Holy Macro - Part 1

February 13, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

I’ve always had an interest in taking close-ups of flowers, but had never really gotten into macro photography.   Macro photography requires more planning and setup than my other photography.  It demands that you seek the fine details.  It is more creative. The result is art rather than just a pretty picture.  

 

In February, I started a non-credit class at Waukesha County Technical College in macro photography. Taking a class is one of the best ways to learn as it forces you to try new techniques, practice, as well as review and learn from class photo critiques.

 

So I set out to purchase my first macro lens, the Tamron SP 90MM F/2.8 DI MACRO 1:1 VC.  It has Vibration Control which should assist in maintaining focus in some handheld shots. 

 

I’m finding the biggies in macro photography are depth of field, focus and lighting.   Focus is important in any photography but in macro photography it is imperative because of the details.  Depth of field is the amount of area that is in focus.  In extreme close-ups, there is a very shallow depth of field or area of focus.  The lighting you choose “makes” or “breaks” the photo.  A poorly lit photo is uninteresting.   I will provide examples of each of these concepts. 

 

Focus - A minimum requirement for all photography 

 

 

Out of FocusOops! Just a little too breezy

Focused CorrectlyAll detail is visible

 

 

 

Depth of Field - Choosing area of focus.  The closer you are to an object the narrower the depth of field or the smaller the area of focus.  Now this can be adjusted in a variety of ways which I'm not getting into at this point. 

 

Focus on the paper money

 

 

Focus on the coins

 

 

 

Lighting - The same picture with different lighting looks much different.  I experimented using an LED flashlight to change the lighting effect. 

 

Lighting Effect 1 This is the light treatment I preferred.

 

 

Lighting Effect 2 Lighting slightly higher made the photo much less dramatic

 

 

 

We also used the flashlights to do light painting on an item we brought to class. 

 

Light Painting Marbles

 

 

 

This is just the beginning as there is so much to learn.  Stay tuned for Holy Macro - Part 2. 

 

 

 


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