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DigitalScape Photography Shooting Macro Images www.DigitalScapePhotography.comCopyright © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.

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Presentation on theme: "DigitalScape Photography Shooting Macro Images www.DigitalScapePhotography.comCopyright © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved."— Presentation transcript:

1 DigitalScape Photography Shooting Macro Images © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.

2 Page 2 Overview Macro images are a challenge – everything comes into play Macro images are a challenge – everything comes into play Equipment Equipment DOF (Depth Of Field/Focus) DOF (Depth Of Field/Focus) Lighting/Illumination Lighting/Illumination Exposure Exposure Composition Composition Tips Tips

3 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 3 Setting up the Shot Everything impacts everything Everything impacts everything Aperture Aperture Shutter Speed Shutter Speed Focal Distance Focal Distance Focal Length Focal Length ISO ISO Illumination Illumination No one and only way to shoot No one and only way to shoot

4 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 4 Equipment Macro Lens Macro Lens Longer focal length – longer working distance Longer focal length – longer working distance Longer focal length means shallower DOF Longer focal length means shallower DOF Extension tubes can be used to reduce the minimum focal distance. Extension tubes can be used to reduce the minimum focal distance. External lighting External lighting Flash Flash Continuous Lighting Continuous Lighting Flashlight (use a LED type) Flashlight (use a LED type) Video lighting source Video lighting source

5 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 5 Equipment Tripod Tripod Cable Release Cable Release Shooting Tent Shooting Tent Reflectors/Diffusers Reflectors/Diffusers Exposure Meter Exposure Meter Camera meters can “lie” Camera meters can “lie” Filters/Gels Filters/Gels An assistant sometimes helps An assistant sometimes helps

6 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 6 My Equipment Canon 7D or Canon 40D Canon 7D or Canon 40D Canon EF180mm f/3.5L USM Macro Canon EF180mm f/3.5L USM Macro Canon Macro Twin Light MT Canon Macro Twin Light MT Shown with Sto-fen diffusers Shown with Sto-fen diffusers SLIK Titanium Tripod SLIK Titanium Tripod Center column can be shortened Center column can be shortened Really Right Stuff L Bracket Really Right Stuff L Bracket Really Right Stuff BH-40 LR Ballhead Really Right Stuff BH-40 LR Ballhead Lucas Macro Flash Bracket Lucas Macro Flash Bracket Sekonic-358 Light Meter Sekonic-358 Light Meter Canon Timer Remote Controller Canon Timer Remote Controller

7 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 7 DOF DOF components/factors DOF components/factors Aperture (increase f/stop, increase DOF) Aperture (increase f/stop, increase DOF) Distance to subject (increase distance, increase DOF) Distance to subject (increase distance, increase DOF) Lens focal length (increase focal length, decrease DOF) Lens focal length (increase focal length, decrease DOF) Sensor size (increase sensor size, decrease DOF) Sensor size (increase sensor size, decrease DOF) Focus: spot on because the DOF is very small/shallow Focus: spot on because the DOF is very small/shallow Use DOF to isolate subject Use DOF to isolate subject

8 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 8 Lighting Natural lighting is great, but a lot of times it is insufficient for the desired shutter speed / aperture setting Natural lighting is great, but a lot of times it is insufficient for the desired shutter speed / aperture setting Increase the ISO – will introduce more noise into the captured image. Increase the ISO – will introduce more noise into the captured image. This can be mitigated to some extent with software (i.e. Lightroom, PhotoShop, Noise Ninja, Noiseware) This can be mitigated to some extent with software (i.e. Lightroom, PhotoShop, Noise Ninja, Noiseware) Add external lighting Add external lighting

9 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 9 Lighting Flash – for fill or primary lighting Flash – for fill or primary lighting Need to diffuse the light to soften shadows Need to diffuse the light to soften shadows Softbox Softbox Umbrella Umbrella Best to be off camera Best to be off camera Sources Sources Single: i.e. Canon Speedlight 580EX Single: i.e. Canon Speedlight 580EX Dual: i.e. Canon Macro Twin Light MT-24EX Dual: i.e. Canon Macro Twin Light MT-24EX Ring: i.e. Canon Ring Flash MR-14EX Ring: i.e. Canon Ring Flash MR-14EX

10 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 10 Exposure Subject and Background Subject and Background Both images shot at same time of the day; ~1 f-stop difference in shutter speed f/11, 1/15 second, flash f/11, 1/6 second, flash

11 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 11 Exposure Use histogram display, if your camera has it. Use histogram display, if your camera has it. Don’t blow out the highlights Don’t blow out the highlights Don’t underexpose the shadows Don’t underexpose the shadows Watch color blow-outs Watch color blow-outs Whites, reds, yellows are easy to blow out Whites, reds, yellows are easy to blow out Lose the details Lose the details Your camera meter can and will “lie” Your camera meter can and will “lie”

12 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 12 Exposure Expose for the details/texture Expose for the details/texture

13 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 13 Composition Know the various composition “rules” Know the various composition “rules” i.e. rule of thirds, leading lines i.e. rule of thirds, leading lines Really guidelines Really guidelines Don’t center the subject in frame Don’t center the subject in frame Don’t shoot straight on – looks flat Don’t shoot straight on – looks flat Know when to break the “rules” Know when to break the “rules” Make the viewer’s eye move around Make the viewer’s eye move around

14 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 14 Composition Background Background Don’t let it distract/detract from the subject Don’t let it distract/detract from the subject Use DOF to softly blur; separate the subject Use DOF to softly blur; separate the subject Define/control the background Define/control the background f/8, 1/250 second, flashf/16, 1/250 second, flash, black background

15 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 15 Composition Centered, but has symmetry Soft, diffused background Very shallow DOF

16 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 16 Tips Shutter Speed Shutter Speed Freeze the subject Freeze the subject Freeze any camera motion Freeze any camera motion Aperture and DOF Aperture and DOF Use DOF to blur out unwanted background Use DOF to blur out unwanted background Aperture affects ambient light collected Aperture affects ambient light collected Use Flash Use Flash Diffuse the light source to soften shadows Diffuse the light source to soften shadows

17 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 17 Tips Use a tripod Use a tripod Stable platform Stable platform Best way to do long exposures Best way to do long exposures Remote release (or camera’s timer) Remote release (or camera’s timer) Minimize camera movement Minimize camera movement Use a shooting tent for even lighting Use a shooting tent for even lighting Visualize what you want to capture Visualize what you want to capture

18 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 18 Tips Bugs/Critters Bugs/Critters Shoot in a natural setting Shoot in a natural setting Watch to predict behavior Watch to predict behavior Bring bug spray – for you Bring bug spray – for you Shoot at same level as subject Shoot at same level as subject Shoot at different settings Shoot at different settings Find the one you like Find the one you like Note the EXIF data Note the EXIF data

19 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 19 Tips Time of Day / Weather Time of Day / Weather Early morning Early morning “Golden” hour “Golden” hour Cooler temperatures – critters are not moving Cooler temperatures – critters are not moving Morning dew can add interest Morning dew can add interest Low wind speeds Low wind speeds Late afternoon/early evening Late afternoon/early evening Cloudy skies Cloudy skies Soft/even light Soft/even light

20 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 20 Tips Use focus stacking to get deeper DOF Use focus stacking to get deeper DOF Photoshop Photoshop Zerene Stacker Zerene Stacker Helicon Focus Helicon Focus CombineZP CombineZP The image above was done with 6 images (slices)

21 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 21 Tips Shoot RAW format Shoot RAW format Control of white balance Control of white balance Can “save” marginal shot Can “save” marginal shot Can’t save out of focus or motion blur Can’t save out of focus or motion blur Learn to “develop”/process your images Learn to “develop”/process your images LightRoom LightRoom Photoshop (PhotoShop Elements) Photoshop (PhotoShop Elements) Lots of plug-ins/filters to help Lots of plug-ins/filters to help

22 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 22 Tips Practice, Practice, Practice Practice, Practice, Practice Patience, Patience, Patience Patience, Patience, Patience If you like the results – Fantastic! If others like the results – icing on the cake If you like the results – Fantastic! If others like the results – icing on the cake

23 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 23 More Examples

24 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 24 Summary Everything impacts everything Everything impacts everything Aperture Aperture Shutter Speed Shutter Speed Focal Distance Focal Distance Focal Length Focal Length ISO ISO Illumination Illumination No one and only way to shoot No one and only way to shoot

25 © 2012 – John J. Holland, All Rights Reserved.Page 25 Thank You Any questions? Any questions? You can contact me via at: You can contact me via at:


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