Friday, March 12, 2010

Macro Photography Lessons

Today I had the great pleasure of working with Marian and Susan on advancing their macro photography skills. Both Marian and Susan are very talented with their crafts, Marian makes Bobin Lace and Susan beads on fabric. Susan blogs and makes images of her work and tools.
We made some images and really covered a lot of ground....some tips on Macro Photography:
a. Keep the plane of focus parallel to the surface of your subject for maximum depth of field.
b. f8 is not f8 in macro land. To gain great depth of field f16 or greater is required for subjects with relatively shallow textures and shapes.
c. Selective focus, using auto-focus isn't the best way to focus a macro lens, the lens often has a hard time "grabbing" or finding an edge to focus on as we often are not shooting "edgy" choose manual focus and use the focusing ring while holding your depth of field button to "see" where the lens is focusing.
d. Get close, fill the frame and watch the edges for intrusions and bright spots.
e. Use a tripod for tack sharp images, and use a remote or cable release. Use mirror lock up if you have it.
f. Reflectors are great to pop light into areas of your subject.
g. For table top photography...Lowel Ego lights are easy to transport and provide a daylight balanced light at 5500k.

The images in this blog are of the handy-work of Susan Elliott. I made these images while demonstrating different lens so they could see what the benefits are of quality and different mm lenses. The largest piece of work pictured is about 5 x 5 inches square.

I used a 105 macro, and a Lensbaby with a 5.6 aperture ring with a +10 dipoter and a +4 Diopter. The lensbaby images are of the bird and the two images show the different magnifications. Working with the Lensbaby macro diopters, you have to get physically very close to the subject.

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