PDF Digital Macro and Close-Up Photography For Dummies

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The only significant drawback to extension tubes is that they do create some light loss, but setting your camera to an automatic exposure mode will compensate for that. Close-Up Filters Close-up filters are like screw-on magnifiers for your lens. They work the same way that a standard magnifying glass works, by using a curved glass to alter light so that objects appear bigger. These highly specialized, sophisticated lenses can focus from infinity to at least a magnification factor at their closest focus setting, which means the image is reproduced life size on the sensor.

This is particularly important in macro photography, where one very small object occupies the entire image. A shorter focal length of 50mm or 60mm will work fine for subjects like plants, flowers, and inanimate objects that can be photographed from a very close distance.

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However, subjects like insects or wildlife that are dangerous or easily frightened must be photographed from farther away, so a longer focal length of mm or more is crucial. Macro lenses are actually very flexible and can be used for many types of photos, from food and product shots to portraits, and are widely used by many professionals.

Digital Macro & Close-up Photography by Ross Hoddinott - PDF Drive

Modern macro lenses incorporate a host of advanced focusing, vibration reduction, and light management technologies that produce amazingly sharp, clear, and distortion-free images. Additional Accessories for Macro Photography Among the most valuable accessories for macro photography are a tripod and a remote shutter release. Keeping the camera perfectly steady is essential for macro photography, so investing in tools that eliminate hand contact as much as possible is a good idea.

Because of the typically very narrow apertures used in macro photography, getting enough light can be a major problem. One solution is to use a ring light, a simple, affordable, and effective light that fits right over the lens of your camera. A LOT.

Outdoor macro photography is famously fun and rewarding; just about everything around you is a potential subject. The veggies in your fridge, the knick-knacks on your shelves, even the contents of your pocket can provide a happy afternoon of macro experimentation. Deal with the depth of field dilemma. The closer you get to your subject, the shallower the depth of field the region of sharp focus becomes, and this effect can make it very difficult to get your entire subject in focus.

Unfortunately, decreasing your aperture restricts light, so you may also have to decrease your shutter speed to compensate.

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Use manual focus if you can. Stabilize your camera as much as possible. Use a tripod and a remote shutter release, or at least set up your shots so that your camera is a stable as you can make it. The blurring effects of even the tiniest movements are exaggerated at high magnification and very close range, so keeping your camera as motionless as possible is key to getting the best shots.

Move the subject, not the camera. Try arranging your subject on a surface that can be easily moved, elevated, etc. This can be a major timesaver. Try the effect of different backgrounds. Fine-tune your composition. Experiment with your point of focus; sometimes the most minute change will give your subject a whole different look and create an entirely different effect. Keep it tidy. Start parallel, but experiment with different angles.


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Because macro photography involves very small apertures that restrict light, flash can be invaluable, especially when shooting outdoors with no supplemental lighting. Just about any flash will work, but using a diffusor will give the light a less harsh, more natural look. You can buy commercial flash diffusers, but you can actually use any translucent white material that you can put between your flash and the subject.

Why Use Macro and Close-Up Photography

Macro photography is a fascinating genre that can turn into a lifetime obsession. Micro, Macro or Close Up? Photo by John Campbell Leaf shot with a mm macro lens. Even the tiny hairs on the leaf are visible. The Equipment You Need For Macro Photography Like many aspects of digital imaging, macro photography can be as simple and affordable or as complexicated and expensive as you care to make it.


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Option 1: Point-and-Shoot Digital Cameras In a point-and-shoot digital camera, choosing the macro mode makes the lens elements automatically adjust for close focusing. Photo by graemeandginbooyah Coins shot using a digital point-and-shoot camera with a hand-held reverse 50mm prime lens Use Two Lenses, but Reverse One of Them If you have another lens in addition to a 50mm, you can put them both together to create a powerful macro setup.

By extension, that means this lens magnifies subjects to be five times larger than life-size. As with any other type of photography, the focal length you decide upon is entirely dependent on what you plan to shoot. If your goal is to take breathtaking photos of live insects, you want a longer focal length; getting too close might scare off the bugs. Alternatively, if you shoot jewelry which hopefully will not run away from you, explore lenses in the 50mmmm range.

For that, we would suggest something like the Sigma 70mm F2.


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  7. With macro lenses, small vibrations cause big blurs. A tripod is also incredibly helpful as you go through trial and error to determine the perfect settings for your shoot. However, when shooting macro photography autofocus will cause your lens to keep swimming and refocusing. Hopefully, a wide aperture and long exposure will provide enough light for your shot. While something like a flash ring or the Sony Alpha Macro Twin Flash Kit is preferred, beginners can use built-in pop-up flashes to start.

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