Anyone who has spent time up north is surely familiar with the call of the loon: the sound that signifies summer sunsets, evening campfires, and time spent with friends and family by the lake. I grew up in Minnesota and also lived there for five years as an adult, and all it takes is one high-pitched warble to immediately transport me a thousand miles to the north woods at dusk. I took this sound for granted most of the time I lived up in that part of the country but now, having spent more than a decade living in the sweeping prairie of Oklahoma, I miss it a great deal. And that’s why pictures like the one you see here are so special to me :)
While this might appear to be a loon swimming on a lake, that’s not actually the case at all. This is a small painted-wood replica of a loon, about 1.5 inches from beak to tail, sitting on top of an overturned glass bowl in front of a crumpled piece of aluminum foil.
This is a technique I have used before but never with an actual macro lens, and the results are kind of stunning. At least to me, anyway. I shot this at f/11 but it looks more like f/2.8 because the background is so blurry and the depth of field is razor-thin. That’s the benefit of using a macro lens though, especially a telephone one like the Nikon 105 f/2.8 FL-ED. It lets you get super close to subjects, even tiny things like this little loon, and get amazing photos without the need to zoom in or crop in post. Originally I had not planned on using an overturned bowl but I kind of like the effect, almost like this is a real loon making ripples on the surface of a calm lake.
Incidentally, I got this loon from my mom years ago and I love having it sit on our shelf in the living room–If you’re reading this entry, thank you Mom!
Wes Boyce says
Wow! Amazingly creative image! Love it!
Susan Ringsmuth says
You are very welcome for the loon. The one that I have is an ornament and I just put it on the Christmas tree yesterday.
Jill McKechnie says
Super cool use of your macro lens; I did think it was a bird on water until I took a closer look