I'm mucho excited because I've just splashed out on a Canon MR-14EX. Sex on a stick, obviously... with a name like that, how could it be anything other than highly desirable?
To be fair, it has a dull name because it's a somewhat obscure product. The MR-14EX is a Macro Ring Lite, more commonly known as a ring flash, and it's a circular flash head that wraps around the end of a macro lens to create an all-in-one, lights-and-camera solution for close-up photography. As I said, it's somewhat obscure... but also very cool.
I like close-ups because they make you look at the fine details of natural subjects and everyday objects. And unlike landscape photography, shooting close-ups doesn't involve getting up before dawn and hiking across muddy fields to reach a remote location by sunrise. You can take great pictures at home, using a table-top studio, and because the subjects are small, you don't even need the entire dining table. What you do need, most of the time, is a tripod, because if you don't hold the camera absolutely still, your subject won't stay in focus.
The cool thing about a ring flash is that it gives you enough light to forgo the tripod, which means you can chase butterflies around the garden and frolic in the spring sunshine like a newborn lamb with a digital SLR around its neck. Given the forecast for the weekend (sunshine! 24°C!), that's what I'll be doing for the next couple of days.