January 21, 2011

Macro in a Mason Jar

Wow - what a challenge in patience and creativity this contest is!  Gardening Gone Wild  is hosting a photo contest with the theme of Macro in a Mason Jar.  The mason jar is used as a tripod of sorts to keep the camera very steady and thus causing a super sharp macro image. 

The materials I used were a crystal biscuit jar, a vintage table cloth, some black rocks, water and a single, hot pink gebera daisy.   I waited (and waited) for a sunny day with lots of natural light pouring through the window to try this technique.




I started by testing the focus without the water, flower and rocks.  The mouth of the biscuit jar was too wide to support my camera so I ended up using a heavy duty set of tongs and rested my camera between the arms of it.  This worked pretty well - I kept the camera strapped around my neck just in case my tool failed.  Didn't want to fish my camera out of the water!


As the flower floated in the water, different perspectives were offered...the background changed


because the pattern on the tablecloth is diverse.  I love how the yellow and cream in the second circular pattern of the flower complement the yellow and cream of the tablecloth.


This is my favorite though.  I really love the circular pattern of the flower center and petals and how that is repeated in the circular pattern of the table cloth and the biscuit jar.  Also, notice how the light is reflected through the cut crystal onto the flower petals?  That detail adds visual interest and texture.  Also, the lines of the cut crystal on the bottom of the biscuit jar shoot out in the same direction as the petals...love that!  But really, the detail that I love the most is how the little cut outs of deterioration at the tips of the petals mimic the table cloth detail in color and shape.


This is a favorite among my family but I felt like the other image offered more detail as far as the theme...you can tell the photo was taken within a jar and the background and cut crystal added more compositional interest.


Head over to Gardening Gone Wild to see the many entries in the contest.  And special thanks to David Perry for judging this contest!



47 comments:

  1. Hey Cat,

    I was excited about entering the contest until I saw your pictures. Wow, these are winners for sure!!! Just stunning detail!!! It would be hard to pick just one. I'm still debating over which one to use for my entry. Great idea to float the bloom in water. I was finding that the flowers I put in the jar would flop to one side because of the bump in the bottom of the jar. But water would solve that issue. Thanks for the tip. I'll have to try that when I actually have something blooming :-)

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  2. Cat,
    I have seen a few of these posts with the mason jar. Your pictures are amazing! If I was the judge you would win! Those are incredible!
    If it isn't already I think your day job should definitely be a photographer and you should quit doing whatever else it is you are doing. You have an amazing eye.
    Annie

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  3. Beautiful! I followed the link on your page a few weeks ago looking for a photo project.I thought it was a great idea but I was a little bit afraid of the competition ;-) And you proved me right! I do wanna try it out at some point. I also like the family's favorite best.
    Take care, Sandra

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  4. these are stunning...I think you may have a winner here!!!

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  5. These pictures are gorgeous! I've recently started trying out some "macro" pictures myself. I use the term loosely because it's really just the macro setting on my point and shoot camera, but it's getting my creative juices flowing. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Impressive work! Like your family, I also enjoyed the macro side view photo. And I appreciated your thoughtful explanation of your process and your choice.

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  7. A very pretty submission. Good luck in the contest. Good thought on keeping the camera secure which certainly averted potential disaster. You know Murphy's Law always seems to happen when one is least expecting it.

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  8. Gosh! Between you and Darla I think you both have first place winners. You are choosing your favorite one to send in? Good luck!

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  9. Gorgeous! Your images are very sharp. I like the favorite among your family too but I agree with you that the one you chose may be more appropriate for the contest. All the best!

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  10. Cat, I am really loving seeing the different entries into the mason jar contest. It has really sparked a lot of creativity. Your entry is stunning. Carolyn

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  11. Those are very pretty!!!!! That is how I got water on my camera. :/

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  12. Oh, one more thing; I like your blog.
    I'm adding myself.

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  13. Yes Toni, the tilting flower was making me just a little crazy so the water solved that problem! Looking forward to seeing your submission - you always have lots of creative energy, I'm sure your shots are beautiful!

    Thank you Annie - you are too kind. No, I'm not a professional photographer and wouldn't even know where to begin to make a living off images! I'm still very much a novice but do enjoy the creative outlet...I didn't even know I liked photography so much until I started blogging!

    Thank you Sandra. When you give it a try I hope you'll post them to your blog so I can see them too!

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Donna!

    Thank you Kelly. I appreciate you taking the time to comment here! I enjoyed reading through your blog as well.

    Thank you Angelyn, I'm beginning to have second thoughts about my submission...am wondering if I should change it but too late!!

    Thanks Donna...yes, I was quite glad I thought to strap it around my neck...sometimes small details like that escape me when I'm in the throes of creativity!!

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  14. Thank you for the kind words Tina. I thought Darla's was beautiful too - I really like the subdued color and shadow play of her image.

    Thank you One! As always your support means a lot to me ;)

    Thank you Carolyn. It is always so amazing to see how different the interpretations of a challenge can be. Creativity is such a fascinating process!

    Oh Amy, I'm so sorry, I was afraid of that...did your camera dry out or will you have to replace it?

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  15. Thank you very much Annelie. I appreciate you following and am really honored that you found your time here worthwhile ;)

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  16. Good Morning Cat! I think you have a winner here! Beautiful and your favorite is mine too. Good Luck! Have a lovely weekend!

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  17. Gorgeous!!! Gorgeous!! Bravo! Take a bow! :o)

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  18. Whimsy girl you have taken exceptional pictures and yes I can see why you favor the one you do .. so many details are amazing, and when it is a picture taken by us we can amaze ourselves! .. but I also see why your family likes the one below it really catches your eye towards the actual flower and it's detail.
    I haven't got the patience or the actual mason jar ! LOL to try this out .. which is probably a GOOD thing .. I might drive husband crazy making him look at pictures !
    Joy : )

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  19. wow, you got some beautiful images! What a neat experiment too - I love how the water, background, lighting, angle created so many different photos of a single flower.

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  20. Cat, these photos are stunning! I agree with many previous posts---you have an *amazing* eye and the detail you captured and described is beautiful. Your photos would win hands down in my book! Thank you for continuing to share your talent with us :)

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  21. your pictures are fantastic wow me ......

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  22. Hey Cat,
    I went to GardeningGoneWild looking for your picture but I cant find it in their gallery. Is something wrong with your pic? Maybe you have to submit it again. It would be such a shame if yours wasn't in the contest. Maybe I am just blind?!
    Take care, Sandra

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  23. I place my vote with the family's choice. Your photos continue to amaze me.

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  24. Really nice pictures! I agree with your family and like the very close one the best! The light is quite nice and it looks a bit like a sea anemone, wonderfull!

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  25. Beautiful images, Cat! Good luck in the contest.

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  26. You have captured not just the technique, but the concept they ask for. You get my vote!

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  27. Never mind! I just saw your pic in the gallery! I guess it just took them longer than 24 h ;-)
    Sandra

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  28. Fantabulous, they are all amazing, my fave is # 3, the one floating in the water.

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  29. Love these Cat - I wouldn't want to be the judge if you submitted ALL of these ! Any one could be a winner. Great technique which I'll have to remember.

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  30. I love your macros and the second last one is so amazing, it is my fav. Absolutely great shots.
    Greetings from Finland

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  31. Just letting you know I have included a link in my Wednesday post to this post. I will have to try this. I is fantastic. Charmaine

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  32. Wow...what else can I say but....INCREDIBLE!!!

    A rosebud

    http://hootin--anni.blogspot.com/2011/01/blog-visit-is-like-leaving-calling-card.html

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  33. WOW! Beautiful shots!! Beautiful! Newest follower! Love the blog! :)

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  34. stunningly beautiful photos!!!

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  35. Beyond stunning! Your site is amazing. I'll be back regularly to tend to your garden with you! Hugs, Margie

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  36. Very creative idea and wonderful photos as a result.

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  37. Wow, these are absolutely stunningly gorgeous. What a clever idea!!! LOVE them.

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  38. That's such a fun idea! Love what you did with it! AND I love seeing the center so close up! So pretty!

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  39. This sounds like such a fun contest! Your photos are wonderful!

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  40. All of your images are beautiful. I love the last two myself. I must have a true macro lens someday!

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  41. Great contest entries! I have to cast my vote on your family's choice, but the other is just as nice.

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  42. @all, Thanks so much for all of your support and encouragement! This was a really cool technique and I hope you'll give it a try!

    To new visitors: Welcome! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your generous compliments. I've enjoyed visiting your blogs and look forward to learning from you!

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  43. You took some beautiful photos, Cat! I love the reflection of the cut glass and the detail of the flowers! I need to try this technique myself. Very beautiful!

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  44. Really excellent photos any of them are perfect for the contest! I especially like the second to last one. gail

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  45. Hi... got here from Fer's blog... really amazing photos you have! Really pretty...

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"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."
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