Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reaping the Small Creature - A Macro Photography Technique

Object of small creatures are always attracted our attention, both as a photographer and photos lovers, since so many types of these creatures and are everywhere. For beginner photographers to get pictures of small creatures there are some basic guidelines that can help to give a satisfactory image results, including:
Please clicking the photos for view in large size, thank you.
1. Finding the potential location
photo 01
Macro objects actually exist everywhere. However, if we look for small creatures, we must know the specific locations generally have populations more than others. Butterflies and bees like the location of a rather warm / sun and a lot of flower. Not all types of flowers, butterflies willing flowers are small and have lots of honey.
While small creatures such as fleas, ladybugs, grasshoppers, etc. prefer areas close to the calm water, e.g. lakes / ponds and a rather damp place become an excellent habitat for them. Surely they will disappear from dense residential areas that every occasionally spray pesticides.
2. Select the appropriate time
Too late then the result is small creatures to be very active and the sun is too hot. The result of the shooting will not be maximal with this condition. I recommend shooting in the early morning hours of 8-10 am range. Before 8 o'clock, usually they are still hiding and difficult to see, although it convenient to take pictures because they tend to be silent.
For animals that can fly like a butterfly, bee, and dragonfly should be before 8 am, because they are still not active. However, several species of butterfly which, when perched wings closed so that the beauty of its wings are not visible then it becomes an exception.
3. Train your eye and slowly in approach the object
Macros object unlike other object shooting. They tend to be very small and hidden (that is the beauty of it). Therefore, you need to be very careful and slowly in walking, pay attention to any small object though (sometimes only small creatures about the size of less than 0.5 cm). Usually we can see them because of their differences with the background color, e.g. red ladybug on a green leaf. Therefore, look carefully if there is such a color difference.
Each animal, including small creatures, have a different circle of fear. Circle of fear is the maximum distance between them and us which if we are exceeding (closer) then they will run away. Each animal has a radius circle of fear is different. For example, the butterfly, its radius reaches about 1-2 meters. Therefore, if we are too close to them then they will run away, while such ladybugs can reach several centimeters. Generally, a creature that can be fly have more sensitive.
The circle of fear determines how far we can approach the object and how focal length used. Shooting butterflies for instance should use a lens with focal length 200mm and above. In addition, if we have started to enter the circle of fear then we need to run more slowly, stopping every animal showed suspicious signs, etc..
4. Using manual focus mode
Macro object is small enough and some of its or because the surrounding habitat does not provide color contrast, making it very difficult to focus on the point that we would expect if you use auto focus, while the very limited time before the animal escaped.
When we are shooting macro, depth-of-field is very thin, so just a little movement could have been out of focus. Therefore, using the method of focusing by pressing the shutter button half is not very practical. Because every time we want to take pictures then the camera will do the focusing.
The best way to anticipation is to use manual focus mode. Set was the focus on the camera and or on the lens to manual focus mode.
5. Using macro lens or reverse lens technique
Macro object is relatively very small. If we want to be able to capture details, then we need to use a lens that can handle a very close focus distances. This special lens called a macro lens.
However, if have not a macro lens then we be use a technique known as reverse lens. This technique uses one particular type of ring (a very cheap price, to attach the lenses, usually prime lens / prime with aperture width, for example, the EF 50mm f1.8 that costs are also cheaper) in the inverted position. How to focusing it? Of course should manually, but then shooting macros generally use manual focusing.

6. Using flashlight
In some conditions required for any catch flashlight (light in the eyes of the object, which makes objects seem alive) to help the shooting. Does it need a special flash? No, you can simply use the built-in flash. However, built-in flash can be relatively hard light and create shadows that are less artistic.
For this type of creatures “Blue Eyes "- without the flash, the eyes of small creatures would not look "lit".
Therefore, some techniques can be use. The easiest technique is to use flash exposure compensation (read your camera's user manual for the settings). Because of its importance only to catch light or fill-in then use the compensation to -2.
The other way is to use a diffuser. You can make your own from the former film tube (a milky white color). Another way is to put the tissue / tracing paper in front of the flash. Be careful with the second way, make sure the tissue and paper does not stick to the flash, you can cause a fire because the heat from the flash. The easiest way is to buy a diffuser.
For Sony camera available types flash to support macro shooting.
7. Hold your breath
The correlation of hold your breath with Macro Photography is the fact when we hold our breath tends to be more stable (not shake) to produce a sharper image.
There is a rule-of-thumb in which the minimum speed (without IS) is 1/focal length x crop factor is still valid. Therefore, if you use a macro lens EF 100mm f2.8 then the required minimum speed is 1 / 125 sec. However, in macro photography issue is the depth-of-field is very narrow, so we just shake a little then maybe the focus is no longer in the eyes but the back of small creatures. Surely, this is not our desire. That is why we hold your breath during focusing and pressing the shutter button....
8. Using adequate aperture
The impact of aperture the same in non-macros and macro image is different. Maybe in f4 just shoot a models already produce sharp images of objects. However, even in macro photography up to F16 was still there only body part that is not a sharp object (e.g. legs). This is because the depth-of-field super-narrow because of the distance lens and the object is very close.
Therefore, make sure you use adequate aperture. Generally takes at least f8 to shoot small creatures to get most of the body's eyes & small creatures in a sharp condition. A direct result of this is the decrease in shutter speed if not matched by the ISO which adequate or additional light source (flash).
9. Using tripod & live view
For stationary objects, such as flowers, then the best way to produce super sharp images is to use a tripod and live view function. Tripod allows the camera in a super position steady. While the live view allows us to zoom up to 5x so that manual focusing can be done with great precision.
When focus obtained using the timer / cable release to ensure no wobble that makes focus shifted. Of course, also make sure the object in a steady state; it is useless to use a tripod when there is interest in open locations with strong winds. First, block the wind that blows before setting a tripod.
Surely, the tips number 10 is "Let's grab your camera immediately, go out and shoot the object". All sorts of theories are useless if you do not experience it for yourself. Take some time, shoot, make mistakes, review and improve your skills yourself. Only by trying then you will understand the beauty of macro photography.

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