Macro World[p]Marco world of photography is an exciting part of photography to get into .What I love about the amount that I do and it is nothing compared to others, is that you are seeing things that you would normally just walk past and so on. Once you start to think Macro World, then you will notice things that you haven’t before.They have always been there but we have just walked past it all.[/p] [p]I think it is good for all photographers when starting out to look at Macro World as it does teach you a lot about the things that are there that you wouldn’t normally notice. If you start looking into this wonderful area, you will be teaching yourself to be even more aware of what is around you. The rewards are stunning and you are making people aware the things that lay at their feet, or up in branches, in reeds or where ever it may be, you’re making people aware of a whole new world.[/p] [p] In order to have some success in Marco World as I call it, there are some things that you need to consider. Firstly you need to make sure that you have true dedicate marco lens for the job. A fixed Macro lens will always give you a better result than trying to use the close up function on some of the zoom lens that are out there.There is no substitute in my view for a dedicated macro lens.[/p] [p]The other thing which is the number one thing to be aware of and it is so important , use a tripod. Don’t be lazy!!! Now there are others who don’t use a tripods and they do get very good results and in some cases outstanding results but most of us are not that good at hand holding the camera dead still.. So for me, the golden rule is when I’m teaching people, you need a good sturdy tripod and not skinny tripod that is go ing to wobble as soon as you place the lens on it.At the end of the day, a camera on a tripod will always be sharper than a hand held image in my opinion.[/p] [p]Once you have the shot set up, I always do two things .If you camera a has mirror lock up on it, then use it and lock it up as this prevent camera shake as well and the other thing that I do all the time is to use the self timer on the camera. This is crucial as this eliminates any camera shake.[/p] [p]I use the self timer on my camera where ever I can as no matter how careful you are in pressing that shutter down, you will still over the camera, even if it is on the tripod. Remember when we take a picture we are trying to create the sharpest picture possible and in Macro world.It is so important. I do understand and know that there are places where setting the self timer is not practical and one must hand hold but where ever you can, use it.[/p] [p]Another important aspect to Macro World is to have no wind if possible. I say this as when you are close up on your subject, you can have the slightest breeze and when you look through the cameras view finder it looks like a blowing through the lens!!!
The ideal day for marco world is a windless day. If there is wind out there and I have never used these but I have seen the results are they are very good, you can buy special soft boxes that will fit around your subject that will cut a lot f the wind out.[/p] [p]So why don’t I have one of these? Well for the same reason I don’t have a ring flash as there is only so much you can carry and for me I want to enjoy my photography as much as I can not not to be carrying a ton of gear.[/p] [p]Having said that if my main focus in photography was Macro World, then yes I would have a ring flash and a special soft box. That’s common sense. I try to worked with as little gear as I can the older I get and there are still items that i need to cut out .. I still have a lot of stuff but much less than others.[/p] [p]What I do if I need a flash is use my the pop up flash on your cameras as these are awesome additions to your camera and in most cases you can control the strength of the flash which gives wonderful reflects. Is it as stunning as the ring flash, no but for those who know me and have done my photo tours, the one thing that I always stress is that photography is about compromise and in my case, I will travel as light as I can wherever I can.[/p] [p]If Macro World was your main focus in photography then a ring flash would be a must and will give better results.
I do take with me a reflector, a small one to reflect light onto my subject and this is a great help and having you camera on the tripod means that you have your hands free to do these extra things.[/p] [p]When doing Macro World I like to explore this region when its been raining. Why is this? I like the freshness and richness in colour that the rain brings and you get to explore the world of droplets of water as well.[/p] [p]When shooting things in Macro World you need to have the subject on the same plane if you can. This will give you far better results. What do I mean on the same plane? It’s be square on to your subject. The images on this butterfly with its wings spread out, I was above it, looking straight down on the butterfly with my camera.The leaf with the water droplets on it, my camera was on the same plane, looking right down on it. If you have the camera on same angle to the subject, it will be much easier to have it all in focus. So having the camera square on the subject or on the same plane will give you best results, particularly if you are just starting out in macro World.[/p] [p]Having said that, you still will get amazing and stunning results when the camera is not square on, these notes are for people just starting out and to get them on their way and I want them to come away with pleasing results with their first attempts of Macro World and as they improve, their creativity will grow as well. The Journey is endless.[/p] [p]When shooting Marco World and this is a general rule and like everything there are always exceptions to the rule. f 16 should be your starting point and going upwards in your numbers. Now having said that, you can use a shallow depth of field if you are just wishing to highlight one part of your subject, thats another topic yet again. The thing about using a shallow depth of field where you burr the background out, you will be removing naturally any distractions. [/p] [p]Most good DSLRs will have a depth of preview button and this is your best friend when doing Macro World.Don’t be lazy, research it on your camera by ready your manual as when you know how to use this simple button, it will actually show you what is in focus and what is not. It’s a great tool that your camera has to guide you with your subject in letting you know how you are going with your subjects focus.[/p] [p]When shooting Macro World , make sure your subject has a main point of interest where you are drawn into the picture, this will give it great appeal and emotive impact.[/p] [p]When it comes to focus, I always use manual focus and I do think this will give you better results. If you are using auto, just be aware that it will hunt and may focus on the wrong part of your subject. Remember in Macro World, you are taking people to an area where they normally don’t go, you are highlighting something to them where you are taking them either semi close or right in close so you need to make sure that you are focusing on the right spot. You can shift your focus points around in your camera and if you are not confident in manually focusing your camera, make sure you are aware of how to change your focus dots so you can put the focus dots on the area where you need to focus on the right area.[/p] [p]The pictures that I have submitted are all taken on the 105mm Nikon macro lens. These are all film based, not digital,( the exception is the butterfly, that was taken on a DSLR) taken on Fuji Velvia, rated at ISO 25.[/p] [p]These images are not extreme macro but they are macro and can’t be taken with out that lens. It’s a lovely and sharp lens. I want people to make a good strong start in Macro World hence the examples that I have shown are easily achievable and the results are pleasing.[/p] [p]Now in the digital world there are programs that can take you to other levels that are impressive and this will be the follow up article to this later.[/p] [p]In that world it takes longer, you spend more time on your computer. The above is simple I know but it will get you going and not having to spend time on your computer.[/p]