Lichen on Sandstone

December 30, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I went exploring the other day and came across a sandstone boulder covered in Caloplaca lichen. This genus of lichen has many species and I'm not going to guess which one(s) are on the boulder. The color of the lichen ranged from black to gray to brown and orange to green and lime green. I thought it was striking so I stopped and started capturing images.

Here is an image shot at ISO 100, 50mm, f/6.3, 1/80s, handheld.

Lichen on Sandstone (Vertical)Lichen on Sandstone (Vertical)

 

Lichen on Sandstone (Vertical)

Shooting handheld and wanting to get a sharp, well exposed image means having to compromise on something. You need a high enough shutter speed to overcome movement from holding the camera. One way to do that is to shoot at a higher ISO. Another way to do that is to open up the aperture. I did not want to shoot the higher ISO and so I tried f/6.3 at 1/80th of a second. I knew (and confirmed by 'chimping') that the image was not going to be in-focus and sharp everywhere.

 

To get the image in-focus and sharp everywhere I was going to have to use the tripod and shutdown the aperture to expand the depth of field. As I was composing images, I noticed a crack running through the boulder and that the lichen had grown along the crack. I decided to use the crack as part of the composition.

Here is an image utilizing the crack. It was shot at ISO 100, 105mm, f/22, 0.3s, on tripod.

Lichen on SandstoneLichen on Sandstone

 

Lichen on Sandstone
 

This shot was captured with the camera aimed down onto the rock. After taking this shot I started changing the focal length on the lens to see if I discovered any other interesting compositions. Instead I discovered that with the lens pointed straight down, the weight of the glass and other components (gravity) is greater than the coefficient of friction from the zoom mechanism in the lens. This meant that when I found a composition at 50mm and then I let go of the lens the focal length increased to 105mm because of gravity pulling the lens. While that stopped me from capturing some images, it did give me the idea to capture an image using a zoom effect.
 
Here is an image utilizing the zoom effect. It was shot at ISO 100, zooming from 50 to 105mm, f/22 at 0.3s.
 
 
 
 
Here is the same zoom effect image converted to grayscale. 
 
 
 
 
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