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Thread: Macro's

  1. #1
    WJT's Avatar
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    Macro's

    I took this one yesterday morning. I'm new to macro so would like some feedback please. Macro's

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    Re: Macro's

    What camera settings, Wayne? The Exif may be attached to the image but some of use are unable to extract it.

    Your depth of field is a bit shallow but in many cases that is all which is available for a macro shot. Ideally, for a shot like this I would use F14 or maybe F16; and add a bit of flash if necessary.

    The only other comment is that, if possible, I would like to have seen the whole of your subject. But that is just an artistic thing. I often take part shots like this for identification purposes.

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    Re: Macro's

    Hi Wayne,

    You saved this as png instead of jpg, which is what is preventing EXIF extraction

    Geoff has most things covered, the only thing I'd add is that macro may be new to you, but don't overlook the basics of presenting an image with a decent dynamic range; this only spans from 37 to 194 of the 0 to 255 luminance range (although the blue channel does go to 241).

    Cheers,

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    Re: Macro's

    Recently someone here on CiC put me on to Zerene Stacker (Snarkbyte).

    It is a focus stacking software that I'm trying out, and so far it's working very well. I've used CombineZM (free) and tried Helicon, but Zerene works best for me.

    With this simple technique you can greatly improve the depth of field of your shots.

    http://zerenesystems.com/cms/stacker

    Glenn

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    darekk's Avatar
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    Re: Macro's

    This blue mushrom is beatiful. The depth of field appears to be correct - the first plane is not lost in the background. Perhaps except one line in the bottom-left corner. However it is a little unsharp, probably because you was shaking the camera. Or maybe sharp ...

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    Re: Macro's

    F14, 1/30 and 400 ISO Geoff. I didnt want any background disturbance but tried to get enough DoF to get a good focal range on the mushroom. I may have to get a digital trigger as I think the tripod has moved when I'm pressing the button.

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    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Macro's

    Quote Originally Posted by WJT View Post
    F14, 1/30 and 400 ISO Geoff. I didnt want any background disturbance but tried to get enough DoF to get a good focal range on the mushroom. I may have to get a digital trigger as I think the tripod has moved when I'm pressing the button.
    Wayne:

    To prevent vibrations, use the 10 second shutter delay when using a tripod doing macro. Also by using LV, the mirror doesn't flip up causing vibrations.

    Glenn

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    Re: Macro's

    A shutter speed of 1/30 maybe be fine indoors, subject to what Glenn mentioned, but movement of your subject due to wind rock can cause problems outside. It's amazing how much plants will move even in light winds.

    For outdoor shots I prefer to keep the shutter speed a bit higher. Something around 1/200 usually proves sufficient for me. And that also fits in well with flash, when required.

    One other advantage with a higher shutter speed is that at one time I used an electrical cable release but found it was too fiddly when photographing insects which only settle for a brief period.

    I now find with a faster speed I can usually get by without a cable release. Yes, occasionally I get a bit of mirror slap or other problems but, for me, that is greatly outweighed by my quicker response time. Which tends to capture more of those quick shots of nervous bugs.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 14th February 2012 at 06:46 PM. Reason: extra line

  9. #9
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    Re: Macro's

    Good attempts Wayne - good macro photography is not easy, in my opinion a tripod is essential for stability, we are working with such small depths of field that we need to make sure that our camera doesn't move, not even a fraction between focusing and recording the image on the sensor.

    I always manually focus when taking my macro images, it gives me greater control over my point of focus - most DSLR's have 'live view', I urge you to use it when composing and focusing.

    Someone mentioned using a flash in an earlier post.
    I would urge caution - if you do use flash I would strongly advise you to use an off-camera flash (hold it a few feet to the side of your lens) that way you prevent it 'flattening your image' by removing all shadows. You need some shadow to give a feeling of depth to your image.
    What I would encourage you to try is a reflector - I have a piece of stiff card about 18" x 12", one side it bright white and on the other I have glued some crumpled silver foil. The white side gives me +1/2 stop of extra light and the silver gives 1 full stop. This is an easy way to improve the illumination of your subject without fear of blowing out the highlights or messing about trying to balance the flash - to so much of a problem with flowers but impossible when you start to photograph insects.

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: Macro's

    Quote Originally Posted by CBImages View Post
    Someone mentioned using a flash in an earlier post.
    I would urge caution - if you do use flash I would strongly advise you to use an off-camera flash (hold it a few feet to the side of your lens) that way you prevent it 'flattening your image' by removing all shadows. You need some shadow to give a feeling of depth to your image.
    It depends on the purpose of the photography. Some general scenes look good, and more natural, with some shadows. But often, the main purpose of using flash is to remove shadows.

    For example, photographing insects particularly when the images are used for identification purposes. Sometimes a flower shot will be enhanced by a bit of shadow but often the shadow spoils the impact.

    There aren't any definite rules for this sort of thing.

  11. #11
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    Re: Macro's

    Great advice thanks Chris. This post has been a real learning curve for me. One thing i forgot to not is that it was just 20 minutes after sunrise, so it is a very soft light. Its always a very forgiving light but can have an effect on the sharpness of the picture.

  12. #12
    WJT's Avatar
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    Re: Macro's

    Thansk Geoff. All very good and relevant information. It shows the dpeth of possibilites in macro. I will look forward to putting some (all) of this to good use.

    Wayne

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