20-Day Photo Challenge – Day 1 – Flower Macro

I mentioned in a couple of my Northwoods Journal entries that I have been reading a helpful book titled “Better Photo Basics: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like the Pros” by Jim Miotke. I have really been enjoying this book and will write a full review of it soon. Whether or not I will be able to “take photos like the pros” when I am done is anyone’s guess, although I am guessing no at this point.

Anyway, Step 3 in the book is a chapter with 20 Popular Photo Assignments. One thing I like about this book is that it is for both point-and-shoot cameras – like mine – and DSLR cameras. (Well, my camera is a point-and-shoot with DSLR-type options, so I could actually use some of the DSLR settings.)ย  For each photo assignment, he tells the preferable settings, which is really what I need. Someone to take me by the hand and say, “this is how it’s done.”

It is my hope to complete each photo assignment. I doubt I will be able to do 20 assignments in 20 days, but I hope to post each time I have done one of the challenges and show my results. The first assignment is to photograph a flower close-up. I went out this evening at the “golden hour” hoping for good light, but most of our new landscaping/bird sanctuary is in the front (east side) of the house and thereforeย shaded in the evenings. But still, I came away with six acceptable images. Even though the instructions said to turn the flash off, I experimented using the flash a few times, just for kicks, and one of those images is included in the gallery because I rather liked that way it turned out.

Click on any photo in the gallery to see a larger version.

Please leave me your critique in the comment section below and include any advice you might have to help me improve my photography. Also, if you would like to “play along” doing the challenge, please join me on Facebook by liking 45 Degrees North via the link below and post your photo challenge photo on my page. The more the merrier!ย  Let’s all have fun making photos together! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  (Jim Miotke says we don’t “take” pictures, we “make” them.)

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24 Responses to 20-Day Photo Challenge – Day 1 – Flower Macro

  1. Bob Zeller says:

    I would give you an A on your first lesson. All are fine images, but I think I like your sharp sunflower the best. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Bob! We’ll see how I do on the second challenge, which is to photograph an interesting landscape. My landscape photos always look flat and lifeless, and there isn’t too much “interesting” around here, so I’m not sure how I’ll do on the next lesson!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Carolynn says:

    Beautifully done–my friend! Also, I like the collage-effect of the photos together. Bruce, too is impressed and he’s been photographing flowers for years. Haha, like I haven’t sent you a bunch of his photos over the years. ๐Ÿ˜€๐ŸŒบ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, sweet friend! I think after birds, I like photographing flowers about the best. I’m itching to invest in a “better” camera but am fighting the urge and trying to learn how to use what I have more effectively.


  3. I would also give you an A for this one, very well done!

    The book that you’re reading sounds like a very good one, I wish that I had begun with a book like that. However, I thought that what I had learned back in the days of film would carry over, it doesn’t. Everything was manual back in those days, and there were few settings to change. Digital photography is a whole new ballgame, with so many different settings to use.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jerry! That means a lot to me, coming from you. I could only wish to have a fraction of your knowledge and get images half as good as yours.

      I have really enjoyed this book. It is definitely for beginners and discusses basic things like use of light, depth of field, how to get sharp photos, etc. I like it that he doesn’t use a lot of technical jargon. For example, he will say “use a small aperture (large f-stop number)”. I find that very helpful. He has another book that goes into more depth, which I may buy next.

      I’m having to fight the urge to get a “better” camera. One day I am happy with what I have and my photos, the next day I feel like a failure and blame the camera! LOL But I don’t think Mark would be too supportive of me spending a chunk of money on another camera. I was reading up yesterday on the Canon SL1, which is a DSLR that can use most Canon lenses, but is super-light like my SX50. But then I reminded myself I have to learn to use what I have now first, before getting anything more complicated! The bottom line is that I really want to improve. You and Bob and Kathy give me a lot to try and live up to!!


  4. kathydoremus says:

    Lovely. I think my favorite is the coneflower without flash. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kathy! I sure wish we lived closer to one another so you could teach me some tips on using the SX50. Your images are so amazing. I would love to be able to use my camera as well as you use yours. I have image envy! LOL But I am trying to educate myself and improve as much as I can.


    • Oh yes, I definitely am! I am a big cook and love to make new recipes and feed people. I always say I think my “love language” is food. LOL But whenever anyone compliments a dish I make I usually say something like, “I should have taken it out five minutes earlier” or some such crazy negative thing. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like to say I’m a continually recovering perfectionist.


  5. avian101 says:

    My choice is # 6. Nice pictures Amy! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. tootlepedal says:

    My only flower tip, as if you need one, would be to consider the background as well as the flower. Using the widest possible aperture may help to reduce the impact of anything behind the flower. I liked the Liatris best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Tom, and I appreciate the tip! Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember to look at the background as well as my main subject (this happened today when I was taking photos of my sister’s goats) and I don’t always get the nice blurred affect in the background to block it out.


  7. Tiny says:

    Great job Amy!! I’m not expert on macro, haven’t done too many, but I think this is an A! My favorite is no 6 too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: 20-Day Photo Challenge – Day 2 – Scenic Landscape | 45 Degrees North

  9. Jesse says:

    Love the last sunflower photo! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! That was my favorite, too. Birds & Blooms magazine is having a photo contest – you can enter bird, butterfly, or flower photos. I’m considering whether or not any of mine are contest worthy. I might give it a shot, it doesn’t cost anything to enter!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: 20-Day Photo Challenge – Day 3 – Inspired by Nature | 45 Degrees North

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