So a Macro photographer walks into a rose garden without a Macro lens…

No, this is not a joke…this actually happened. To me. And my heart still hurts thinking about it.

Now, I won’t go into why I didn’t have my lens, other than to say it was due to lack of planning for a short, otherwise schedule-packed trip.

Anyways, I walked into the International Rose Test Garden – a 4 ½ acre garden with 10,000 roses in prime blooming season – equipped with an “all-in-one” 18-250mm lens, and a nifty-fifty prime lens. And it had just rained. Sigh…my heart was weeping as I looked at the array of roses, all with perfect domes of rain drops. The natural contrast of the brightly-colored roses against the gray sky had my creativity ramped up, with the wrong lenses.

Rose Garden

So many roses…not a macro lens to be seen.

I told myself that this was another “Make it Work” moment. And besides, some the rose blooms were TOO big for macro work anyways! Plus, I could always try free-lensing with my 50mm, right???

First – I would have been much more comfortable with my macro lens in my bag. No doubt about it.

Second – I’ve only free-lensed with my Helios 44. And apparently, this trip was a demonstration in how much I really do need to practice free-lensing with my 50mm, as you can see below…

All the blurs…

Third – this allowed me to get more creative with different compositions and perspectives, instead of falling back into where I’m comfortable. And I was sure to use my iPhone as well. Why not? I had nothing to lose!

Fourth – I was still sad I didn’t have my macro. My husband had a good point – I should always have my macro lens with me, because that’s my passion. He’s right.

What I found in the results is that these photos were unintentionally, and unapologetically, moody. I simply used my instincts and went with it. I was sad that I was ill-prepared, and from that, I created art with a different tone and emotion. And honestly, I love it.

…and I can’t wait to go back with macro lens someday. (Nope, I’m never going to let that go!)