This year I will be mostly... taking a photo every day, and posting it up here for you all to see and comment on if you feel inclined (please do). It's not an original idea, I stole it off a friend and many other people are doing the same as I speak, but I thought it seemed like a great idea to get used to my new toy, my Canon Eos 500D with Tamron 18-250mm Macro lens - my first digital SLR.

A lot of sites online talk about 'project 365' where people are encouraged to take a photo every day, but while their take on it is to create a personal history of the photographer, I wanted to make it a bit more abstract, more about the world around me. So this isn't meant to be a photo diary of my life, I am striving for each photo to be 'good' because of its artistic and technical merit, not because it's personal to me. Having said that personal subject matter will inevitably creep in as inspiration, but that's allowed, the book I'm reading claim that "every picture we take is merely a self-portrait of our inner psyche"!

I had a think of a couple of ideas for themes and settled on 'moods'. Then I was hit by indecision as to what to do if I take a photo I like and want to upload as my daily snap, but it doesn't fit the theme. So I have decided that the theme is just for inspiration rather than as a criteria, the photos can be of anything. That way I get the most flexibility of what to upload, and still have a muse.

While I'll be taking photos every day, I'll only upload them every few days, so keep checking back. I'm not anticipating the photos to be groundbreaking (at least not to start with!), the whole point is to improve so I won't be great initially. But I'll still try my best which will hopefully keep it interesting. Please feel free to add whatever comments you like (hopefully constructive!) as that will help me as much as the process of actually taking a photo a day, I will endeavour to reply to them all.

For my trip reports blog see

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Monday 21st February 2011

With a little bit of research and the help of my friend James at the weekend, I discovered that I can do reverse lens macro with my camera and lens which I'm quite exited about, so decided to give it a go tonight. Reverse lens macro is just what it sounds like - you remove your lens from your camera and turn it round and hold it back in situ, which means you can get achieve magnification levels greater than 1:1 (screen versus size in reality) i.e. items can appear a number of times larger than they are, e.g. 5:1. You must have a filter on your lens to protect it from inadvertant scratching, and there are various other accessories you can buy to make it easier, but you can do a basic test without the extras. It's quite tricky though, as the depth of field (the area of the image that's in focus) is much smaller than normal, so you have to be very precise with focussing, which is hard when you're an inch or two from your subject, hand holding a floating lens while changing the zoom and focus dial, don't have aperture control once you've taken the lens off the camera, and using two head torches jossling for the same space as the end of the lens to cast enough light on the subject. I'd like to experiment with this more taking pictures of insects, so I've ordered a reverse lens adapter ring. For tonight though this beautiful sand dollar served perfectly as a stationary subject. I like the way it looks so abrasive, whereas if you look at and hold it it seems reasonably smooth. The wonders of the world of Macro!

About 35mm (not recorded), 1/100s, about f/11 (not recorded), ISO 1600


  1. That is really, really good for a purely hand-held first effort... plus it makes a very good abstract composition :-)

    Reminds me of the first pictures of the surface of Titan...

    I'd still be careful with the filter thread on the front of the lens when you use it reversed - yours is plastic isn't it? If you're using it off the tripod, support the lens with something like a beanbag. The other danger is to the internal zoom mechanism as the lens changes length when you zoom - its obviously only designed to carry the weight of the elements being moved, not the back of the lens instead! I've got some literature from the last Bradford Photocamp that may be of value to you - are you coming to North Wales on Colin's do this w/e?

  2. Thanks :-)

    I'll be careful, wouldn't want to trash my posh and only lens! My filter is metal, not sure about the thread on the lens that the filter screws into.

    Related literature sounds good ta, and yep I shall be going west this weekend.