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Weekend Wanderings – Royal Botanical Gardens Through a Macro Lens

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On Thursday was another Social Snappers Photography Excursion, this time to the Royal Botanical Gardens here in Melbourne.  We had a gorgeous day for it, again, spring has certainly come to Melbourne.  I took the Macro lens with me again and had already decided before I go there that I would probably shoot with it the whole time I was there.  I did.

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I was there just over twelve months ago and while I think there weren’t many flowers out at that time, on Thursday it was an absolute delight and we were greeted by new flowers in every direction we went.  I took so many photos, and it was so wonderful to have the macro lens to take photos with.  Again, I used auto focus with all of these and I was hand holding the camera. The weather being great meant I could get fast shutter speeds.

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The bees were also out in force.  I was surprised to get two bees on the one flower and I stayed there for a while to get them.  The Tamron 90mm macro lens has been fantastic.  I have really enjoyed using it, I have to say if I was looking for an alternative to Nikon or Canon, I would definitely consider it.  It has been great having it, but with only having it for a short time, it also means that I don’t really get time to explore with it or experiment more.  Though, I have used it far more than I thought I would.  I have been finding ways of using it constantly, I think I will miss it a lot when it goes back.

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One thing I think we forget when we use macro lenses is that you can use them as normal lenses as well.  I tried to take shots that weren’t just close ups as well.  I thought it would be good to take some photos of the overall things we saw, and the details.

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There were so many wonderful flowers there, which is hardly surprising when you consider it is the main garden for Melbourne.  It has lots of exotic and indigenous plants.  I probably should have taken photos of the names as well, but I really didn’t think of it.  So you will all just have to enjoy the flowers.

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There were even eels in the water, and they were easy to take photos of.  I hope they were eels.

It was a great first outing for the Thursday Social Snappers Photography Excursion, and we had a great time there.  If you love photographing flowers then the Royal Botanical Gardens are fantastic right now.  You won’t get bored.

Over all, the macro lens has been fantastic, it is fairly light and easy to use. I think it is a great alternative, as I said, to other more expensive macros.  If you really can’t afford a Nikon or Canon macro, then I think the Tamron would do really well. I still don’t have any money for any right now, so I will have to wait.

My weekend is half over, and we are still getting the wonderful weather.  I have a gallery for you, it was very hard to pick which photos to use, so you might see some more in another post. Enjoy your day.

73 Comments
  1. ….. I miss the Bottle Tree. You probably were standing on front of it when you pictured nr. 124 …. (grass, water, shrubs/trees and tower…. 😉
    Beautiful collection of pictures BTW 😀

    Herman 😉

    October 12, 2014
    • I could have been Herman, I don’t know, I was really looking for trees, more flowers, you know macro . . .
      Thank you. 😀

      October 12, 2014
  2. Nice set of photos

    October 12, 2014
  3. Beautiful images and it’s always fun to use a lens in a different way than the “normal” way!

    Tamara

    October 12, 2014
    • I agree Tamara, it really is. Thank you.

      October 12, 2014
  4. magnificent colour!! and detail! I must get me one of those ( macro lenses!!)

    October 12, 2014
    • Thank you Cybele, I gotta get me one too, soon I hope. It is going to be heartbreaking when this one has to go back.

      October 12, 2014
  5. What a great mix of close-ups, plant portraits and landscapes Leanne 🙂 I love the cacti and succulents!

    October 12, 2014
    • I like that term plant portraits, that is what you sort of do, except you don’t say smile. thank you Sarah, the botanical gardens here has a whole new section for them and it looks great. 😀

      October 12, 2014
      • Certainly looks good on my screen! The RHS use the term Plant Portraits for their photo competition and many of their exhibitions. The term just seems to fit 🙂 You don’t have to say smile to a plant, they just do!

        October 12, 2014
      • They certainly do always smile, I couldn’t agree more. thank you Sarah, if I ever get my own macro lens I might have to start looking for plant portraits. 😀

        October 12, 2014
      • Have you looked at the second hand market prices over there? Canon is normally great for finding well priced seconds! Oh and check out the RHS definitions – https://www.rhs.org.uk/Promotions/rhs-photo-competition

        October 13, 2014
      • I have looked here, but I don’t want to get a dud, so looked at places that I knew I could trust, the problem is Nikon second hand lenses can be almost the price of new ones, and they are very hard to find.
        Thanks for the link, I have been checking it out.

        October 13, 2014
      • That’s a shame Leanne! There are a number of very trustworthy seconds dealers here. I have a similar problem in that seconds for Sony are more scarce but there are some good Minolta and Sigma lenses to be found!

        October 13, 2014
      • I think it is best to use a trustworthy dealer too, especially someone who will give you a warranty as well. Scarcity is a problem, but if I get this grant, then I will be able to get it with that, so it won’t be a major problem. Fingers crossed.

        October 13, 2014
      • Quite a number of the good dealerships are doing part exchange now too which is great for when new models come out!! Everything crossed that you do get the grant. When will you hear news?

        October 13, 2014
      • I haven’t heard of they are doing that here, though I find with Nikon, their lenses never really change, and the mounts never change either. I hope so too, mid month I was told so anytime soon I think.

        October 13, 2014
  6. Reblogged this on dunjav.

    October 12, 2014
  7. Incredible shots!!!

    October 12, 2014
  8. Nice series, I love the view inside the bright green flower, the beauty of some flowers is manifold. To much to talk about here.
    But I’m surprised about the exifs, f/22 ok, Iso 800 ok, but 1/800s? There was a backlight or something? Or is the noise from under exposure. I try a lot with my 70 Macro (but with my APS-C)., and I think a quite short exposure time is necessary, because of wind and the moving of insects.
    And I think, sometimes it’s better with short exposure and low iso.
    And second, which lens so you use, your exif says 90mm, Nikon or Tamron?
    Btw I love my Sigma 70, sometime a bit more focal length could be great but so I can use it for other things too, perfect for people, ok, really sharp, you have to pay attention nobody to hurt with. 😉 Too sharp for skin, but the image processing solves the problem. I hope you understand my bumpy English.
    😉

    October 12, 2014
    • Thank you, but I have to ask how you saw what the data was? The noise, or what you percieve to be noise is actually the texture of the plant, it is how the plant was. There was no backlight, just how the sun was hitting it. I was hand holding the camera and lens, so I wanted to give myself the best chance of in focus images, so I upped the ISO to get that. I’m sure you are aware that with macro the depth of field works very definitely and is much shallower than it is normally, so the f/22 was set for that, though I did make it larger during the day, I’m still experimenting with it. There was a lot of wind, well mild breeze really.
      You do what you can in the conditions that you are given, for me that was using ISO800 which on my camera isn’t a big deal.
      The post tells you the lens was a Tamron lens, and Nikon don’t make 90mm.
      I have heard that Sigma do good lenses, I’ve using a 150-500mm which I like a great deal, shame it also has to go back at some stage.Yes I understand you find, thank you.

      October 12, 2014
      • Thanks for your answer.
        I should watch your photo again, I wondered about ISO 800, but yes it’s the texture…. I like this view really.
        I practise a lot with my macro, because of this I’m looking the exifs. Very easy, downloading the photo, then (with windows) right click on the file, then properties (I think, in German: ‘Eigenschaften’), then details.
        I don’t want to waste your time, perhaps an example (you don’t have to look on it…):
        http://autopict.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/beetime-time-to-be/
        I wanted a background with no sharpness, a nearly ‘frozen’ bee and no flash. So the settings were f/9, 1/1000s and ISO 2500 (!). This with my Sigma Macro.
        70 mm on a crop DSLR are like 105 on a FF (like yours).
        So I ask myself, and that’s the real question, is the result with a fullframe better, the same picture with a 100 macro with lower ISO and perhaps f/11 oder f/13?
        I don’t know…For flying insects you can’t use a tripod, it’s a problem.
        Or another example (only when interested…):
        http://autopict.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/garden-party/
        For a ‘frozen’ butterfly (the wings are in motion!) I used t=1/3200s (!), the butterfly was in the evening sunlight, and ISO 1600 and f/6.3-7.1
        It’s really difficult to decide, when you are taking pcitures and suddenly such an hectic butterfly arrives….
        Ok, have a great time, your blog is really inspiring. Thanks for sharing your experience.

        October 12, 2014
      • You’re welcome, the Nikon D800 does really well with ISO.
        I don’t practice a lot because I don’t own one, maybe if I get one one day I will do that, but right now it isn’t possible. It goes back this week.

        October 12, 2014
  9. How beautiful! Love to see us celebrating such different seasons. Happy Weekend!

    October 12, 2014
    • It is so weird, sometimes, but yes, it is great, I will be looking at the northern hemisphere when it is too hot here, hoping photos of the winter there will cool me down. Thank you.

      October 12, 2014
      • My sister escaped the coldest winter Chicago has ever seen last year by working remotely with her fiance in Perth…I used to text her pictures of snow drifts every time she complained about the heat!

        October 12, 2014
      • I remember that and how so many people found it so hard. I hope you will do something similar for me this year.

        October 12, 2014
  10. Great macros. 😀

    October 12, 2014
  11. Stunning photos. I had macro, zoom and wide angle lenses for my old manual SLR in addition to the standard kit lens. Since getting my DSLR six whole years ago, I have been hoping to get an additional lens. It’s yet to happen. There’s always something else requiring the money and, as a hobbyist, I can’t justify the prioritizing of a lens. Knowing that the Tamron offers good quality, however, at least means I don’t need to save enough for the Nikon lens.

    October 12, 2014
    • Were the ones for the SLR Nikon, chances are if they were you could still use them, though you will probably have to do manual focusing though. Things like autofocus often don’t work. I know what you mean though, I don’t treat it as a hobby, but my husband always says to me now when I want something, so how are you going to pay for that? so I have to make enough money, which hasn’t been happening a lot, and yes, the Tamron is a great alternative. so many people seem really happy with them.
      Thanks Papict.

      October 12, 2014
      • Alas, I learned I could possibly convert them to my DSLR only months after I had sold them.

        October 12, 2014
      • Oh what a shame, I hung unto all my lenses, almost sold them because I didn’t think they would work, but I didn’t like the price I was offered, and I was so glad I did, they worked fine.

        October 13, 2014
  12. Di-i-ig!

    October 12, 2014
  13. Amy #

    Stunning macro captures, Leanne! The bees and butterfly, Wow!

    October 12, 2014
    • Thank you Amy, I really like photographing the bees.

      October 12, 2014
  14. Lee #

    Looks like a great place to visit!

    October 12, 2014
    • It is Lee, so many thing to see and photograph. Thank you.

      October 12, 2014
  15. Your photos are stunning Leanne. I really like the ones of the aloe and cactus.

    October 12, 2014
    • Thank you Colline, I think they are in a new part of the gardens, they have done a great job with them.

      October 12, 2014
  16. Fantastic post
    Best wishes to you,
    Aquileana 😀

    October 12, 2014
    • Thank you, and to you as well, all the best. 😀

      October 12, 2014
  17. Wonderful photos again! Bees around the flowers, buzzing everywhere. Spring has certainly sprung. Looks like the weather worked in your favour for the excursion – sunny and not too hot. Didn’t know there were eels in the ponds there, I need to have a closer look next time. I was actually wandering around the Botanical Gardens there around 2pm on my lunch break that day. I might have saw your group, I don’t know. Enjoy the rest of the weekend 😀

    October 12, 2014
    • Thank you Mabel, I loved the bees. The weather was fantastic for our outing, it was so good. How amazing, we weren’t a big group. thanks again, take care, hope you are having a good one too. 😀

      October 12, 2014
  18. Amazing photos Leanne 🙂

    October 12, 2014
    • Thank you so much Irene. 😀

      October 12, 2014
  19. gaiainaction #

    Exquisite !

    October 12, 2014
  20. Beautiful macro shots Leanne! I always always love your photography!! Hugz Lisa and Bear

    October 13, 2014
    • Thank you Lisa, what a wonderful thing to hear.

      October 13, 2014
  21. My parents have been visiting the past few days, just getting a chance to look at these. Ahhh, macro images. My favorite is the succulent, first in the gallery. I love that you get an opportunity to check out how the lens operates and it helps people like me, who don’t have those opportunities to make informed choices.
    Looks like you had your pick of gorgeous “plant portraits” they are beautiful!

    October 13, 2014
    • I saw your email, but haven’t had a chance to respond to it yet Carrie. I love the macro lens, and really want one myself. Though I have never used the Nikon one, so it is hard to compare. I think it is great too that I get to try them out, I like being able to do that for people.
      I certainly did Carrie, and still lots more plant portraits that I haven’t shown. Thanks.

      October 13, 2014
  22. Awesome macro shots Leanne! Beautiful detail. I love the fact that you caught all the little insects, bees and ants that feed on the flowers.

    October 13, 2014
    • Thank you Tiny, I love getting them too, it makes them more about the flowers then.

      October 13, 2014
  23. What a gorgeous set.

    October 13, 2014
  24. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    It was a eel of some kind, not sure which. The cacti are beautiful. 🙂

    October 13, 2014
    • Are there more than one kind Jackie, LOL, I have no idea about these things, I just couldn’t believe they were swimming so close to us. Thank you 😀

      October 13, 2014
      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

        Oh, I’m sure there are more than one kind. It’s like any other creature in the sea like on land; there are all kinds of crabs, whales, shrimp and eels as well. You are right to be concerned because eels can be nasty when they want to. 😀

        October 13, 2014
      • I’m sure you’re right Jackie, just never really thought about eels a lot. REally, I didn’t know that either, they are too much like snakes for me, so I don’t really like them.

        October 13, 2014
  25. Love my macro lens. The shot with the two bees is fabulous!

    October 13, 2014
    • I wish I could say I love mine, hopefully soon. Thank you Julie I really like that one too.

      October 13, 2014
  26. Wonderful shots!

    October 15, 2014
  27. I love cacti, and you took some stunning shots of them. Cheers!

    October 15, 2014
    • Thank you Elen, I love them too, I love their flowers, they are exquisite.

      October 15, 2014
  28. You know how much I love flowers lol and these are just beautiful.
    I have used my macro before to take a portrait of two people. I forgot that was the lens that I had on and snapped the photo. I loved how it cropped in on them and really highlighted parts that would probably have been lost in a wider lens.

    October 15, 2014
    • The macro can be a good portraits lens, I’ve heard that a lot, I can’t wait to get one so I can try it out.
      I think I like flowers too, I really want to work on my garden now so I can have great flowers to photograph. Thank you Suz.

      October 15, 2014
  29. Lovely shots. I’ve often wondered about Tamron. You’ve made my mind up – good quality.

    October 16, 2014
    • I think someone else said that the Tamron lenses can be a bit hit and miss, but I wouldn’t have any problem at all recommending the 90mm Macro, I think it is a great lens.

      October 16, 2014

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