Many photographers enjoy exploring the world around them with macro and close-up photography. The basic difference between these similar genres of photography is the amount of magnification achieved, with a 1:1 magnification generally accepted as an example of macro photography. Images at this level of magnification also have more details than are achieved with close-up photography. The camera gear used for macro photography can be quite specialized and costly which can be a barrier for many photographers. This article features a small selection of close-up photography images all of which were shot hand-held in available light using a set-up that cost about $875 CDN including camera body, lens and extension tubes.
“There’s such a thing as ornamental shrimp?” This is the typical response of family and friends when I speak to them about my recent hobby of keeping ornamental shrimp. Believe it or not, there is growing interest around the world about breeding and keeping these little freshwater critters as pets. In some countries, their popularity even rival traditional fish keeping! What once used to be considered another algae eater in tanks has quickly become an object of interest for aquarium enthusiasts, given their behavior, varieties, and breeding possibilities. They are marvelous to look at, and as such are wonderful subjects to photograph.
As photographers we often try to anticipate the weather when planning to capture specific images. Sometimes Mother Nature cooperates, and sometimes not. I was out today using some extension tubes to capture a few images of insects and flowers. Ideally I would have preferred a nice calm day, rather than the strong winds I faced today.
I am an amateur photographer and have had a DSLR for approximately 10 years. It is only in the last 2 years that I have started to get seriously interested in wildlife photography. I feel like I am in the early days of building a portfolio of images. Living in the middle of a small UK town, like most urban locations, there is a surprising amount of wildlife around. Unfortunately, with a full time job and a small baby I found I had limited time to get to know the animals in my neighbourhood let alone the local nature spots. So when we moved house 3 years ago and were discussing what to do with the derelict patch of land out front and the idea of turning it into a wild flower garden was discussed, I thought it might be a great way to learn some macro techniques.
Photographers have the power to reveal the origins of alien life on earth. All we need do is grab a camera, lens and some extension tubes (or a macro lens or close focusing filter) and ‘the truth’ will be revealed! [Read more…]
I know flower posts have been submitted here before and I surely have nothing original to offer but they do make a versatile subject, allowing an appreciation of colour, texture, form and placement. These were all taken inside the Walled Garden at the stunning Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire just before my Eastern/Central/Somewhere In Europe trip. The vivid specimens are a fitting testament to the diligence and vision of the team of gardeners there who braved the heat to maintain the beautiful flowerbeds.
One of my favourite times to photograph garden plants and flowers is first thing in the morning after a fresh rain. All of the colours and textures seem richer after the rain dapples them with water droplets.
When using telephoto and macro lenses, it is often desirable to get tighter framing on a subject that is being photographed. There can be many reasons for wanting to make subjects appear larger in images, but the main reasons are typically related to enhancing composition, improving subject detail and increasing image resolution (particularly after extensive cropping). For example, photographing a bird with a short focal length lens from hundreds of feet away will result in the bird appearing very small and insignificant, with very little to no detail in the resulting image. But if the same bird is photographed at a closer distance or with a longer focal length telephoto lens, a lot more detail can be revealed about the bird. In addition, making the bird take a larger portion of the image can also enhance the image by reducing the amount of clutter surrounding the bird, allowing for a better overall composition. When conditions allow, it is possible to achieve tighter framing by simply walking closer to the subject or zooming in with a zoom lens. However, what if getting closer is not an option and one is already at the longest focal length of their lens? In such situations, a teleconverter can come into rescue. Teleconverters allow increasing the focal length of lenses by coupling with them and thus essentially magnifying the image, allowing for tighter framing of subjects. While teleconverters can be incredibly useful, they also have a few rather serious disadvantages that can lead to increased blur and loss of sharpness. Let’s take a look at what a teleconverter is and go over its advantages and disadvantages in more detail.
When I wrote my Macro Photography Lighting Tutorial, I had the opportunity to test a fairly popular product for my section on ring lights: the Bolt VM-110. I was happy with the quality of light from the VM-110 ring light, but I was unimpressed with its low strength. Since ring lights are so commonly-used for macro photography, I decided that it would be worthwhile to review the VM-110 and share some of my thoughts about how well it works for macro photography.