A couple of weeks ago, I and my friend John thought of trying some macro photos. It was actually me who had asked John to show me some techniques on macro photography and he had accepted to it.
So we headed to a park near John's place and he shared with me some tips on macro photography.
Since neither of did not have a proper macro lens, we thought of using the kit lens with a macro ring. John had shared whatever knowledge he has in regards with macro. John gave a good session about the proper lighting, using of tripods, using of flashes appropriately and the importance of getting a macro lens and an extension tube.
Here are some of the photos that I tried during that time and later. All the photos were taken hand held, using the kit lens and a macro ring held in front of it.
Almost in all the photos the lens was only between 6mm to 8mm away from the subject.
A Jewel formed of dew drops
Close up of the stamen of a very tiny flower.
Moth sitting idle early in the morning
A Spider waiting patiently for its prey.
There are a few important lessons that learnt from this session or experiment.
1. FOCUS: This is what is going to make of break the photographs. Since we are photographing very tiny objects and that too very close from the subject, it is important that the focus is accurate. Even if it a 1mm error, it is going to show up really big in the photo.
2. TRIPOD: It is very important to use a tripod. Photographing hand held will not be a good idea, since as seen in the previous point, even a 1mm shake can cause the photo to go haywire. If you observe the photographs above closely, not all the photos are in sharp focus. This is because everything was shot hand held.
3. APERTURE: Most of the time we might have to use a narrow aperture. Depending on the lens the DOF may vary. We need good depth in the photo so we cover the entire intended subject. The SPIDER photo is a classic example of what can go wrong if shot with a wide aperture. Only the head and the front legs are in focus and body and hind legs are not in focus. So we need to narrow down the aperture which also means that the shutter speed should be reduced to get enough light (depending on the light conditions). This again implies the need of a tripod.
4. LENS: This is the most important (IMO). It is always the best to have a good macro lens, if you are really serious about macro photography. That coupled with an extension tube can produce great results. Having a macro ring in front of the lens can be a make-shift option, but we will have to be mindful about the loss in quality.
5. FLASH: A macro ring can be quite handy when the lighting is low. This will also give give you the benefit of having a faster shutter speed. When shooting with a wide open aperture, sometimes, part of the subject might go out of focus. This means we would have to reduce the aperture to even f/11 or lesser. In these cases a macro lens can ensure enough light on the subject irrespective of the low aperture.
This is dedicated to my friend John Immanual for taking time to help me understand about macro photography and I cannot thank enough some members of the Olympus online community who gave me lot valuable suggestions on what lens to go for, if I am serious about macros.
So as someone who is serious about photography in general, I have decided to go for a dedicated macro lens along with an extension tube. Anyone willing to donate for this noble (????) cause can do so and the contribution will be accepted whole heartedly and the highest contribute will can get their portrait photo printed in poster size for free!!!!
Guys, just thought of finishing that lightly, as I thought the whole thing was just a lecture.. :)