Having Fun With Macro Photography

If you can’t have fun while doing what you like best. Give it up and find something you do like.

Shot with Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1 Enhanced on Adobe Photoshop using auto color adjustment and auto contrast features. Resized to bring out more details in stamins and the bee.

A lot of photographers have been thinking of getting into the fine art of macro photography.

There is a whole world in macro that hasn’t been explored yet and today’s new and modern digitalized equiptment is much more flexible and much easier to use in tandem with computer programs.

A lot of amateur photographers ask me to teach them what I know. Here’s a heads up. No one can teach you anything. You are your best teacher providing you follow and listen to your own advice and observations.

Anytime anyone asks me, “how”, I in turn ask them, “have you gotten into reading the manual that came with your camera?” I get a lot of blank looks and even a few shocked expressions in return. If you have invested in an expensive gizmo to shoot your best photos with by now you should have noticed there are a lot of these little buttons with their associated symbols on them or near them. Those little buttons were put there to do things that command and cue your camera to do whatever your heart and brain has conceived within the moment.

A lot of you have spent a lot of hard earned dollars on your equiptment, yet you haven’t taken the time out to read the manual that came with your camera. Consider the manual as being your roadmap and guide that will help you to memorize all those task specific button functions.

A lot of you are also carrying another heavy load besides your equiptment camera bag. It’s called a misconceptualization that’s been founded upon a bagfull of self limitations”. Begin emptying your bag of self limiting thoughts and words by ditching the words, “I can’t”. Thoughts and words have the power to manifest what is within our minds instead of continually manifesting negative preconceptualizations why not turn them around into positive ones by thinking, saying and doing things that will turn your life around. (All right, enough of the Zen stuff).

Macro photography takes a lot of practice and you want to get to that point where pressing those little buttons becomes like a habit without having to look at them.

1: Get into the regular habit of pressing the button that commands the camera to adjust itself to steady mode before you take that photo. You will discover that a lot of your Photo Shop and Corel have their limitations when it comes to sharpening a photo that has a lot of blur in it. A macro shot has to be crisp, sharp and free of the blur caused by a too heavy shutter thumb or excessive breathing during a shot. Believe me when I tell you that your breathing during a shot causes your camera to rise and fall ever so slightly and that rising and falling contains just enough movement to add just the right amount of blur to your image that will ruin it. Get into the habit of denying yourself that breath during a shot especially during that critical moment of holding down the shutter half way during the critical “auto” focusing process. You will see the final results when you finally have uploaded your images into your computer to resize them. Remember, the image has to be crisp and sharp and free of blur no matter how large you increase the size of the image.

2: Lighting and composition have to be developed while you are taking the photo. There is nothing that is more drab than a flower that has no atrributes of reflecting the light. If the lighting is minimal pass it up, let it go until the ambient light becomes optimal. It adds life and fire to a photo that would otherwise be flat and non dramatic. You are the artist. You are the director who controls what goes into your camera. You control the final outcome of the shot.

3: If you have taken an exceptionally good shot never be afraid to go back to it to enhance its size and look within your computer. Photography is also about experimentation. Its about pushing your images and your camera to their limits. If it doesn’t look good after you have readjusted the size don’t get discouraged. Go back out there and keep taking those photos until they begin to get better. They will you know, because the old maxim, practice makes perfect comes into play here. Remember that macro photography is all about capturing all those fine little details that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

4: Train yourself to be very critical of your work. Always shoot to get the best photo your camera can give you.

5: Ditch trying to memorize technical jargon. Do work at memorizing your camera’s capabilities by way of its hardware. The best way to do that is to get out there and take lots of photos just to see what those buttons do and how they affect a shot. Take notes if you have to.

Now, for some hard copy examples:

Shot right out of the camera without dithering.

Shot after some “adjustment” and contrast dithering. Resized original image to highlight the stamins of the lily.

“Sun Kissed”. Time shot: 10:00 AM in the morning. Used the sun and the flower’s opacity to capture this photo. This shot was very premeditated and well thought out.

“The Sacred Twins” Time shot: 10:30 AM Used the same premeditation and planning with this shot as previous image. “Playing and capturing” the photons as they penetrated the flower’s petals. Photographed with Canon A20 2.0 MP. Macro, no flash.

John AyesAbout the author
John Ayes is an artist, photographer and a writer. You can find out more about him and his photography works on his MyShutterspace profile.

One Response to “Having Fun With Macro Photography”

  1. Anthea says:

    I have been practicing macro photography on the bees that visit the lavender in my garden and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I don’t know whether I hold my breath or not when taking the shots but I’ll be making a conscious effort to do so in the future. It’s such a simple and sensible idea.

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