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March 18, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Tip of the week: Look close for a whole new world of possibilities in front of the camera. Spring is just around the corner. With the coming warmer weather, expect to see more bugs and flowers when outside (and probably some inside too). When I want to take nature photographs, I don't always have the time to go to a truly natural place. With a macro lens, I don't have to go far to find some unique nature photos. The macro lens allows for me to focus extremely close and to see a details that the human eye normally can't see.

The best part about macro photography is that you don't have to go far to find a interesting subject.....bugs are everywhere (you just have to look a little harder). The unique images bring the viewer into a truly exotic scene. The macro lens does present a couple of unique challenges: very narrow depth of field, less light coming through the lens, and exaggerated motion in the photos. There are a couple of ways to try to overcome these shortfalls.

Stop the aperture down a couple of stops to gain extra depth of field at high magnification (even stopping down to F/11 will give you just a few extra millimeters of usable focus). All lenses lose light gathering ability at close focus versus focus at infinity. With the high magnification of the macro lens, expect to lose a couple of stops of light when focusing on something near the start of the focusing range. To combat this light loss, either shoot in sunny conditions or raise your ISO from what you would normally shoot at. Motion is the last pitfall to overcome with a macro lens. The slightest breeze can send your subject swaying out of the viewfinder altogether. To combat this exaggerated motion, be prepared to shoot a much higher shutter speed than normal. Again, I find that raising the ISO can be the biggest help. You can also try to light the subject with a flash, however it's best if you move the flash off-camera to allow for dimensionality in the lighting.

100mm             f/6.3                    1/250sec                     ISO 200
100mm              f/5             1/800sec                ISO 1000
100mm                f/5.6              1/500sec              ISO 3200
100mm                 f/10               1/500sec                ISO 1600
100mm                 f/7.1                 1/800sec                  ISO 3200
100mm                f/10                   1/500sec                ISO 3200

For example on macro exposure: Assume that your normal exposure at a normal distance is 1/500sec      f/4           ISO 100.........

The Macro exposure would be:      1/125sec                       f/4                     ISO 100...........

You will need a higher shutter speed than 1/125 for sharp photos so..........    1/500              f/4                ISO 400

You will need a smaller aperture for added DOF........         1/500                   f/16                       ISO 6400

 


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