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Capturing Detail - The right lens

So there was that time a few years ago
when I decided to start a blog.

A blog that was all about decorating and design,
family and projects and the seemingly
 never ending renovations of our old house and guest cottage.

I would write about daily musings-
like inspirations for entertaining,
table settings, outdoor living and pretty patterns and details.
Transformations like those wood plank walls that were dark and dreary
but that changed with several coats of white paint.
Maybe that ceiling fan in the kitchen with the beer bottle pull
that became double chandeliers over a farmhouse island.
And things like how I discovered my love of French Country and Cottage style
among all the sore muscles, sawdust & pounding nails
while we worked on making
our little old forgotten cottage a home.

I started out with excitement and wrote posts and snapped photos to share.
 I didn't think about the fact that I was taking photos for my blog with my iPhone
really at all until I was approached about magazine features and print work
as well as working with brands in social media.

So with the earnings from my first job in social media- I bought my first big girl camera
and from that camera - more freelance work and
an even bigger love of photography was born.

On a side note, seriously.
What was I thinking when I started blogging and was using
 my iPhone for photos? Not even the iPhones that have great cameras of today...
I had one of  the old ones.
I amaze myself sometimes.  And when I say amaze,  I mean in a cringing kind of way.
aye aye aye.

So here's the disclosure:

I am not a technical photographer - I have never taken a class or read a book
other than my Canon camera setting guide but I do have a big time passion for photography.

I am also a perfectionist and so when some of my photos weren't coming out 
as crisp or close as I was wanting them to look recently-
 I knew it was time to try a new lens.

When  I mentioned I had ordered it in a random Saturday post -
 some of you asked about it 
and I promised I would share more about my thoughts after trying it out.

So, I am a Canon girl and know that I was truly happy with my everyday lens.
 For almost every photo- it was awesome. 
But the one thing that my everyday lens wasn't doing as well as I would like -
was getting those teeny, tiny details in close up photos. 

Enter a shiny new Canon 100mm lens
It was recommended to me by a couple photographer friends
as being the bomb at close up photography so I thought I would give it a go.

My new 100mm and I are newly married-so we are working out the kinks.
We don't have years of working together life under our belts yet but
 we are getting along very, very well so far. 
So I think there is promise for a long relationship.

So how about a little bit of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly with this lens?

Let's start with 

The Good. 

There is so much good. It is actually GREAT.
This lens takes amazing detail photos and with amazing amounts
 of light that comes shining on through.

This photo is showing #1 how close the 100mm can get to your subject
and #2
 how detailed those close ups can be. 
 It captures close up details amazingly well as you can see. 
I swear I can see a speck of dust in some photos that I can't even see with my naked eye.

Here's a comparison showing the
 same shot- different lens. 

 The difference in the light is incredible. 
These photos are at the same settings but are capturing a completely different 
amount of light and detail. 
You might think I changed the tripod to pull back in the top shot
or moved it closer for the bottom.
Nope- exact same spot.
That is the difference in what the lens captures overall.

Here is another close up 
showing the intricate veining of the petals.

That detail- amazing!

The Bad?

It isn't bad per say- but as someone who is used to being able to adjust 
what I am capturing by adjusting the lens- a fixed lens can make you a little crazy at first.

If I want to pull back and get a little more of a view in the shot-
I have to literally pull myself and the camera back to get a wider shot
which sometimes isn't possible depending on where you are working.
 To get this shot below for example-
 you need to be pretty far away ( or tall!) or use a different lens.

The Ugly.

Well, not really an ugly, but you know,
it's the good, the bad and the ugly- so we are going with it.

 The only thing you might consider not so pretty here is the price.
By far, the 100mm is not an outrageously priced lens- it is very affordable as far as lenses go
but it will set you back between $600 and $900.

So, if it is a lens that you won't use often because it is mostly for close-ups-
then honestly, something different might work better for you.

For me, since I shoot a lot of details, product and print photography
where you really need to see those close up details- it is amazing 
and well worth having as an option in the lens arsenal.

I hope that helps explain what it does and if it is the right lens for you.
If you have a specific question-  leave it in the comments and I will try to answer it.
But remember- I am not a technical photographer- just a passionate one.

Happy Friday everyone

For those who asked-
You can find a different brand little bit less expensive lens HERE
you can find the flatware HERE 

affiliate links

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  1. Courtney, these photos and that lens are amazing! x

  2. What is the name & maker of that beautiful silverware? I can truly see all of the detail on them and I want them badly. Can you share please?

    1. Hi Keenedge~ I added a link to the post or you can copy this one~

  3. You've got great eye for details that's why your pics look great.
    But of course a good camera helps.
    HAppy Valentine's

  4. You've got great eye for details that's why your pics look great.
    But of course a good camera helps.

    HAppy Valentine's ♥

  5. Now, you need to make a to sit on my coffee table! I can't get enough of your photography it is amazing!

  6. So pretty! Your photos are always beautiful.

  7. Hi Courtney!!

    Your photos have always been so beautiful, with the colors and imagery and now with your new lens, the new pictures are going to be even better!!

    What a treat for us!! I can't wait to see the beauty that you'll share with us!! Now you're spoiling us!!

    Have a great weekend!!


  8. I'm about to need a new camera. Your photos are always amazing

  9. Your photos are so beautiful ! Light and details are amazing.
    I created my own blog in december and I know I've got a lot to learn...
    I have been reading your blog for a few years, I love it, it is so inspiring !
    Sorry if there is grammatical errors in my comment, but I'm French...
    Have a nice day.

  10. I am amazed -- but it's your natural talent that's amazing. You certainly have an eye for detail and how to capture it. An amazing photographer can make a point and shoot produce fantastic photos. Looking forward to seeing more of your amazing pictures. Happy Valentine's Day!!

  11. Your photography of the flatware is 1000 X's better than the Neiman Marcus advertisement! They need to hire YOU!

  12. Wonderful post! I just got my Canon during the holidays so I appreciated your post! Learning, learning I am!

  13. The pics of the flatware look awesome! The right piece of glass always makes a difference. It makes a good photo look great and a great photo look awesome! And you are right in that a fixed lens does have its limitations. Multi-focal lenses are wonderful but to get one with a low F-stop costs bundles. I shoot with Canon, it was my first and I think you always stick with your first love! :-) Photography is an expensive passion, but so worth the investment!

  14. Courtney, your pictures are always stunning. I am a Nikon girl and I just got a new lens and yes (!) there is good, bad and ugly! I feel like I'm starting all over again! ;)

  15. Gorgeous photos! I am so happy for you!