As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Personal Photo Challenge {Close-up/Macro}

Again this month, I am joining Donna in her Personal Photo Challenge. I have been practicing all month, and although I feel like I'm barely scratching the surface with all that there is to learn about macro photography, I was able to come up with three photos that pleased me. 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

This pansy pleased me, partly because I have enjoyed the delight of these early spring flowers in my kitchen. But I also enjoyed the play of sunlight as it shone through the kitchen window and highlighted the cheerful flower's yellow petals and its leaves. 

I am wondering if this photo is close enough to be considered "macro." I used my Canon Rebel T3 and the 18-55 mm lens, on the "close-up" setting. I cropped the image a bit, slightly sharpened it, and then used PicMonkey's "Focal Soften" tool to blur the background a little more.

This photo of our own forsythia pleased me because I loved it even without editing! 

All the informative articles about macro photography that Donna provided said to avoid taking pictures on a windy day, and yet, I was struggling with some wind the day that I took this shot. Even so, I liked the focus of the flower and the bud in the foreground, and the soft background. (And then, maybe I am just influenced by the long-awaited symbol of spring that these blooms represent!)

This last photo pleased me with the sunny yellow bloom and the tiny details that I did not notice with the naked eye. And it also pleases me to see the sweet smile of my granddaughter Maddie as my beautiful background. 

I cropped this image, but otherwise it is straight out of the camera. 

A Personal Photo Challenge was definitely a challenge this month! Lots of shots attempted, lots of shots "meh", and a few I really liked. But that's the good part, right? Keep trying, keep learning, keep improving! Thank you, Donna!

Next month's challenge...colorful. Hmmm...

A Personal Photo Challenge


  1. These are really wonderful Cheryl!

    The flowers all sunny and cheery, as is Maddie! Amazing detail on the dandelion!


  2. Such pretty blooms! I joined the challenge, too. Happy Saturday to you...

  3. Keep learning is so true and the really exciting part! Look for a meddling email from me! My favorite is the smile and the dandelion!

  4. I'd say your pansy shot counts as macro/close up. I love seeing all the details in the flowers. Sunny yellow seems to be the color of the day for you. Beautiful shots.

  5. I just love the last photo of your smiling granddaughter with the dandelion. I'd be blowing that one up for my wall.

  6. You must be in a sunny yellow frame of mind, LOL! No worries about the definition of macro versus close-up because you did just fine on getting in close enough to see wonderful details. Glad to see you experimenting with some of PicMonkey's great tools like the focal soften. It is a good choice for reducing background distractions. Love the soft background in the second shot too. Ah, but you saved what I think is the best for last. The composition of the daffodil and your granddaughter's smile in the background is quite brilliant and creative. Great thinking went into that one!

    I'm glad to hear that you took a lot of shots. That's the whole point - to get some practice in, experimenting and learning what works and what doesn't. As in any worthwhile endeavor, it requires lots of practice to enhance your skills! And we never, ever stop learning.

  7. Cheryl they are beautiful. The last one my favorite. Did you plan that or did it just happen? Love the detail.

  8. Cheryl, I love all of your lovely yellow images! Forsythia is one of my favorite first signs of spring...ours is already green around here. The last pic is my favorite...most people overlook the beauty in a dandelion. My very first post when I started my blog last June was called Beautiful Weeds, about dandelions and other weeds.
    Hope your Sunday is blessed!

  9. Loving all the cheerful yellow! Great composition with your granddaughter's smile in the background...

  10. Hello Cheryl
    It's easy to see you've been practicing - it paid off too!
    I was trying to work out which shot I liked the most but I can't single one out - your three shots are superb macro examples!
    Well done you!
    Shane x

  11. Love them All but my favorite is the flower being held by your sweet!!

  12. Hi Cheryl! Your photos are fabulous and have me dreaming of when the flowers will bloom here in the mountains :)

    I love the Dandelion picture - very happy and bright.

    Have a wonderful week! Hugs

  13. I am a big fan of blurred out children in the background of shots! such a sweet way of capturing them- the Forsythia is really nice too.

  14. The dandelion shot is definitely my favorite I can see every detail. I will have to find that blur tool in PicMonkey - where is it? Is it in the free section or did you pay for it?

  15. Lovely photos... I loved the dandelion with that pretty smile.

    No sign of dandelions here just yet, but they'll be cropping up shortly. I like sighting the first dandelions of the season and don't mind them in the lawn.

    Happy Day.....

  16. Flowers are always nice for close up photos. I love the soft background in the forsythia pic. Very nice photos for the challenge. I'm learning so much each month! Enjoy your week! Hugs, Diane

  17. Your photo shots are beautiful Cheryl, A+ in my book. I love to photograph flowers. I keep saying that I am going to sit down and learn how to use the options on my camera, thank you for the link to Donna's. I will visit.

  18. Wow! You are GOOD! (I think we're a little behind in the "yellow department" over here...Can't wait!)

  19. I feel the same way about always having more to learn when it comes to taking photos. But it's lots of fun. Your forsythia is beautiful!


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