Requests to take portraits, photograph homes, golf courses or even bees, are pretty ordinary but today’s request was less run-of-the-mill; can you photograph my lichen? Not knowing exactly what to expect, I packed everything I could think I might need and set out. The day was a bit dodgy, hail showers and stormy winds, so I even packed a brolly – to keep my gear dry.
When I arrived it was indeed plain, ordinary, lichen growing on a log of wood and having a party in the last few days of autumnal wetness. Now I could have offered the lady some previous pictures of lichen which were somewhere on my hard drive at home, but this was her lichen, growing outside her window and therefore somewhat special. And so I spent several minutes on my hands and knees getting a bit damp while pointing the Tokina 100mm Macro at various patches of exuberant lichen.
During the process I realised that there was one item I had not brought with me; an Allen key. For today, my quick release plate decided to part company with my ball head. Macro shots with a wobbly camera – not a great idea. Nevertheless, with a little bit of perseverance and some wonderful new tripod contortions we got the shots and headed home.
Personally, lichen is not my favourite macro subject – even when it is partying it is a little boring. But having spent some time with the files this afternoon, I am beginning to see a giant lichen forest with little people running through it; with Photoshop anything is possible. Maybe I’ll get some more suitable lichen shots, when the weather gets better.