179: Close up photography, vacation style

(Pelican hamming it up for the camera.)

When Scott first posted Assignment 12:  Close Up Photography, I was lucky enough to be in Florida where there was no snow, no ice, and plenty of color.

(Hibiscus in the sunlight)

My first thought, which might not be too surprising was:  Flowers!  There were, at the time (and still, no doubt), plenty of flowers blooming in Florida.  But as I walked along the beach I realized there are so many other things ready for their close ups.

(Do you know what this is?)

The rough winds and waves washed to shore a variety of things other than the usual shells and seaweed.  There were pieces of coral, both dead and alive, sponges, man ‘o wars, and even the guy pictured above.  (Figured it out yet?)

(Sea Fan Coral.)

I have a macro setting on my camera.  However, I don’t use it if I don’t have a tripod handy.  Or, in this case, if I’d rather not have my tripod washed away.  Most of the close ups I took on the beach were of things that were taken back out to sea almost as quickly as I could capture them with the camera.

(Dead coral.)

After a great deal of trial and error (because I still haven’t downloaded the manual for my camera, aka the easy way to learn), I found that the best way for me to get decent close ups with my camera when I’m not using a tripod is to put it on the action setting (which takes care of camera shake, to some degree) and zoom in on the object I want to photograph.

(Bits and pieces — shells and coral.)


If I want to get closer than the zoom allows, I crop and, if necessary, sharpen it up a bit.

(Red sea sponge (?) — cropped.)

(Red sea sponge (?) — cropped but not as much as in the previous photo.)

Someday I hope to have a camera that will allow me to try my hand (and eye) at true macro photography.  In the meantime, I am having fun experimenting with the equipment I have at hand.

(Man ‘O War tucked into some seaweed.)

Today’s Outdoor Adventures

You probably want to skip this part of the post if you’re just here for the photo assignment.  There won’t be much to see here anyhow.

Our weather here in the Bogs has reached that confusing, mixed-up stage we go through in spring (and in the fall).  One of the local weather people on television this morning announced, “Rain associated with a cold front moved through overnight.  The high today will be around 62.”

“Well,” I thought, “it wasn’t much of a cold front.”

She followed this announcement with the details for tomorrow’s forecast which included more rain, this time associated with a warm front.  The high will be 49.

Say what?

Seems to me that ought to be reversed.  But I’m not a meteorologist so what do I know?

Today I decided to skip the walk (since I spent time on the elliptical this morning).  Instead, I sat on the deck, soaked up some sun, and watched the grass grow.  Not very adventurous, I know.  But it was lovely, relaxing, and very meditative.

(One more man ‘o war.  Just because.)

38 Comments on “179: Close up photography, vacation style”

  1. ocean1025 says:

    Being that my name is Ocean, I think it’s a no-brainer that I liked these photos.

    I am going to take a guess and say that the “whatzat?” close-up is a crab.

  2. penpusherpen says:

    Wow, I love the Pelican shot, Robin, he’s a beauty and no mistake. Was it a crab? (and I’d guessed that before I noticed oceon1025’s comment… Honest!!) so maybe we’re both right and we can share the prize. No prize? Shucks!!
    What a gorgeous rich blue that man ‘o war is. I loved all the close-ups and I don’t blame you for deck sitting, sun soaking and watching the grass grow, ’tis a very, very worthwhile pursuit. xPenx

    • Robin says:

      Sorry, Pen. Not a crab. But close. 🙂

      Thank you for the lovely comments. The pelican really was showing off. He landed right near me, preened, lifted his wings a few times to show me how big they are, and struck all sorts of poses. He was probably waiting for me to throw him a fish. Poor thing was disappointed (since I’m not in the habit of carrying fish).

  3. As usual, the photos are fabulous, and even more so than usual since I love beach life (and death, in the case of coral). I took photos of jelly fish when we were in Florida, but mine just didn’t turn out like yours.

    Great post, Robin!

  4. The men ‘o war are really beautiful, Robin. Why is that the most beautiful things are sometimes that ones that cause most damage?
    I absolutely don’t like whatever that thing is, and I can’t guess because looking at it scares the life out of me (I’m phobic about all things that have more than four legs and two wings).
    I use the Food mode in my camera to take macro shots, so I guess as long as it works, any mode is welcome!

    • Robin says:

      That’s a good question, SunsetSeaSoul. While I admire the beautiful blue color of the man ‘o war, I don’t want to be in the water with it (or too close to it on the beach as they can still sting while beached and even for a few days after they die).

      The Food mode is probably very similar to what I call the Flower mode on my camera (which is the macro mode).

  5. Beautiful!
    My guess is the 3rd picture is some kind of fish? Couldn’t tell you the name, though LOL
    My favorite is the man ‘o war tucked inside the seaweed, it almost looks cute.

  6. Karma says:

    So much coolness in one post! I just love the pelican’s face. And your mystery shot reminds me of a fish I used to have when I kept an aquarium – it was called a plecostomus. Great algae eater. The man o’ war is pretty cool too! What a vivid blue color.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Karma. 🙂

      I thought for sure you might guess this one, but these things probably have a different look to them in Florida than they do in your area.

  7. SWK says:

    Absolutely LOVE that pelican shot!

  8. Derrick says:

    The pic you asked about is a horseshoe crab I believe!

    Love the macro stuff, I need to get to the beach!

  9. This series of close up shots are so crystal clear, Robin, just beautiful! I especially love the hibiscus, and the Sea Fan Coral is rather stunning as well.

    Oh I rather believe you would have enjoyed watching the grass grow, the emphasis being placed on the fact that you can now actually see what’s been hiding under the snow! 🙂

  10. Barbara Rodgers says:

    My guess is horseshoe crab, too. My favorite is the pelican – what a beauty!! Florida is such a colorful place, and I didn’t know the men-o-war were blue, too! We’re supposed to get 3 inches of snow tomorrow, after our recent delightful foretaste of spring. Oh well, might as well enjoy it…

  11. Bo Mackison says:

    That red sponge looks like it’s from another qworld, or perhaps a sci-fi movie, creepy, but the man of war is a stunning color, and I love the intricacy of the pink coral. You would have such fun a macro lens, Robin. So much potential washing up, then washing away before anyone else see it.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Bo. 🙂

      I usually look for and collect shells on the beach, but this time I decided to collect them with the camera instead of picking them up. I have far too many shells around the house as it is.

  12. Beautiful photos, as always, Pat. Love that blue man-o-war, as long as it’s at a distance. Have no clue what your mystery creature is, but it looks like 2 snail shells are attached on either side – probably not the case though as that would be too easy. I remember the pelicans when I was a kid and we’d go to the Million Dollar Pier in St. Pete – wonder if its even still there. It was before the media’s focus on celebrities so they didn’t preen and prance. They cleaned and caught fish and ate.

  13. Giiid says:

    Robin, I love your close ups. Beautiful colors and interesting surfaces. If I have to choose a favorite, which is difficult, I think it will be the “Bits and pieces”, with the lovely colors and light, but all of them are very pleasant to look at.

  14. What a fabulous series of photos, Robin ! Congratulations for your close-ups. Love that sea fan coral, like a piece of embroidery. The posing pelican is so cute and the hibiscus… a real beauty.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Isa. 🙂

      I found the sea fan coral fascinating. I’d love to be able to go snorkeling someday and see it in the water.

  15. Carsten says:

    An interesting collection of close-up images. It is nice to see that you can express a lot of the Florida beach ‘mood’ in this series.
    I have only seen the warnings for man-o-war, not the little devil itself.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Carsten. 🙂

      There were hundreds of those little devils washed up on the beach the first two days we were in Florida, with plenty of warnings to stay out of the water.

  16. marysquilt says:

    I love the brown pelican and the man of war. All of them are beautiful and very colorful!

    Mary W.

  17. […] enjoyed traveling during my food photography assignment so Robin coming back from vacation with close up photos from a tropical beach was exciting to see.  Thank you for taking time on your trip to do […]

  18. flandrumhill says:

    Robin, I am so impressed by the quality of your images. Each and everyone added to my awe of the natural world in the tropics.

    Is your mystery creature a lobster/crayfish? The little head spines look familiar to me.

  19. […] 179: Close up photography, vacation style (bogsofohio.wordpress.com) › LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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