Spring in the Woods

Spring in the Woods

Having the day off after the crazy week we’ve just had at work, and as Jackie is in Florida and Crisp is in class (and it is Earth Day), I headed off to the woods with the dogs and a few ideas about photographing the burgeoning flora.

I took my newest lens, a massive Russian beast that is not actually vintage, but is a vintage design. It is the Helios 40-2, and 85mm lens that opens all the way up to f/1.5 and has some awesome bokeh! You can get vintage versions of them, but as they started making again them I went for a new copy rather than take a risk on bidding for one on eBay. I got one with the M42 mount so it can be used with the same adapters as all my other vintage glass, and today I paired it with a special adapter that not only lets it mount on my Sony A7iii, but also acts as an adjustable extension tube- a focusing helicoid. What this does is allow you to physically move the lens further away from the sensor in the camera, dramatically reducing the focusing distance and turning any lens into a macro lens. I thought that combining that with extremely shallow depth of field of an f/1.5 lens might produce some fun results- and I was right 🙂

As you can see from the above shot, I also used a portable LED light to allow me to use low ISOs and fast enough shutter speeds to freeze the action and put the light where I wanted it on this overcast and slightly windy day. I was having lots of fun until an unexpected rainstorm forced me to pack everything away into my (thankfully waterproof) backpack. But my two patient assistants were quite happy to complete the walk in the rain, so of course I have to finish with a couple of pictures of them 🙂

Maybe I’ll have time later in the week for another photo walk …

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