24th March 2012, 11:36 AM
Here's another macro. I've taken some of the good advice from the lat post and tried again. Please C&C, I am keen to get the hang of macros and appreciate the tips.
24th March 2012, 04:38 PM
Wayne - I wouldn't have been one of those offering advice, as macro work is something I just look at in wonder and admire those who do it.
But no matter what sty;e/genre we're pursuing, there are still some things that are common to all image making, I think. And I'd suggest that the one thing that's knocking out a really good image here is the distraction caused by those leaves at the back.
So the mantra 'always check the background' applies as much to this sort of shot as any other.
24th March 2012, 06:09 PM
I agree with Donald about the green in the background distracting, but kudos for the depth of field! I really like the image. You might be able to just crop out the leaves.
24th March 2012, 06:35 PM
The texture on the back edge is very interesting, and the lighting and colors on that edge are great.
You have a subject that is nearly perpendicular to the sensor, which is very challenging for macro because of limited depth of field. There are several things you can do to deal with this:
1. Up to a point, you can stop down. I'm one of those who thinks that diffraction warnings are overblown, and I have gotten very good prints from macros shot at f/20. Much beyond that, however, and things get quite soft.
2. Position the camera to make the subject closer to parallel to the sensor, to lessen the need for DOF.
3. Focus stack. I stack most of my macros, as long as the subject is static and I can use a tripod. (Lots of people stack images shot with a monopod, but I usually can't keep things well enough aligned.) Where the subject is deep, like your image, I always stack if I can, anywhere from 3 to a dozen images. That lets you get lots of DOF while keeping the aperture in the f/8-13 range, where the image is sharp. You can stack in CS5, but I do mine in specialized software, Zerene.
As an example, here is one that I had to stack. I don't recall for certain, but I think it was 5 images.
24th March 2012, 06:40 PM
That patch of green is really only a problem because the main subject is yellowish brown, so the green stands out a bit more. If there were green leaves in the foreground it wouldn't notice.
What I usually do, when faced with this sort of problem, is to use an Adjustment Layer, with mask, to selectively reduce the brighter areas.
25th March 2012, 06:48 AM
Thanks all for you feedback. Macro seems to be an entire journey in itself. To be honest Dan, I dont know what your talking about with focus stacking, but thats why I'm here. do you have any links to explain in detail? I agree the back ground is distracting, but the tighter shots didnt look as good, so here's y second version with PP black ground. What do you think
25th March 2012, 12:39 PM
I like it better with the background removed.
Focus stacking is the process of combining images with slightly different focal points, to increase depth of field. It's widely usedby macro photographers. For one example of a tutorial, check out this. YOu can find more by googling.
You can do it in photoshop CS5. Just google "cs5 focus stack". However, most people I know use specialized software. I use zerene, which is offers a lot more control over the process than CS5 does. There is a brief explanation, as well as some tutorials, on the Zerene web site.
If you are new to macro, my suggestion is that you put off stacking for a bit and instead focus on managing DOF with aperture and the angle of the subject. Once you feel more comfortable with that,, I would move on to stacking. You are definitely right that macro is separate journey, and it is a pretty demanding one, but if you are patient and willing to spend time practicing these new techniques, it is really rewarding.