro lens for my Nikon and really need to figure out how to use it. So many things, so little time.

    Happy Saturday, Dan!

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet. We mix up the menu based on where the story goes. The discussion seemed to fit our ongoing pizza battle better than wings. Linda says no editing and limited planning, so just trying to follow the rules. Learning all this stuff does get in the way of having fun 🙁

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Never RTFM before that second cup of coffee. Glad you have mostly figured out your camera. I am enjoying all of those macro and non macro shots this morning. Rhododendrons, dandelions, and bunnies oh my ! If I say that ten times fast it might finish waking me up. And yes water drops and daylilies. Not a bad start to a Saturday.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ah, yes, the RTFM. It’s the bane of the male species. “Who needs a manual? I can do without! How come I have six extra screws? Why doesn’t this camera work right?”

    I agree with Judy…you need a T-shirt.

    Good luck with figuring out the macro workings of your camera. Since I don’t have a fancy camera, I can’t offer any suggestions except to RTFM and keep trying. Have a great weekend, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wait… we are supposed to read that paper thingy with all the teeny print? There is a reason there is an “F” in RTFM, you know. Anyway, I too often try to learn on the fly, which never works well. I think you have inspired me to play with my DSLR in my backyard first to try to master macro before I attempt a shot that I really want to get right. It seems that you’ve figured it all out… your macros are quite nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – yes, I was trying to keep the bar banter family friendly. Most of these pictures lately are from my back yard – without Maddie – although I like being able to blame her for jostling the camera. Thanks for the nice comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Dan, glad you got some great macro shots. I gave up on cameras years ago. It’s iPhone pics from now on. But, I admire your persistence to figure out the workings of a real camera. I like dandelions too! And all your close up flower shots. Of course, Maddie’s the favorite! Happy weekend! 📚 Christine

    Liked by 2 people

  13. RTFM is a good one. I think I might enjoy photography, but I don’t think I’m prepared to RTFM or buy things I don’t understand, so you know, I stay a clicker and shooter.
    SO GLAD you do the things though :)
    It took me 8 shots to get a decent, DECENT, capture of my macarons today. Just macro-ing with my hands and an iPhone. lol I think about what Amy Rose does with macros, and I shrug. We all have our things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I keep trying to force my iPhone camera out of ‘live’ mode, but it keeps re-enabling it. I read more than I want to about that. No solution, but others have the same problem. The instructions from Apple don’t work as they say.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Dan, your troubles are over. Would you care to have some macro tips? Sit back and enjoy for I will for FREE do that very deed. Does your camera have a manual focus option? If so use that to bring your object of focus in clear. That way the camera’s eye won’t shift. It gets tricky with AF especially when there are leaves and such around the object you are photographing. Does your camera have a center focus point? Use that ONLY for macro shots. If you have a touch screen without manual focus, touch your screen on the object you want clearest and keep your hand steady (same goes if you have manual focus) while you get to suppress the shutter button. There is a lot more thought involved with macro shots then first conceived. Either way you go, manual or AF, use ONLY the center focus point. Using other focus points will make your camera’s eye shift to a place you don’t want it to. Have I made sense? Your mushrooms …. A+! You’ll get the hang of this for I have faith in you! LOVE the expression on Maddie’s face … just precious! Your flowers pictures are gorgeous which in turn will spurn me on to show the many many many flower pics I just shot alone today. This time of year keeps me running …. especially this year when everything is flowering so fast then dropping even faster. GREAT post and great writing! Truly enjoyed being here today! Thank you! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy. I appreciate the advice. The only option I do have is to use the center focus point. There is no manual focus option. Of course, I have a camera that does have that option, and I could go inside and get it, since most of these were taken in the yard, but…

      Learning how the AF Lock works with the different shooting modes seems to be important with this camera. Every feature doesn’t work the same in every mode. I need more practice, but I’m much less frustrated than I was two weeks ago.

      I do enjoy looking at your macro work, especially those beautiful flowers.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Loved the pictures, especially the Maddie one and the yellow flower one. I liked the conversation because sometimes I and Sarah get into it as well. I and Sarah both love photography, now she has moved into videography as well. However, back in 2012 when we decided to buy a good camera for our hobby and travel website we had no clue of the terminologies. So, I spent hours and days learning things on YouTube about what is what and what camera is good for us based on our usage and what not. The modern cameras as good but they come with tons of features and options which can be overwhelming for new users, especially if you jump from point and shoot to DSLR or semi-DSLR.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be a daunting learning curve. I have a DSLR, but it’s heave to carry and I can’t take it as many places as I can take the point and shoot. Many of my problems stem from the fact that the camera is doing something “for me” that I don’t understand.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. May I ask the DSLR model you have? Just curious, you know. I always wanted a DSLR but in 2012 I decided to buy a Bridge Camera to help me learn a few more tricks and eventually graduate to DSLR. Now, the time has come, but I need to wait until I have a budget.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Great. Olympus is a great brands. I have my eyes on Canon 80D, which is also an old model but it covers all my needs. I think Canon should rename it in India and call it 80K because that’s the market price for it (without lens). With kit lens it totals up to 108K.

            Liked by 1 person

  16. RTFM… Ha! Love it. Too bad most of them are written in Mandarin, then translated to English by someone whose native language is Egyptian and then edited by someone else who speaks Lithuanian.
    Blurred or blurry would be an improvement for my photos… they usually feature my thumb.
    Happy Saturday, Dan. Enjoy Father’s Day tomorrow. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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