Yesterday I took a well earned break from sitting in front of the computer getting my new
gallery shop website live and took a drive to a local council park which has a wonderful walled garden at its heart.
Things didn’t go entirely as planned. While I was selecting the equipment to take with me I picked up my Manfrotto Carbon One 441 tripod and, as usual, checked it over carefully. Unfortunately one of the leg sections had completely seized up, likely due to not having cleaned it carefully enough after my last sandy and salty expedition to a beach. I spent about twenty minutes working on it but it remained firmly seized and I needed to leave as the gardens have limited opening hours. So off I plodded with all the kit I normally use for garden photography apart from what is probably the most fundamentally important tool for such work – my tripod.
The weather was so lovely compared to, well, the previous several months frankly, that I decided it would still be useful to practice and develop my garden photography skills even though I knew I wouldn’t gain useable photographs from it. There’s a very simple reason for this. I love doing macro work with small delicate flowers and when you use a macro lens, held between 30cm and 50cm from the flower, the depth of field (amount in focus) is measured in millimeters so the tinest movement as I take the photograph means what I capture is not what I set up. Seriously, you try not wobbling by even a few millimeters while crouching, on one knee and leaning to the side … I can’t imagine what the people walking past me must have thought.
Anyway, it was a thoroughly enjoyable session despite not gaining useable photographs. Being in a beautiful location with top quality camera kit to play with and developing skills that will be useful in the future… with a working tripod… is a very rewarding experience.
I’ll leave you with a few photographs which, while not what I want, at least show what I was aiming for and will get next time with a tripod. I think I’ve probably mentioned that part enough by now.