A run in the woods

We drove up to Mugdock Wood for some fresh air and to let Lola tire herself out. Both a bit fragile and tired, partly down to a bit too much Rioja on Saturday night and partly down to the time of the year and the ‘wear and tear’ of work. We really need a holiday to recharge the batteries. The weather wasn’t great, very dull and grey with the odd flurry of snow. So my lack of inspiration was matched by my bland surroundings.

I decided to put my 100mm macro lens on the camera and restrict myself to look for ‘intimate’ images in the landscape, forcing myself to move around to compose rather than being lazy with the usual zoom. Very frustrating to start with, as I wanted to switch to my wide angle zoom on various occasions, but I persevered. Halfway through the walk, I started to think I would return without taking a single image.

But the approach paid off well as you can (hopefully) see from this set of images. Not only did I start to see opportunities in the chaotic forests for close ups, I also started to experiment with small apertures and shallow depth of field of the lens. Although I had the tripod with me, I happily took all these images handheld at ISO 800 and shutter speeds of 1/30 or thereabouts, certainly testing Canon’s acclaimed four stop Image Stabiliser to it’s full.

This is the first time I’ve really tried this lens in the field, and wow, I’m well impressed. Not only does it deliver outstanding images in the ‘studio’ for macro photography of jewellery (the main reason for buying this lens in the first place), it is proving to produce very sharp intimate landscapes and, more surprisingly, very sharp action shots. I’m bowled over how well the autofocus snapped on instantly with these two grab shots of Lola at full speed.