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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Diversify Your Macro Portfolio

Tips and techniques from a master that will take your macro photography to the next level

This Article Features Photo Zoom

5 Maximize Those Details

5 Maple in swamp oil, shot with a 180mm macro from a low angle from the edge of the water, so I needed ƒ/22 to bring it all in focus
My most successful and best-selling images have been those with everything in focus. Viewers tend to like the all-in-focus look, as this is how we view the world. Our eyes see with full depth of field, so this style has a natural look. To shoot this style, I set my aperture to the higher ƒ-stop numbers, which on most macro lenses is in the ƒ/22 to ƒ/32 range. I know this goes against the grain of most photographers’ philosophy that shooting stopped down all the way will cause diffraction, or what most experience as a softness in the details. This isn’t a problem with digital, as we can add a little extra sharpening in Photoshop to correct any slight softness.

6 Lensbaby

6 By adding the +10 and +4 Macro Kit filters to my Lensbaby, I was able to focus within a couple of inches of the tiny center of a dandelion head
On days when I want to have some fun and be especially creative, I go to my Lensbaby Composer. The Composer is Lensbaby’s latest generation of its specialty lens aimed at the photographer with artistic vision. The Composer has a ball-and-socket design that allows you to tilt and angle the lens in any direction until you achieve a desired effect; then just dial in the focusing ring. It has a small sweet spot of focus, with a soft feel of motion blurring throughout the rest of the image. I also like the Lensbaby Macro Kit, with its screw-on filters, which lets you focus on a very small scale. It features a +10 filter and a +4 filter, allowing you to focus from 2 to 13 inches.


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