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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

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7 Backlighting

When it comes to lighting, you can’t beat an overcast day for beautiful soft lighting and color saturation. When I’m shooting with bright sunlight, I carry a 12-inch collapsible diffuser to shade the subject. This gives me a nice even light and takes away any harsh sunlight and distracting shadows. There are times when the sunlight is our friend by creating backlighting. With the sunlight shining on the backside of the subject, it highlights the outer edges, causing it to glow.

7 The tiny hairs of this moth mullein stem and buds are illuminated by the backlight from the early-morning sun, giving me another unique style of shooting to work with. Low-angle morning and evening sunlight works best for this style.

8 Postprocessing Creativity

Creativity in macro doesn’t have to end at the time the shutter is released. We have the technology to add some interesting effects to our images in postprocessing. One of my favorite Photoshop plug-in programs is Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro. This program has 52 creative filters with 250 effects, so there’s a lot to work with to make your images pop.

8 Nautilus shell, postprocessing done using Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro filter. This background is one of my ice image prints, and I added the butterfly mount on top of the print. I used Color Efex Pro for the bicolor effect.

To see more of Mike Moats’ macro photography, visit www.tinylandscapes.com.


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