Tuesday, June 28, 2011

X Is For Xtreme Close-up


Here is my entry for this weeks ABC Wednesday. This week the letter is X. X is difficult, and for me called for creative spelling. X is for xtreme close-up.

Over the 4th of July holiday a couple of years ago, Gina and I traveled to Columbia, Missouri to visit my sister and her family. We really enjoyed our time with family.

We decided to go to the St. Louis Zoo even though the weather forecast was 80 to 90 percent chance of rain every hour. The weather cooperated, and we had only one short rain shower while we were at the zoo. It was cloudy and cool, just wonderful weather for walking around the zoo in the summertime.

The St. Louis Zoo is a great zoo, and admission is free. In 1910 the City of St. Louis set aside 77 acres in Forest Park for a zoo. State legislation provided that "the zoo shall be forever free," which has made the Zoo accessible to millions of visitors ever since.

I was excited about visiting the zoo and being able to take lots of pictures. Shortly after we arrived we were going through the "Flight Cage", a giant elliptical bird cage that dates back to the 1904 World's Fair held in St. Louis. As we were walking through looking at the birds I took this picture.

Flight Cage Swamp

As soon as I took this photo, I accidentally dropped my camera. When I picked it up, the focus no longer worked. As I played with the camera, trying to get it working, I noticed that the camera came into focus if held extremely close to something. I stuck my camera close to a flower and took this photo.


Even though I was disturbed about breaking my camera, I wasn't going to let that keep me from taking photos. I would just have to "focus" on extreme close-ups. As I walked through the zoo I looked for close-up opportunities.


Berry Drop


The thing that I found interesting was that my camera would not focus that close before I dropped it. I really liked my camera, but the one thing that I wasn't satisfied with was close ups. Now I have a close up only camera.

Tiny Flower



Because the focus was broken, I had to focus by physically moving the camera. The camera lens had to be almost touching the subject. Many of the photos I took were not quite in focus, but I enjoyed trying to get in focus shots.


I enjoyed my time taking photos at the St. Louis Zoo, even though they were not the photos that I set out to get. I missed those shots of the tigers who were so frisky in the cool weather, the cute penguins, and the sea lions; but I was forced to look at a world that I wouldn't have otherwise. Breaking my camera forced me to look at the world from a different perspective.


  1. You really got some fantastic close-up shots for the X Day! I do love the droplets of water with their reflections and fun to see the "up close and personal" shot of the bug!! Have a great week, Richie!

    ABC Team

  2. Well I think Xtreme Close Ups is a most clever way to use this difficut letter. And I truly enjoyed getting up close and personal with your Xtremely great pictures.

    Have an Xtra Good Day!

  3. Xtremely well done.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  4. Very cool story and post!!! What kind of camera was it??? Does it still only take close ups or did you get it fixed? How fun to take a bad luck drop of the camera and turn it into such a fun and productive eXercise!!! Great job!!!

  5. Fantastic shots, Richard. You did a great job with your 'broken' camera.

  6. WOW!! I'm going to drop my camera and see if I can get such fantastic shots!
    Jane x

  7. Wow-who would've thought that dropping your camera would give it the function you missed! Really nice shots! Believe it or not, I remember quite vividly going to the St. Louis zoo when I was about 18 months old. My brother hauled me and my two brothers from Molokai to Ashley Illinois. I do not remember the traveling. I have scant memories of the farm. But, really strong memories of the zoo-including the entrance. I especially remember the sea lions.

  8. Great shots! What is the first one?

  9. Wow, gorgeous pictures :)


  10. very interesting...love all the pictures....:) thanks for dropping by!