Macro Photos of Hollyhocks

Pink Hollyhock Macro Photo

This one is really pretty. I love the pollen? stamens? in the center. They look like little stars.

This summer has been crazy. At the moment my kids are in Seattle with their grandparents, so I’m going to be posting macro shots for awhile. Here are some I took at both my parents’ and my sister’s homes of hollyhocks. Hollyhocks are kind of hard to take macro photos of, because the blossoms are so darn big. However, I did get some neat shots of the centers of the flowers.

In the interest of time, I’ll come back later and put in the photo information. These were all taken with my Canon G12 with my Raynox macro lens. Next week I’ll be back, hopefully with some awesome macro photos from the mountains of north Idaho.

Red Hollyhock Macro Photo

Here’s a red one. I like the green veins that go outward from the center.

Cream Hollyhock Macro Photo

I think this one is my favorite. I like the off-centeredness of it.

Pink Center Hollyhock Macro Photo

Love the pink stamens in this photo. None of the others flowers had these. The lighting wasn’t great, but oh, well.

Whole Pink Hollyhock Macro Photo

Here’s a pretty good one of an entire hollyhock blossom. You can still see some definition in the center of the flower.


Originally posted on


Macro Photos of Hoya Blossoms

Macro Photo of Hoya Blossom

Aren’t they beautiful? Canon G12, macro setting with the Raynox macro lens. ISO 800, f/4.0, focal length 21.46mm, shutter speed 1/30 sec.

Unfocused Hoya Blossom

This one would have been awesome, if it were in focus. I need a tripod.

Hi, all. I’m not sure why I thought that this summer would be relaxed and laid back, or that I’d have more time to blog, because it’s soooo not the case. Between the homeschool convention, my sister coming for a visit, 5th- and 6th-grader church retreats (yes, I survived), Vacation Bible School, sick family members, getting sick myself, birthday parties and getting ready for a 2000-plus-mile round trip drive to my hometown, I haven’t had time for much else.

Anyway, the minute I walked into my parents’ house, I could tell (or more accurately, smell) that my mom’s hoya plant had bloomed. While it’s quite beautiful, I’ve always hated its scent. It smells like sour milk, or watermelon rinds that have been left out for a few days. It’s a very distinctive smell, at least to me. Half my family can’t even smell it. I guess I just have a very sensitive nose. Joy.

The hoya always seems to know when I’m coming, and blooms just for me. It has not one, not two, but three blossoms, in various stages of bloom. Since I finally received my Raynox DCR-250 macroscopic lens, I thought I’d try it out on my old nemesis. Here are a few macro photos of them.

Hoya Blossom 2

G12, macro with Raynox macro lens. ISO 1000, f/4.0, focal length 21.46mm, shutter speed 1/20 sec.

Here’s one of buds that haven’t opened yet. My mom and I think they look like those leather coin purses that you squeeze to open.

Hoya Buds

G12, macro with Raynox macro lens. ISO 800, f/4.5, focal length 30.5 mm, shutter speed 1/50 sec.


Originally posted on


Macro Photos of Bearded Iris

Beard on Purple Bearded Iris

A close shot of the “beard” on the Iris. Canon PS G12, ISO 640, f/2.8, focal length: 6.1 mm, shutter speed: 1/60th second.

Purple Bearded Iris

Purple Bearded Iris in my backyard.

I’ve always loved irises. My mom has had irises for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, we had friends at church whose son cross-bred bearded irises, and we ended up with a lot of his “experiments.” They’re one of my favorite flowers.

Most of the irises I have came from my parents’ house. I had several different colors. But then we moved, and while I dug up irises from all over my yard, I ended up with only a bright yellow-gold. My mom brought me more, but for some reason it took them a couple of years to take hold, and this is the first year I’ve had something other than yellow irises bloom.

I had two beautiful dark purple ones bloom this year. The lighting is so harsh in the first picture. Most of the time the flower is such a dark purple it almost looks black. I never did get a good picture of an entire bloom. Here’s one I took of the inside:

Inside of Purple Bearded Iris

The inside of my Purple Bearded Iris. Kind of psychedelic, huh?

Isn’t this absolutely beautiful? The afternoon light created a glow when it came through the petals. The three smooth petals on the inside look like they’ve been smeared by a finger covered with oil pastels. I also love the spotted parts on the bottom part of the upper petals. I took this photo with my Canon PS G12, ISO 400, f/2.8, focal length: 6.1 mm, shutter speed: 1/30th sec.

Originally posted on


Macro Photos of Bleeding Heart

Bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis), near Nampa, Idaho, April 2012.

Bleeding heart Lamprocapnos spectabilis), near Nampa, Idaho, April 2012.


Ever since I got my new camera, I’ve been itching to take macro photos of the bleeding heart in my front garden. I’m still learning to use my Canon G12, and while these shots are definitely not my best attempts, I still like them.

Bleeding heart, or Lamprocapnos spectabilis (formerly Dicentra spectabilis), is found in the wild in China, Korea, and Siberia. It has a sparse, open form and blooms in late spring with clusters of reddish-pink or white heart-shaped flowers. It is also highly toxic, which is why I never planted it until my girls were old enough to understand that the blooms aren’t candy.

This spot of garden is in the shade until late afternoon, and of course, the day I decide to finally get out there for these pictures it decided to rain right as the shade was gone. When I was finally able to get outside, the sun was far enough down in the sky as to be right in my lens, and I really struggled with it. Also, since it is toxic, I was attempting to avoid touching it (attempting being the operative word–ouch!) which made for some interesting contortions trying to get the camera into position. However, I really like the sparkle of the raindrops on the grass in the background, and the way the sun lit the bleeding heart from behind, giving it a warm glow, is beautiful. I hope you enjoy them.


A closer view of bleeding heart (dicentra).

A closer view.


Originally posted on



Macro Photo of Pussy Willow

Close Up Macro Photo of Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)

Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) near McCall, Idaho, April 14, 2012.

Here’s one of the first photos I took with my new Canon PowerShot G12. It’s a macro photo of the first pussy willow I saw this spring.

I’m guessing that this particular pussy willow is Salix discolor since it’s growing wild in North America, but I could be wrong. For the picture above I zoomed in on the center blossom to show more detail. Here’s the original picture:

Macro Photo of Pussy Willow (Salix discolor)

Here’s the whole picture. Which do you like better?

This was taken with my G12 on the macro setting and Auto everything else. ISO 80, 1/800 second shutter speed, 30 mm focal length, f/4.5.

Originally posted on

The Right Camera for the Job, The Finale

Boxes from containing my new camera.

Oh, the suspense!

Well, after two posts reminiscing about all of my past cameras (which you can read here and here), I’m finally ready to tell you which camera I bought. Here were my criteria for a new camera:

  1. Had to have good macro focus capabilities.
  2. Needed to have good picture quality (better than the average point-and-shoot).
  3. Needed to be a Canon. (Nothing against Nikon or other good camera manufacturers, it’s just that Canon is what I know, which you can see from reading my previous posts.)
  4. Needed to fit into my picture-taking habits, which right now are 30% macro, 70% family/event.
  5. If it has accessories (lenses, etc.) they need to be affordable, taking into account my being a blogger/homeschooling mom for the forseeable future.
  6. Needed to be around $500, unless I wanted to keep saving until this Christmas.

I seriously considered the Canon EOS Rebel T3. It’s right in that price range, and is a good beginner DSLR. However, I ultimately decided against it, because of #4 listed above. I may, someday, really want to concentrate on macro photography and spend money on the best equipment to that end. But for now, I need to balance those needs with those of needing primarily a family camera. In the next few years, a lot of our resources will go toward therapy/services for M-bug, and that’s as it should be. I wouldn’t be able to dedicate the funds toward really good lenses, and that’s what really makes the camera. I might get there someday.

I can hear you now. “What the heck did you get already?” Ok, here it is:

My new camera: a Canon PowerShot G12!

My new camera: a Canon PowerShot G12! I was so excited that I was shaking too much to get a picture of it in focus.

The Canon PowerShot G12! Yes, yet another camera from Canon’s PowerShot line. Canon’s G line of cameras is considered by many to be Canon’s flagship point-and-shoot cameras. The reason I chose it was because it has so many of the custom abilities of a DSLR. Also, I can buy adapter tubes to be able to use affordable filters, a telephoto lens, and most important, a macro focus lens. I can start learning more about ISO, f/stop, aperture, etc., while still letting the camera make those decisions for me, in Auto mode, whenever I need it to. I can even get an attachable flash for it.

My Canon PowerShot G12, and accessories.

My Canon PowerShot G12, and accessories.

No new camera purchase is complete without a few necessary accessories. I also got an SD card, a USB SD card reader, an extra battery, and a small camera case. Later, once I start collecting adapter tubes and other lenses, I’ll get a larger bag for it all.

Ultimately, for me, the Canon PowerShot G12 is the right camera for the job. I can’t wait to start using it!

Originally posted on


The Right Camera for the Job, Part 2

Before I tell you about my new camera, let’s finish our trip down my Camera Memory Lane.

Canon PS A530

My Canon PowerShot A530. Yes, I know it’s backward; I took it in the mirror. 🙂

My next camera was another one that Decoder Man surprised me with. When I was in Seattle visiting family one summer, he surprised me by flying in and whisking me off to Victoria, BC for our 10th wedding anniversary. He also presented me with a Canon PowerShot A530.

On our trip there, I flipped through the manual and noticed the “macro” setting. I couldn’t wait to use this camera at Butchart Gardens. I began taking macro shots of all of the flowers, and was having a grand time. But then, I started getting error messages. Slowly the pictures began to disappear from the memory card. Nooooooo! Turns out that the brand new SD card had a crack in it, and the extra was back at the hotel. Of all the luck!

Lens Cover Issues on Canon PS SD1300 IS

My Canon PowerShot A530 was squinting at little M-bug.

I used this camera for almost four years. It also was a good camera. The only real trouble I had with it was after a trip to the Great Sand Dunes, the lens cover didn’t like to open all of the way on its own. I usually looked through the viewfinder while taking pictures instead of the LCD screen, so I didn’t notice it until I came upon a bunch of pictures that were mostly black. Phooey!

So, in 2010 I put my birthday money toward a Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS. I loved this camera. It was much faster than the A530, and could easily fit in my back pocket or handbag. Plus, it was teal, my favorite color.

Pic of Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS

My poor Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS. May it rest in peace. 🙁

I used this camera for just over a year. Then, last summer, disaster struck. The girls and I were on vacation in Colorado, and we had gone to Mesa Verde for the day with my mom. After waiting forever for our turn to take pictures in front of Spruce Tree House, I gave the camera to Mom so she could take one of me with the girls. When I went to take it back from her, the wrist strap got caught on her ring, and I dropped it. The lens wasn’t able to extend, and just gave me an error message. (It’s ok, Mom! Don’t be sad!)

My mom, Bubbles, and M-bug at Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde, CO.

One of the last pictures my SD1300 IS took: my mom, Bubbles, and M-bug on the way to Spruce Tree House, Mesa Verde, Colorado.

The ironic thing is that I had only just put the wrist strap on for Mesa Verde. I had gone over a year without it, but was afraid of dropping it on the hike into and out of Cliff Palace, which can be a bit perilous. Of course, it would cost almost as much to send it in to be repaired as it would to replace it with a newer, similar camera, so it’s been relegated to its box in a drawer, where I don’t have to think about it. I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.

At this point I had to decide whether to buy a similar camera or save for something higher-end. I decided to save money to buy a really good camera. This meant going back to my A530 for nine months, but I survived. Since I’m the type of person to research every option, I spent many hours poring over reviews and ratings. I decided to stick with Canon, since I know them well, but had a hard time deciding between an entry level DSLR or a very high end point-and-shoot.

So what did I ultimately choose? I’ll let you know next time!

Originally posted on

The Right Camera for the Job, Part 1

I am so excited. I’ve been saving Christmas money, birthday money, and spending money for five months, and I’ve finally been able to buy a new camera! I’ll tell you all about it in a bit.

Kodak Ektralite 10 by Flickr user bbearnes

My first camera: Kodak Ektralite 10*

I’ve had quite a few cameras. My first camera, a Kodak Ektralite 10, I got when I was somewhere around 10 years old. I had it longer than I’ve had any other camera, and to this day when I think of a “roll of film” I think of the Kodak 110 film cartridge, not a roll of 35mm film.

Next was my first 35mm, a Canon Sure Shot 60 Zoom. (I may have actually had one before it, but if so I can’t remember it, so it must not have been that exciting.) I actually had two of these cameras. Did I really like it that much? No, my first one got stolen at my wedding. Can you believe that? We think it probably got set down in all the excitement, and when we were getting ready to leave on our honeymoon, no one could find it anywhere.

Canon Sure Shot 60 Zoom by Sara Glass

My first 35 mm camera: a Canon Sure Shot 60 Zoom (picture by Sara Glass)

So, my dad loaned us his SLR (film, not digital) to take with us. I was a bit nervous, never having used one before, but Decoder Man had been on the yearbook staff in middle school, and had experience with one, so all was ok. I actually enjoyed learning how to focus it, and how clear the pictures were.

Anyway, once I replaced it the Canon Sure Shot 60 Z was a good camera. I took it on my first (and only, so far) trip to Disney World, on every trip to visit family, and to Canada and Alaska when I went on an Alaska cruise.

Canon PowerShot A50 from Canon Website

My first digital camera: Canon PowerShot A50 (picture from Canon website)

When I was about five months pregnant with Bubbles, Decoder Man surprised me with a Canon PowerShot A50 for Valentine’s Day. I was so excited to have my first digital camera. Of course, by today’s standards it was slow as molasses, and had only 1.2 megapixel resolution, but it was awesome at the time. I used this camera until M-bug was about four years old, about six years in all.

I’m sure you’re wondering what camera I got myself for my birthday. Well, I can’t tell you yet. I really wasn’t planning to leave you hanging, but I’m leaving in 15 minutes for a weekend with my girlfriends, and I just can’t tell everything I want to say about it in the time I have left, so stay tuned for Part 2 to find out!   🙂

*Photo of Kodak Ektralite 10 by flickr user bbearnes. See Creative Commons license here.

Originally posted on


Macro Photo of Foxtail

Macro photo of Foxtail

Macro photo of Foxtail, near Durango, CO, August 2006.


This is another of my favorite macro photos. I think the thing I like best about it is the mix of color. The blue of the mountains, green of the foliage, and white of the foxtail itself make for a nice photo. Click to enlarge.

I love how wispy the “tails” look. I took this with a Canon PowerShot A530. Not sure on the ISO, f/5.5, 1/160 sec. shutter speed, 23mm focal length.

Originally posted on

Macro Photos of Wild Onion

Macro focus shot of Alluim acuminatum

Allium acuminatum, near Durango CO, June 2010


Here are two pictures of what I think is Allium acuminatum, or wild onion.  Click to enlarge for the best detail.

The blossoms are so dainty, and the foliage so thin, that I almost passed these by on the hillside. I love the interesting shape of the petals, with their pointed ends. Or are those the sepals? Sometimes it’s hard to tell.


Macro focus photo of Allium acuminatum wild onion

Allium acuminatum, near Durango, CO, June 2010


The thing I like best about this photo is the veining on the outside of the papery sepal. Again, I’m not sure, but if this is what covers the buds before they open, then it’s a sepal.

Both of these were taken on a Canon PowerShot SD 1300 IS. Both had an ISO of 80 and f/2.8. The first photo’s shutter speed was 1/800th of a second, and the second 1/1000.

Originally posted on