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.
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.
(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.)
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……
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!
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