I don’t believe in fate, destiny, predestiny…
But sometimes there will be a string of coincidences that are just fantastic and I like to just get in the moment and pretend there is just a thing. Just to see what else happens.
I got a new lens for my camera last week and while researching it, I read about how I could buy a reverse mount ring adapter and turn it into a macro lens (for photographing tiny things such as bugs). So for less than $10, why not? I ordered it.
A few days ago, the thing came in the mail and as I walked up the sidewalk I thought, won’t be using this for a while, there are no bugs in winter.
Get in the house, the kitchen, look over at the stovetop, and there is a ladybug crawling around on it. Out of all the places in my house, the stovetop is the best spot for a photo of a bug (yes, I get it, a bug on the stove, gross). I’ve got two recessed halogen lights directly above it and the stovetop surface is a highly reflective stainless steel.
I thought for a second, this could be a sign or signal that I should get my camera out and set that thing up and maybe I’ll take the most amazing photo I’ve ever taken. Ever.
I got a tiny jar and put her in there while I set up the camera.
One thing about using this type of lens setup is that it is all manual focusing and the aperture can’t be set, so what that means is there is a very tiny spot in there that is in focus.
Also, every little bit of camera shake is magnified.
Here’s a good example of how tiny the focal plane is.
See the edge of that paper, how only one part of it is in focus?
See the writing on the paper, how only the top part of the “t” is in focus?
You know how fast ladybugs crawl?
So what I did was wait until she stepped into focus to hit the shutter. This was handheld and I was also holding the paper she was on, so really, now that I think about it, this photo’s almost impossible to take.
Everything was lined up just right and I had a lot of good luck.
So did she. I flipped her over so I could photograph her underside.
She thrashed about helplessly, so her arms and legs were all blurry in all but one photo. I thought about Gregor Samsa in that story “Metamorphosis”. Then I thought about how I didn’t like it that it was all up to me whether this bug lived or died.
I brought her outside where she can enjoy the woodpile for the rest of her life.
And I can’t for the life of me post a photo of her underside, because, you know, she is a lady.