The Sisyrinchium montanum that almost got Rolo killed!
Over the weekend I went in search of tiny flowers in the woods for some macro work in a natural environment. My destination was a local park and the gear I prepared was quite a load but covered just about any circumstances I might encounter. I found this tiny wildflower (about 10-mm diameter) in a shaded area about 5-feet off the trail and well out of the way for anyone that might pass by.
Now imagine this scenario: I had my tripod set up nearly flat to the ground with the center column positioned horizontally, a 90-degree tripod head adapter on the end of the center column, a ball head installed onto the 90-degree adapter, and my camera mounted to a X/Y focus rail sitting on top of the ball head. The front of the lens is now 6-inches from the flower. I had the flower clipped with a small articulating arm and an alligator clip. To the left of the flower sat another small tripod which held an umbrella bracket with a light diffuser and my Savage dual-arm macro light. To the right of the flower I had positioned a flat panel to block the wind. If you're getting the picture you might imagine that I had quite an elaborate production on my hands!
After about 20 minutes of getting the gear set up and finally getting the flower composed I began shooting for my focus stack. I was maybe 4 or 5 exposures into the process when along came a man and woman walking 3 dogs; the lead dog was a large, fluffy, slobbering beast which I soon learned was named Rolo. Did I mention that I was about 5-feet off the trail?!The man says: "Oh, wow, look at all this! Nice setup - can we photobomb it?"Me:
(laughing jovially) "Absolutely - the more the merrier! Nice day for a walk, isn't it?"
This was a mistake. Apparently the couple took my question as an invitation to stick around. Nevermind the fact that I'm on both knees peering through the viewfinder and operating the focus rail with one hand and a remote shutter release with the other, when suddenly a big, black, wet nose appears in the viewfinder! As I straightened up to see where the nose came from I now saw the big furry beast sniffing my flower which equaled a wrecked composition!!!! Then I looked to my left to see the smallest of the three dogs had made a lap around my light support getting it's leash entangled with my macro light ... lighting arrangement is also now wrecked. All three dogs had about 10-feet of loose leash to roam around, which they did so freely.Without a care in the world, now the woman says: "Awww, Rolo, what have you found?! Awwww, pretty, do you like that flower?! Yes you do!
I'm still on my knees, mouth agape, and now in a complete state of shock. Rolo is moving freely around and around and back and forth from my camera, the flower, and one of my gear bags. Now here comes Rolo to put his face in my face!The woman says: Awww, Rolo, who is that?! No, no, Rolo, don't lick him, just smell him!"
Meanwhile the man makes no attempt to free the smallest dog from my macro light and the whole light setup is now toppled to the ground. I was speechless and I can't imagine the look I was giving those people. I'm sure it was a mixed look of shock, horror, and complete disgust. This encounter only lasted for maybe 45-seconds to a minute but seemed like an hour. As I loosed the smallest dog from my lighting tripod the man finally suggests to the woman that they should be moving along. They both kindly wished me good luck with my photography shoot and moved on down the trail. I felt like a little hurricane had just passed as I overlooked a trashed production!
It took me another 20 minutes to get everything set up again but I finally pulled it off with 10 frames for this little stack. Phew! #macro #macrophotography #macroaddict #macro4all #macromonday #flowers #flowerphotography #nature #naturephotography #perseverance