Living in an area where “True Winter” doesn’t set in until February, there are times when we get snow, then have a thaw down. this last week has been a thaw down for us after 6″ of snow average. In some areas, that means a last chance effort for some plant life to resurrect for a few days or weeks. For my photo-op I decided to go to well known nature trail park. A place that has many wooded and non wooded trails, with a steam that runs into a lake, and a Bat Sanctuary that is located in the wooded areas.
During below freezing temperatures, the wild Mushrooms, Moss, and other plant life go into hibernation until Spring. But, when we our Indian Summer (in January), many will re emerge for a short time. This is the time I chose to go and take my Olympus OMD E-M5 fitted with my 55mm f/3.5 Micro Nikkor (Version K last f/3.5 version and the last version before the f/2.8 Ais and AF where offered),
One of the many types of life that re appears after a thaw, is moss and mushrooms mostly. IE: Molds!! LOL. The Mushrooms can get fairly large with so much water being absorbed by the dead trees on the ground. And quite pretty to look at and photograph.
Now, even though I was in a wooded area, there was enough light to properly light the subjects without using a small flash if needed. One thing with using a Macro lens, is when you focus real close, you have to “Watch” what is happening to the light. You may cast a Shadow and not realize it at first. So, you may need to walk around the subject to allow good lighting. In the image below, I had to move behind the mushrooms on tree section as to not cast a shadow from my body.
Other things to consider is shooting at f/11 at least for very close focusing (under 2 feet). That will mean kicking up the ISO to as high as 6400 for decant shutter speed like 1/40 of a second. But, even with IBIS, that speed for very close objects where the Field-Of-View is close to 1:2 life-size may still result in a very slight image blur that shows up as a “wee bit soft”, but, still acceptable in most cases. With the E-M5, you can use “Auto-ISO” and set the “Slow Flash Speed to whatever shutter speed you want as you slowest speed. I used 1/40s, but, 1/80s may have been better. That setting with the “Slow Flash Speed” is an undocumented setting that also sets the slowest shutter speed used with the “Auto-ISO” function.
Besides the world of close-up and macro, there is also landscape photography available to capture even in the Pre-Winter dawn. There is a lake that is partially frozen, trees of course, and the waterfall in slow motion.