The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

The deluges are done for a while and there’s a strange bright ball in the sky. With the welcome appearance of that odd, warm orb I did a photo tour of the yard.  Amid all the happy flowers who would have thought that I’d find an interesting subject in our big old cactus.

A Field of Thorns

cactus flat

Canon EOS 60D;  1/1250 sec. f/4.5 39mm;  ISO 100

As anyone who’s dabbled in photography knows it takes a lot of shots to come up with something that you’re happy with. I took a whole lotta shots with a macro lens meaning that I was doing all manner of contortions and getting very close to that big cactus when a sobering thought came to mind, “I hope I don’t fall into this thing.”



Canon EOS60D;  1/50 sec. f/25 135mm;  ISO 100


A lady amongst the thorns

A few moments after I shot this the ant on the left became a snack for the ladybug.

lady bug 2

Canon EOS 60D;  1/250 sec. f/3.5 60mm;  ISO 100

lady bug

Canon EOS60D;  1/250 sec. f/3.5 60mm;  ISO 100

Holy cactus Batman

One of the cactus leaves has a hole smack in the middle of it and made for some interesting exposures.

cactus hole 2

Canon EOS60D;  1/20 sec. f/36 135mm;  ISO 100

hole in cactus

Canon EOS 60D;  1/320 sec. f/5.6 135mm;  ISO 100

hole in the cacctus

Canon EOS 60D;  1/500 sec. f/5.6 135mm;  ISO 100

dark hole

Photography just wouldn’t be any fun without some mucking around.

thorns mono

dark hole mono



12 thoughts on “Friday Fotos – A Thorny Subject

  1. Mackenzie says:

    Wow! These photos are just incredible- I can’t believe the detail!

  2. Amy says:

    Thorns are incredibly sharp and beautifully captured. I noticed you use f/25 and f/36 for macro.

    1. Paulie says:

      Hi Amy, The only images from the macro that survived the cut were the ladybug photos. They were shot at F3.5.. The others were shot with an 18 – 135mm zoom. I was having better luck focusing with the zoom lens. That’s not to say that I didn’t give it the old college try with the macro. It just wasn’t working out for the thorn shots for me. I think that part of the problem is that the macro is fairly new and I’ve still got a learning curve using a prime lens.
      I shot the thorns at a higher f stop for more depth of field because there were so many thorns I was getting too much blur in the image. For the ladybug shots, the bug was the subject so I didn’t so much care about the blur in the thorns. Those are still not quite as sharp as I would like and I thought long and hard before including them.
      Auto focus was useless because there’s so much clutter of thorns that the AF just hunts and hunts for something it likes so all of the shots were manually focused.
      I preferred using the zoom when I could so that I could stay out of harm’s way. while with the macro lens I had to get up close and personal and the cactus sits on a slight slope making it an awkward place to be. I’m on blood thinner and so falling into that thing would not be a cool thing to do. I”ve been stuck by that thing a few times and it HURTS.
      Thank you for visiting and I’m always open and eager for advice, tips and criticism, especially from someone who shoots such beautiful shots as you do.

      1. Amy says:

        Thank you so much, Paulie for taking time to explain why and how you took these remarkable macro thorn photos. I appreciate your compliment. I am honored.
        So glad you answered the questions I meant to ask. The angles and lights/shadows make this thorn and ladybug photo series very interesting and special.
        Photography has been a journey for me. A few years ago when I got my canon DSLR, I thought the camera would do the hard work , all I needed to do was clicking. Boy, was I wrong.
        Thank you again for sharing. Have a great weekend.

  3. floweringink says:


    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you so much.

  4. Your photos are amazing

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you Luisa. I appreciate your kind words.

      1. Most welcome!

  5. johnlmalone says:

    great photos. I took a pic of a three -cornered jack once and wrote it up as a post on my other blog. I called it ‘Snap’ 🙂

    1. Paulie says:

      Thank you John. I experienced more than a little nervousness when I was using my macro lens and putting my face within inches of that cactus. It’s on a slope and the footing is awkward. The neighbor lady walked past me and thought I was nuts. Maybe so. Getting close to a cactus when you’re on blood thinners might not be the wisest thing.

      1. johnlmalone says:

        I’m on them myself. almost everyone I know my age is 🙂

Would love to hear from you