Got Rust?

Yesterday I nurtured my creativity taking a completely different type of photography.  Instead of nature, I took industrial shots – rust to be specific.

I’m taking a class on close-up photography from Bryan Peterson through the Perfect Picture School of Photography (PPSOP).  Bryan Peterson is also the author of the book, Understanding Exposure.  I got a lot out of the book for both basic and advanced techniques for using the aperture, time, and manual settings on my camera.

Last week’s assignment was to take close-up nature shots using macro photography equipment.  I posted some of my homework here.   The beagle head shot was done with a macro lens.  Isn’t the detail incredible?  I used both a 100mm and 180mm macro lens for those photos.

This week’s assignment was to take close-up industrial shots, again using macro photography equipment.  All of these shots were taken with a 100mm macro lens.

Of course, since I mostly take pictures of nature, dogs, and my daughter, I was a bit stumped for where to go for these kinds of photographs!  My favorite boy toy suggested Hollywood Cemetery, which is where I took the gate latch and the fence.  While out during my lunch walk, I realized that Brown’s Island also had several things to play around with.  I didn’t want to just throw the camera up and take pictures.  I wanted the pictures to have some technical difficulty and in some way, be visually appealing to me as well.  I was happy with the results.

My favorite boy toy also suggested that I use every aperture in a series so that when I began processing my work, I could see what I liked best.

That was a great idea and I was actually rather surprised at the outcome.  I thought when I did the rivets, I’d like something that showed them all in crisp detail.  I didn’t; I liked it better when they were mostly out of focus.  I did that to an extreme with the fence post, but not as much with the bolt and washer.

I used my tripod to ensure that once I got the composition I wanted, I could quickly cycle through the aperture settings on my camera.  I cannot tell you how MUCH fun it was to get that camera lined up along that fence, leaning way over to keep the angle so extreme, and mashing my nose against the back of my camera to see what I was doing.  Yes, I’m being sarcastic; I need to keep up on my yoga if I’m doing to be doing that.  It would also help to be a few inches taller.  That reminds me, I have to get some Windex and get those nose prints off the LCD view screen on the back!

I also had a joke on myself.  After shooting the first section of fence, I decided to try another one in different lighting.  I got it all set up, started clicking away, and realized that my car was in the background.  I wasn’t too nuts about the fencing (it was too recently painted, so not enough rust).  I moved on to another section instead of moving my car.

The class itself is still in the first few weeks.  I’m not sure yet what I’ll get out of it, but the discussion of equipment the first week was really good.  Since I have access to two good macro lenses, I’m doubt I’ll buy a whole lot more gear.  But it was interesting to hear all the kinds of equipment that is be used to take macro photography.

If you’re interested in learning more about close-up photography, this is a good place to start.

To see everything I’m doing with my 31 Days of Nurturing My Creativity, click here.

To see what others are doing with their 31 Days project, click here.


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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

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