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Macro Photography

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment
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RUMURUTI
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:06 am

A lot of my pictures are taken in mountain woods and with very little sunlight coming through. I sometimes use straight flash but also use the flash and rear mirror function, this allows some of the background to show instead of having a black background. Really depends on what the background is and if I want it to show or not.

Nice creature you got there!
"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
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Caracal
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by Caracal » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:18 am

rear mirror function



:hmz: :huh:

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Raptor142
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by Raptor142 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:24 am

WOW Caracal you have some great shots .... especially that Carpenter Bee :clap::clap: (how long and how many shots did that take?

Now I'm really sorry that I missed the trip to WCNP....

You seem to use flash quite often - are you white balancing for flash or do you have a daylight balanced flash gel?
Man's future may look brighter if he spent less time trying to outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority:(EB White)(adapted)

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RUMURUTI
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:26 am

Here are a couple of examples of pictures with and without the rear mirror function

Image
Picture taken with the available natural light. A bit washy for the colours and doesn't really tell me anything.

Image
Taken using the rear mirror function, colours are a def better and you can see some of the background but not enough to spoil your picture.

Image
Straight flash which gives you a black background and makes your flower stand out.

Rear mirror function: The Nikon D90 has this function which is great with macro.
Now, what happens is that you take you picture and in normal circumstances the flash shoots at the same time as your shutter > great pic with a black background. Take a picture at 60th of a second and both go at that speed!

With this function your camera first exposes your picture, including the background, and then straight after the flash shoots. You have two exposures: first is slightly before the second with a flash.

Hope I explained well enough. Not sure Canon have the same function but it really makes a difference.

I take most of my pictures in manual and play with the aperture.
"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
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Raptor142
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by Raptor142 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:31 am

Hope I explained well enough. Not sure Canon have the same function but it really makes a difference


Nikon call it "rear curtain sync" - it's a fairly generic term and means that the flash only fills in at a reduced intensity (for want of a better word) just before the rear curtain closes the exposure.....
Man's future may look brighter if he spent less time trying to outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority:(EB White)(adapted)

We don't inherit the earth from our parents - we borrow it from our children and theirs

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RUMURUTI
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:36 am

Thanks Raptor124! don't know where I threw my manual for the correct term Nikon use but you're correct.
"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
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Raptor142
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by Raptor142 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:39 am

:thumbs_up:

...and it doesn't really matter what you call it - as long as you use it and enjoy it ...!

...and you're right - it often gives the photo's more life.
Man's future may look brighter if he spent less time trying to outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority:(EB White)(adapted)

We don't inherit the earth from our parents - we borrow it from our children and theirs

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kesheshe
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by kesheshe » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:45 am

Looking for advice!

My trip in 2 weeks is going to give me a fantastic opportunity in KTP and richterveld to practice some macro photo's. i will be using a Sony a900 (full frame) Sony 100 f2.8 macro lense with Sony HVL-MT24AM Macro Twin Flash Kit. Will take manfotto tripod with no rail.

The will be my first real attempt at macro photo's so could someone provide basic techniques ie f stop 13 min etc?

Also what would be a good book to buy for me to read focused on macro principles?
2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP

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Caracal
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by Caracal » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:47 am

ding dong ...rear curtain sync....rings a bell.

I will read up on this one....thanks :thumbs_up: :D

You seem to use flash quite often - are you white balancing for flash or do you have a daylight balanced flash gel?


I have recently been playing with flash but only with the camera's bult in flash. Mostly only when my subjects are in the shade of other plants...or for instance when I was at butterfly world the other day and the light was just not good enough. I take pictures in raw so that I can change white balance. Mostly for macro I leave the white balance on auto because I go from shade to sun to flash etc. I take many photos of the same subject..trying differents things all the time. What works for one photo does not neccessarily work for the another.

Probably took about 30 pics of that carpenter bee...the biggest problem was to focus on him....he was very busy indeed !!! :roll:

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RUMURUTI
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:12 am

kesheshe, that's a great opportunity you have.
Macro lenses are great to use and I've got my 105 mm f/2.8 always on and use it as my standard lens. You'll see it's also very good for portraits!

First thing you have to check on are the various functions your camera offers.
Macro, rear curtain sync and if it has an automatic macro function.
I started off using the automatic settings but now work exclusively on manual, this gives me control of the amount of flash I want and takes time to get a hand of.

One important thing is your focusing, depth of field in macro is really very small and at the beginning it will probably be your biggest headache.

Shoot, shoot and shoot again until you're happy with your picture!
"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
Andy Benaglia

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Caracal
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by Caracal » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:29 am

One important thing is your focusing, depth of field in macro is really very small and at the beginning it will probably be your biggest headache.


Again I agree with Rumuruti. :thumbs_up:

My starting point with any macro photo is depth of field...what do I actually want in focus. I use my depth of field button on my camera a lot.....
My macro lens is a Canon fixed 60mm lens. It took me a while to get used to it but now I just love it !!!!

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RUMURUTI
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by RUMURUTI » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:32 am

You want to focus on the face of the spider and you get it focused two mm behind that point!!!! aaaaaaaaaaaargh!!! :twisted:
"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
Andy Benaglia

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Raptor142
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by Raptor142 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:33 am

Great kit Kesheshe ...

Best advice is to play with your toys ..... (Let's hope RichPrins doesn't get to this thread)

Experiment with angles - higher angles (or more perpendicular to the "face" of your subject) and greater DOF (F11+) give better documentary detail, while a more oblique angle and/or narrower DOF (F2.8 or F5) can create more "desirable" or artistic effects....

Check the minimum focusing distance of your lens and then work your composition from that, moving away to include more subject or background matter.

I don't know the flash kit, but it would appear that you can vary the flash energy and angles from two seperate heads (...?) now that is going to take a lot more experimentation! BUT don't discount natural lighting - go through this thread and some of the flower and insect photo's on the forum and look at what the people have done - flashed shots are fairly easy to see by their shadows (unless someone has used an off-camera or lens-mounted setup).

(just looked up your kit on the Sony website ...WOW again)

Follow Rumuruti's advice and shoot manual .... maybe take a shot or two on one of the auto modes first .... "A" or aperture preference - then evaluate and begin your own experimentation... HOWEVER, you may have a lot of versatility wihin the auto functions that is not available in Manual mode (I know the Nikon is like this) - check your owners manual for this .... (howcome it's called a MANual if a man seldom uses it .... would WOMANual be more appropriate?)

shoot - view - evaluate - adjust - shoot - view .......etc

Because you are shooting such fine detail, you will have to zoom to the maximum that your camera LCD screen will allow for proper evaluation.

Your "Live View" mode is also great on the Sony so you may have an advantage over the rest of us...
Man's future may look brighter if he spent less time trying to outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority:(EB White)(adapted)

We don't inherit the earth from our parents - we borrow it from our children and theirs

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Caracal
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by Caracal » Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:27 pm

RUMURUTI wrote:You want to focus on the face of the spider and you get it focused two mm behind that point!!!! aaaaaaaaaaaargh!!! :twisted:



Maybe "nerves" have something to do with that !!!!! :shock:

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Raptor142
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Re: Macro Photography

Unread post by Raptor142 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:29 pm

...and check out this link to the Canon website ...

www.usa.canon.com/content/macro_bookPOP/index.html
Man's future may look brighter if he spent less time trying to outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority:(EB White)(adapted)

We don't inherit the earth from our parents - we borrow it from our children and theirs


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