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Macro Photography

My Therapy AKA Macro Photography

On the way home from work yesterday, I talked to my mother about my father’s lack of progress in rehab and other stressful issues that seem to come with aging sick stubborn as a mule parents. After the call, I was so discouraged, near to tears really, but I had to stop by the grocery store.   I had promised Pookah spaghetti for his lunch on Thursday.   On the way to the bell peppers, a little $4 bunch of flowers caught my eye and I grabbed them. I knew I would have about 2 hours before Pookah and Cdub came home from baseball practice.

Therapy time.

Stressed. So I got some flowers from the store and got my macro lens. #clickaday #vscocam
Macro Photography is my therapy. It makes me slow down. It makes me LOOK for beauty. It makes me struggle a little still.  It makes me happy.

So anyway, while I was shooting, I came up with the bright idea of showing you guys the before and after of how I shoot macro photography.

Here is a pull back before I started shooting. Sometimes I use my tripod, sometimes I’m don’t. But yesterday,  I was tired, so the tripod got dragged out.

Pull back

(Please excuse the boxes that are STILL here after a year and a half. In my defense, this is the last room I have to decorate and those boxes will CHILL there until I get ready.)
So as you can see, I’ve got my bunch of flowers in a GLASS for goodness sake( all of the vases already had flowers or dirty water in them so…), my ExpoDisc , my Canon 6D with my Canon 100mm loaded on the tripod and glorious slightly defused evening light from a north facing window.

Notice the red walls? I use this room all the time for macro photography because the light is always good.  But I MUST have correct white balance. otherwise, the flowers would all have  red tint.

After custom white balancing with the expodisc, I took a test shot……

flower macro photgography


A few tips:

  • For me, I tend to keep my ISO high so that I can keep my aperture narrow. I like a larger depth of field, so I tend to shoot at f/4.5 and above.  All of the photos in this post were shot between f 4.5 and f 10. YES f/10!!! When you shoot with a long focal length in general, your depth of field( how much is in focus) tends to be smaller than say a wide angle lens. So, although your tendency might be to shoot as wide open as possible, keep in mind that while you may get lots of creamy background and blur(bokeh) you will also have a lot of out of focus photos.
  • Another trick I’ve learned if I am handholding my camera instead of using my tripod,  is to hold my breath when I press the shutter button. It helps me handhold slow shutter speeds down to 1/50.
  • Manually focus your lens.  That’s right! Once again, with macro photography, your depth of field is usually so narrow that you want to be able to control exactly what you are focusing on. And most times, the best way to do that is to take control and manually focus your lens. That way, you get exactly what you want in focus, in focus!
  • Last tip is to shoot from every angle. Try above, eye level, below, from the side,  from the back….Variety makes macro photography beautiful!

flower macro photgography-5

flower macro photgography-15

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flower macro photgography-18

flower macro photgography-17

flower macro photgography-10

flower macro photgography-8

flower macro photgography-14
Now go forth and try Macro Photography! I want to see some pictures folks!!!

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  • Reply
    Reginia {}
    June 5, 2014 at 6:49 am

    These are great shots.

    I am so afraid to delve deeper into photography because it’s so much to learn. I’m scared that if I focus so much on the technical, I may lose my “eye”. I have to purchase a new cam before my 2 week tour of Europe. I don’t think my iPhone will do.

  • Reply
    June 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I’m getting my coins together!!! The last two are my fave, post card worthy!! Still praying for your parents and your strength through this.

  • Reply
    LeSha Brewer
    June 5, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Lovely photos! Great tips! I’d love to shoot with a 100mm. I always shoot wide open but I’m definitely going to have to try it with a larger depth of field.

  • Reply
    June 5, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Prayers going up for you and your family. Girl this post made me feel like I had a kodak camera from back in the days. I was like whaaaa then I was like ooohhhh then I was like I can’t do it I give up.

  • Reply
    June 6, 2014 at 11:42 am

    prays for your family hun! I have all of these features on my phones camera that I have never used. one of which is macro.

  • Reply
    Mrs. Pancakes
    June 7, 2014 at 9:43 am

    These are beautifully captured! What awesome therapy…family issues can be daunting and I hope your dad comes around to all that you are trying to do for him!!

  • Reply
    The Pro Diva
    June 7, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    I feel like I have been following you through your photography evolution, and you do such a great job. I love looking at your pictures! Keep ’em coming! And the tutorials are much appreciated! Praying for your dad!

  • Reply
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama
    June 9, 2014 at 9:52 am

    prayers are still up for your parents. I know this must be such a hard time for them and you.

    Your photos are simply stunning!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    100mm is like the antithesis of a macro lens, but you do it so well! I do it with my 200 and it’s fun, but I think sometimes I get TOO close. These are lovely.
    Can you tell me a little bit about the Expo disk and how you use it?

    • Reply
      June 11, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      The expo disc is a white balance tool. I used to SUCK at white balance and this really helped me to get it right almost every time with very little post processing work. What you do is stand in the spot where your subject is, turn your back to it, hold the exposdisc up to your lens and point it in the direction you will be standing. Therefore, capturing the light that is streaming on your subject. It is always best to make sure it is a properly exposed image too( look at your histogram, you want your spike to be right in the middle).Next, go in the menu of your camera and set your white balance to custom and shoot away! It sounds long and drawn out, but once you get used to doing it,it only takes a few seconds!! Hope that helped

      • Reply
        June 12, 2014 at 12:44 am

        Heh, I’m not sure I entirely understand the standing position, but it makes sense. I need to check out something like that for sure as sometimes the white balance can be a PITA to fix if it was really weird lighting for some reason. But most of the time I don’t have time to check those things anyway chasing my littles! Last time I did a “real” photo shoot of anything… I can’t remember!

  • Reply
    Sunflower Macro Photography: The Lovely Everyday
    October 15, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    […] But as always, Macro photography is my therapy. […]

  • Reply
    Tanya @Mom's Small Victories
    February 18, 2015 at 9:30 am

    I love love love photography. You’re right it’s my therapy too but I don’t yet have a DSLR. These photos are gorgeous. Hope your dad’s rehab improves 🙂

  • Reply
    February 18, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I just know if I take the time out and practice I would enjoy photography as a way to relax and so much more. LaShawn your pictures are glorious and you always share great tips. Waiting on a book from you girl!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    These photos are gorgeous! I’ve had a DSLR for years now, and I think I’m confident enough to try new lenses finally. I really want a macro lens since you can get all of those detailed shots!

  • Reply
    Erica @ The Crumby Cupcake
    February 18, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Beautiful shots, LaShawn! I struggle with macro, as well, mainly because I have yet to buy a macro lens – it’s on my wishlist! The one I want is super pricey though (since I’m a spoiled brat who has to have the best of everything lol), so I’ve been settling trying to do as much as possible with what I have. With food photography, which is my main type, super-zoom isn’t used THAT much, but I can’t wait to be able to focus on a bowl of sprinkles and have them look sharp and perfect!

  • Reply
    February 19, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Such beautiful shots girl! I too love photography and continue to learn how to take good pictures. I’m a work in progress but I hope to get as good as you!

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