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Thread: My first macro attempt!

  1. #1
    Otavio's Avatar
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    My first macro attempt!

    Hi fellows. Enough of cell phone shots for now . These are my very first macro images; still trying my first steps into this universe (world is not enough to define it!). Having the proper light, extremelly shallow DoF, camera stabilization and many other aspects make this a very different universe. Also, I am still testing and getting familiar with the gear (ET, TC, Flash ring). All shot handheld and manual focusing. I plan to start using the tripod asap. Any C&C is appreciated, as always, specially from those who shoot macro. Thank you very much for viewing!

    #1 - A Fly

    My first macro attempt!

    #2 - A small garden ant

    My first macro attempt!

    #3 - A Phereoeca uterella' small head! This head is less than 1mm wide! This little guy is also known as plaster bagworm.

    My first macro attempt!

    #4 - A Psychodidae

    My first macro attempt!

  2. #2

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    Re: My first macro attempt!

    I would say, Otavio, that you will notice a difference with a tripod.

    A ball head, with one of the quick release or easy one handed locking systems works better for me than having to fiddle with two locking screws in two different directions. Although that works fine for flowers or anything else which isn't going to quickly fly away.

    I see you are using a rather wide aperture; between f5.6 and F11. I find F11 to be the minimum and prefer somewhere around F14. But this causes other problems and you are currently using Iso 800.

    This is where some form of flash, or other lighting, becomes necessary.

    I normally set my camera manually (typically 1/200 F14 iso 200) then adjust my lighting to fit those settings. For example, ETTL flash with a bit of exposure compensation to suit the scene.

    Manual focusing certainly works best for me; although I sometimes need to have AF for those subjects which keep flitting around faster than I can manually focus.

    Start with static or slow moving subjects, including flowers etc until you feel sufficiently confident to tackle those nervous models!

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    Otavio's Avatar
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    Re: My first macro attempt!

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    I would say, Otavio, that you will notice a difference with a tripod.

    A ball head, with one of the quick release or easy one handed locking systems works better for me than having to fiddle with two locking screws in two different directions. Although that works fine for flowers or anything else which isn't going to quickly fly away.

    I see you are using a rather wide aperture; between f5.6 and F11. I find F11 to be the minimum and prefer somewhere around F14. But this causes other problems and you are currently using Iso 800.

    This is where some form of flash, or other lighting, becomes necessary.

    I normally set my camera manually (typically 1/200 F14 iso 200) then adjust my lighting to fit those settings. For example, ETTL flash with a bit of exposure compensation to suit the scene.

    Manual focusing certainly works best for me; although I sometimes need to have AF for those subjects which keep flitting around faster than I can manually focus.

    Start with static or slow moving subjects, including flowers etc until you feel sufficiently confident to tackle those nervous models!
    Thanks, Geoff, for the feedback. I will consider all of your suggestions for the forthcoming tries. Definitely a lot of practice will be needed until the good results. Regards,

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    Re: My first macro attempt!

    Hi Otavio,

    As a 'first attempt' these are still pretty good - as I have come to expect from you

    My favourite is #2, the ant because of the background.

    For me #1 is spoilt by the harsh bokeh in the water drops - my 70-300mm isn't much better at f/5.6, but improves considerably by f/11, so another reason to stop down.
    Also in number one, there's a double image of some parts, so I suspect the fly twitched within the 1/500s and caused movement of the leaf.

    As Geoff says, they would be improved with greater DoF.

    Cheers,

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    Re: My first macro attempt!

    Otavio,

    Good first attempt and worthwhile keeping as a datum to build on. Not really any more I can say that has not been covered already, we know you have the skills to recognise subject and composition so the aim now is to get those 'eyes' sharp by whatever means is available to you.

    I'm sure you will read and get lots of advice on the best equipment and lighting e.t.c to use but it's a genre of photography that I believe relies more upon the skill of the photographer than the equipment generally. I follow another forum which has a dedicated macro section and there is a member who posts the most amazing images of flies and bees, handheld, natural light, and focus stacked that demonstrate what is capable if you can hold a camera steady.

  6. #6
    Otavio's Avatar
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    Re: My first macro attempt!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Otavio,

    As a 'first attempt' these are still pretty good - as I have come to expect from you

    My favourite is #2, the ant because of the background.

    For me #1 is spoilt by the harsh bokeh in the water drops - my 70-300mm isn't much better at f/5.6, but improves considerably by f/11, so another reason to stop down.
    Also in number one, there's a double image of some parts, so I suspect the fly twitched within the 1/500s and caused movement of the leaf.

    As Geoff says, they would be improved with greater DoF.

    Cheers,
    Hello, Dave. Thank you very much for the valuable feedback. I will surely search for a wider DoF on my next tries. Thanks for spending your time here. Cheers...

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    Re: My first macro attempt!

    Hi Otávio,

    well most has been said. A tripod (+ ballhead + cable realse) is a must to have for macro, not saying that you can not do macro without a tripod but it allows a stronger compostion (impoves the control what is in- and outside the frame), use of longer exposure times, the focus setting is more accurate (less wastage) and helps to stay at low ISO than you can do by handheld. However, that comes for the price of beeing dependend on stationary objects or quniescent insects (moring and evening houres).

    For hand held macros I set my cam to burst mode, avoid exposure times longer than 1/100 s (useing a 150mm OS macro lense) in order to reduce wastage due to motion blur. The appeture is selected depending of the intension ie. how much DoF I like to have and typcally varies between f/4.5 and f/18 (effective aperture).

    There is definetly no need for flash, that money can be saved and spent for a decent ball head. Adding a flash is the next level, since you have to master the light setting on top. However, is a strong tool when you have learned to master it.

    Most important, watch the light, observe the background, be patient and take your time. I typically need 1/2 to 1 hour in the filed for a picture series of a single motif.

  8. #8
    Otavio's Avatar
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    Re: My first macro attempt!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stagecoach View Post
    Otavio,

    Good first attempt and worthwhile keeping as a datum to build on. Not really any more I can say that has not been covered already, we know you have the skills to recognise subject and composition so the aim now is to get those 'eyes' sharp by whatever means is available to you.

    I'm sure you will read and get lots of advice on the best equipment and lighting e.t.c to use but it's a genre of photography that I believe relies more upon the skill of the photographer than the equipment generally. I follow another forum which has a dedicated macro section and there is a member who posts the most amazing images of flies and bees, handheld, natural light, and focus stacked that demonstrate what is capable if you can hold a camera steady.
    Hi Grahame. Thanks for leaving your comments. They will be very important to me, in this new world I'm starting to explore...Cheers.

  9. #9
    Otavio's Avatar
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    Re: My first macro attempt!

    Quote Originally Posted by another Marcus View Post
    Hi Otávio,

    well most has been said. A tripod (+ ballhead + cable realse) is a must to have for macro, not saying that you can not do macro without a tripod but it allows a stronger compostion (impoves the control what is in- and outside the frame), use of longer exposure times, the focus setting is more accurate (less wastage) and helps to stay at low ISO than you can do by handheld. However, that comes for the price of beeing dependend on stationary objects or quniescent insects (moring and evening houres).

    For hand held macros I set my cam to burst mode, avoid exposure times longer than 1/100 s (useing a 150mm OS macro lense) in order to reduce wastage due to motion blur. The appeture is selected depending of the intension ie. how much DoF I like to have and typcally varies between f/4.5 and f/18 (effective aperture).

    There is definetly no need for flash, that money can be saved and spent for a decent ball head. Adding a flash is the next level, since you have to master the light setting on top. However, is a strong tool when you have learned to master it.

    Most important, watch the light, observe the background, be patient and take your time. I typically need 1/2 to 1 hour in the filed for a picture series of a single motif.
    Hi Marcus. I appreciate your valuable feedback. Surely, it will be of much importance for the next steps. Kindest regards,

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