Saturday, January 22, 2011

Macro-in-a-Mason Jar

Wow, try saying that five times fast!

20101027_ps[1]-David Perry-opening photo

I've been saying it over and over since I first heard of the contest being sponsored at Gardening Gone Wild. It's a rather catchy phrase, quirky sounding, even. David Perry, the judge for this months contest, is known for his brilliant creations and concoctions on A Photographer's Garden Blog. But what does it mean, this 'm-i-a-m-j'? Well, exactly what it implies. Placing and photographing something (or some 'things') in a mason jar (or other similar glass container). Theoretically any camera can be used as long as it is capable of balancing the camera on the rim of the jar (or glass container) with the lens inside when in the 'on' mode. This method allows us to use a point and shoot camera, to create a 'macro view' that might be just as nice--or better--than what a more expensive macro lens on a more expensive digital camera might be able to produce using a tripod. Of course, David allows SLR cameras with macro lenses to be used in the contest, too, so it's up to each person to come up with their own plan. But I thought I'd try my point 'n shoot for this experiment, to utilize the little 'flower' symbol that serves as the macro setting...a setting I have to admit I had never tried before!


This past Tuesday was the day I chose to do some experimentation with this concept. It was an icy day outside as we'd had some sleet and freezing rain during the night, and everything was in a slightly frozen state. I had spent some time earlier taking some icy photos for a post entitled Now That's an 'ice Picture! I gathered up some goodies from the yard (ie): rose hips, nandina berries, dried agastache, echinacea and rose blooms and some acorns.

This is the glass canister that I first used to collect the garden materials...I've only included it here for  continuity.

I didn't do any particular arranging once inside the mason jar...I simply dropped the stuff in. One thing I did do, however, was place the jar in a blue glass bowl, filled with water. I was curious about the effect I might get. Around the edges of the container I placed the dried agastache blooms, some of the berries and rose petals.


I shot photos from various angles above and from the sides, first using my SLR camera with the regular--not the macro--lens attached. I never did actually think to try this using my large macro lens...that might have been interesting to compare.







Then I took shots using the Canon point 'n shoot. I varied what was placed underneath the jar and bowl just to see what results I could get. (I never thought to do that when I was using the SLR camera, so again, can't really do a full comparison).

Here, the mason jar is placed in the bowl filled with water and plant material, resting on a red place mat:


Here is the mason jar alone, on the counter top:


And here, the mason jar has been placed on an orangey/red Fiesta Ware plate:


Finally--the shot that my daughter told me looks the best, and which I at first chose as my entry in the contest-- the mason jar sitting on top of the red place mat. I had a hard time making a decision so I thought if I asked my daughter, it might help me.

My daughter nudged me toward this photo (above)...

...but I finally had to go back and choose this photo (above) because it was originally my intent to include the blue bowl  filled with water, and I want to be true to that. *I do think the lighting could have been improved in this one, however.

There is still time to try this out for yourself and contribute your work...the deadline isn't until midnight on January 24th...this coming Monday. Even if you aren't inclined to try it, you owe it to yourself to check out the extremely creative submissions at the Gardening Gone Wild website. It's always fun and entertaining, as well as a true educational experience, to visit!

Today I'm thankful to have had my daughter home from college for the weekend, as she helped me to think about my 'intent' for this project.

1/30/11: Congrat's to the winners! (I consider them all winners). I always find it interesting to see things from a judge's perspective.


Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble
Written by Jan @ http://www.thanksfor2day.blogspot.com/ Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.

29 comments:

  1. Jan, Love the shot you picked! Your daughter was right! Well done!

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  2. How mice to do that I gone try my self the results are splendid !!!
    Jacky

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  3. Well done, Jan. Very interesting idea.

    donna

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  4. Jan this is good...I tried but lost the patience...love the one you chose!

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  5. Thank you all. I am not sure I chose the correct one...but then again, there probably isn't a 'correct' one. It's all in the eye of the beholder, as most things in life seem to be;-) If you haven't tried it though, it's fun, and well worth the 'experience':-)

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  6. Oh yeah, I knew yours would be excellent. I even tried food coloring in the water ... that was interesting too. Good Luck! I'm glad you have time with your daughter.

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  7. I couldn't decide on the right one to submit for the contest and I asked my daughter for help as well. LOL! However, I am sure your daughter picked the right one. All the best!

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  8. Thank you for showing us the comparisons, Jan. I'd like to try this, but am slow in getting it done. :-)

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  9. What a clever idea for a photo contest. I like your daughter's pick but they're all very cool. Good luck!

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  10. Those are stunning. I'm going to try that.

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  11. They are so pretty Jan! I am enjoying seeing these posts and how everyone is so creative. Love the red berries in your jar.

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  12. What a fun project. I hope you win. Maybe I'll give it a go myself...

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  13. How pretty! I wanna try!

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  14. pretty shots! I love your wintertime material. Enjoy the weekend with your daughter!

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  15. Amazing and informative! Love the results!

    Enjoy the weekend!

    Freda

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  16. I haven't tried this technique yet, but your great shots, along with everyone else's, really has me intrigued. Hmmm, should I try it?

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  17. Hi Jan,

    These photos remind me of kaleidoscopes...very creative and fun way to utilize a mason jar. I want to give this technique a try...just for fun.
    I think your daughter chose well!
    Good luck to you with the photography contest!

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  18. Wow! How creative you are, Jan! Love especially the pink one chosen by your daughter. The background reminds me of a baby's smocked frock...simply beautiful and mystifying that you were able to get such awesome results from your concoctions! All the best to you in the contest!

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  19. Wow - what a genius idea! All the photos are great but the one you picked is stunning! Good luck!

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  20. Ok, now I know I understand that meme...saw it elsewhere and wasn't sure.
    Love all your colorful shots.
    Must be hard to judge. Are there different categories ?

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  21. Hi Jan,
    Looks like you had a lot of fun, too. I like your entry!

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  22. Hi, Jan. That is a wonderfully creative arrangement. Love that blue bowl for the background. I think you've interpreted the theme well.

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  23. Jan, thank you for your comment on my photo. I really enjoyed your photo and the flowers you chose.

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  24. Hi Jan, what an intriguing idea, and you obviously had a lot of fun with it with great results. I personally like the one on the red place mat, but they are all good. So you ended up submitting a photo made with your point and shoot rather than with the SLR?

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  25. Hi

    Thanks for the comment on my entry. I love the vibrant colours in yours. It'll be fun to see what David Perry makes of all of these!

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  26. I've always wanted to try this project ... you did good, girl :) Good luck!

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  27. Jan, these are just soooo fantastic; cheery and colourful and wonderfully whimsical. I wish you the very best with this one--I had no time to participate but I've enjoyed seeing some of the entries, and am glad I'm not judging this competition...

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  28. Good Morning Jan. I love your kaleidoscope effect! Beautiful! Best of luck!

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  29. The photos are just gorgeous! What a neat idea!

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Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment! Please enjoy your TODAY and all of the gifts in YOUR garden of life!

Jan

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