My Photography – Covid-19 made me go Macro
One Glass Marble in Macro
In previous posts, I indicated a number of times that I had a definite preference for close-up, in your face, snap-and-run photography.
Covid-19 and Macro Photography
I must have mellowed since then, or maybe, the Covid-19 social distancing rules have had a moderating effect on me. In the last few weeks, I have started experimenting with and exploring the world of macro photography.
So - What is Macro Photography?
Simply put, macro photography starts where close-up photography ends, and macro photography ends where micro-photography begins. Technically, in macro photography there is a need for some special equipment.
- Close-up filters they are like screw-on magnifying glasses for a lens. They create unwanted color problems like “fringing” or chromatic aberration. I would class them the worst possible choice.
- A reversing ring, also known as a reversing adapter, is a very affordable piece of equipment that allows one to use a regular lens mounted on the camera in reverse.
- Macro-photography extension tubes, these tubes are hollow, without any optical elements inside - therefore relatively cheap. They fit between the lens and camera body and work by extending the distance between the sensor and lens – thus reducing the lens’ minimum focusing distance and increasing the size of the image on the sensor.
- Extention Bellows, work exactly like extension tubes. Their advantage is that they provide a continuous range of magnification possibilities without changing lenses or tubes. Their main disadvantage; they are cumbersome, relatively heavy – not something to carry around on a field trip.
- Macro lenses – they are a bit pricier than revers rings or extention tubes, but they have the advantage of greater flexibility. A good, mid-range lens will allow a greater working distance from the subject (quite advantageous if photographing insects or objects that you don’t want to get real close to). A working distance from the front of the lens is about 30 to 60 cm.
My choice was a Nikon AF-S Micro NIKKOR 105mm with a (healthy) Minimum Focus Distance of 31.4 cm
So armed with my trusted camera, the macro lens, a tripod and a borrowed flash – I started experimenting.
The problems encountered immediately were:
- Depth of field. The closer I got to the subject, the shallower the depth of field, the harder to focus property. However, the lack of depth of field has an advantage on the final product – if done properly, only the subject is in focus, all distractions are blurred.
- Most shots – so far – were with the aid of a tripod and remote shutter release. I am still training to get good shots with a hand-held camera.
I am still improving my macro skills (at home, controlled lighting and no wind). Soon, I will test myself with a less controlled environment outdoors.
Macro is a Magical World!
An abundance and variety of interesting subjects and one can find things you didn’t know existed! (like the colors on the legs of that spider)
Your macro images can really WOW people.
An additional plus is that one don’t have to get up early or wait for sunrise or sunset. No need to travel to far off lands. Suitable subjects can be found your house, backyard, or around town.