Fly and Grasshopper, Ottawa

It sounds like an Aesop’s fable, doesn’t it?  Cue the deep voice over . . .

The Fly and The Grasshopper

Was there a moral to this tale?

With my aforementioned new DSLR, I was trying out my macro lens.  Whereas I had always enjoyed taking extreme close-ups with my point-and-shoot cameras over the years – often exceeding the limits of the focusing distance – I had never learned how to adjust depth of field.

So there I was, in the community garden, more or less nose-to-nose with cooperative subjects.

Face-on macro shot of fly on daisy
The Fly


Grasshopper close-up
The Grasshopper


As I struggled to get sharp shots with a hand-held camera, twitchy subjects, and teeny tiny bursts of breeze, I began to wonder  how anyone produces those amazing macro shots I see all over the web.  All.  Over.

Talking to knowledgeable folks, I learn about tripods, monopods, and delay shutter cables (OK, something like that) to improve the steadiness of the photographer.  I learned about putting tiny subjects into the fridge for a few hours, to reduce their jumpiness, with the added benefit of moving the entire shoot indoors, to eliminate the breeze.

I learned that I probably don’t have the temperament (or the spare fridge – those guys aren’t going in beside the hummous!) to be an amazing macro photographer.

But I also learned that I don’t have to be amazing at something to enjoy doing it.

Good thing!



  1. I love being able to see with your camera eye what my own eyes could see when I was younger. My mind is awakened with youthful thoughts. And I refuse to be disillusioned by the icebox revelation — what artist does not use multiple techniques? Good thing, indeed!

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – I love being able to see, and the camera gives me that needed nudge. I don’t think I will move to bugs in the fridge (or freezer! Yikes for the bug!), but that’s more about being squeamish than anything else.

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