This week’s photo is a bit different from most of the pictures I have posted here on Weekly Fifty over the years. It’s the result of some experimenting I have been doing lately with a set of close-up filters. These, to be precise. Ever since my cousin Beth got an Olloclip which basically turned her iPhone into a macro photography machine I have wanted a similar solution for my DSLR. Unfortunately, actual macro lenses range in price from “Impractical” to “Not a chance” for most hobbyist photographers like myself, so until recently I basically found myself left out of the close-up photography party altogether. I had investigated various solutions like extension tubes and lens reversing rings, but they all seemed kind of expensive and more than a bit impractical for someone who just wants to play around with macro-style photography on occasion. I had heard of close-up filters before but never given them much thought until I realized that, for just about the cost of a pizza or two I could at least get something that would let me try this type of photography. If it worked, great! If not, no big deal. So I bought a set and kept my expectations low.
My goodness, were they ever exceeded. By a very long shot.
I explain more about what close-up filters do and how they work in an article I recently published on Digital Photography School, but the gist of it is they let you use any regular lens to focus on things that are super close. Super duper close, to be honest. The pocket watch you see above is about the size of a silver dollar in real life, but it filled the entire frame of the picture thanks to a +10 filter that I attached to my 50mm lens. It’s kind of unreal how well these little screw-on filters work for taking non-professional good-enough macro shots, and after using them for a while now I can confidently recommend them to anyone who is looking for something new and fun to try.*
On a side note, this watch was the one I wore when my wife and I got married just over ten years ago which is one reason I’m using it as this week’s picture. It’s sort of a commemoration, if you will. My three brothers served as my groomsmen and we all had identical pocket watches, and even though I don’t exactly wear mine on a regular basis I like to take it out from time and reflect on that special day. Of course I have plenty of other tangible reminders of my wedding day around me constantly, but it’s fun to get out special objects, totems, and trinkets like this from time to time (har!) as they help conjure up fond moments from days gone by in a unique way. It sure has been an incredible decade, and if my wife is reading this, I love you and our two little boys so very much. Thank you for being my beautiful bride, and here’s to many many more years of being your hubsand :)
*If you do want to purchase some filters, make sure they fit your lens. Check the thread diameter on your lens first, which will likely be something like 52mm or 58mm, and then get filters that will fit that size.