This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Canon USA. The opinions and text are all mine.
“Stop and smell the roses.” It’s a phrase we say to remind us to press pause and enjoy the little things.
But with the hustle and bustle going on in our lives, sometimes it can be hard to remember that. I like to find tangible ways to cherish every day.
One way I like to do this is through photography. Taking some time to walk around and notice the little things you’re grateful, then photographing them, is like making a visual gratitude journal.
I pick up my camera, and snap a picture of things that make me smile. This week I zoomed in extra close to the nitty gritty details that make me smile. I used my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 iS USM Macro Lens and went around our home to take note of the pieces I’m especially thankful for.
Here are some of the things that came from that:
The joy I feel when I watch my son play. He’s such a silly boy and from a super young age he’s always known how to push our buttons just hard enough to make me flip out while simultaneously making me laugh. He’s always been one to take good care of his toys and I’ve loved watching his imagination grow. For this image I was inside his room where there was a good amount of window light. My settings: ISO 2500 f/4.5 1/200sec
I love spring and all of the fresh color that comes with it. We’ve always enjoyed seeing Texas wildflowers while driving down the road but now we’re finding them all over our backyard. The kids and I are enjoying picking them and pressing them into our nature journals. I don’t think I ever paid as much attention to flowers as I have this year as we’ve been noticing the different details we we try to identify them.
I’m all about photographing people but small plants and animals are some of my favorite macro photography subjects. My settings for the flower inside: ISO 4000; F/3.5; 1/250 sec. Settings for the flower outside: ISO: 2500; F/5; 1/8000 sec
As we’ve been growing used to our new digs and lots more land, with that has come getting used to more critters. I’ve put on a tough face as I’ve stepped over spiders and through webs. Instead of squealing at a giant beetle crawling through the grass I instead point out how cool it is to the kids. I’m noticing as I’m demonstrate more bravery, so do they.
Lil’ J was terrified to touch this little caterpillar but after a little while she not only poked it, but held it (and proceeded to name it).
My settings for both images: ISO 2500; f/11; 1/200 sec
There are very few things in life that are as sweet as the chunk on a chubby baby. And mine always have a lot to spare. I love zooming in on it and getting a crisp shot of those rolls. Lee Lee is already pulling up on things and before I know it that chub is going to melt away. I’m trying to enjoy these rolls as long as possible.
I also love capturing sweet details like her tiny toes, her nose, even her little eyelashes. A macro lens is perfect for all of the teeny tiny baby details.
My settings: ISO 2500; f/10; 1/320 sec
Healthy Happy Children
My favorite detail to capture up close are the smiles of my children. Though this isn’t quite a macro shot, I love the closeness and the sharpness of this image of my girls enjoying each other’s company and the details in their eyelashes.
The nice thing about the 100mm Macro lens is it works as a wonderful portrait lens. So you can zoom in for the details of your baby’s fresh new tooth, then step back and get a beautiful shot of her whole face along with her new-tooth grin.
My settings: ISO 2500; f/10; 1/250 sec
A helpful hint: When shooting with a long lens like this you don’t need to open up the aperture as wide to get a shallow depth of field. Especially when taking photos really close. In the photo above the background behind my daughters is still blurred with some lovely bokeh, even with an f-stop of 10.
Some other great macro lens options are the EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macros IS STM Lens if you have a crop body camera (such as the Canon Rebel). Or the EF-M 29mm F/3.5 Macro IS STM lens if you have a mirrorless EOS Canon camera.
It’s not always about capturing the right image, but capturing the right moments and details that mean something to us. Take some time to think about your routines and try stepping in and capturing a closer look.