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Nov 08

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Snapshot: Break the rules

For the best results in macro photography, there are a number of guidelines one must observe. These are:

  • use a tripod
  • use a tripod
  • use a tripod

A tripod is essential when taking macros. Using a tripod ensures that your images are crisp and clear by reducing camera shake. It also allows you to properly frame your image because at 1:1 reproduction it is nearly impossible to keep your camera still.

In the case of the moth image above, I couldn’t use a tripod. The moth was perched on a wall about 8 feet up. Even with a stool, I could not look through the viewfinder if I wanted 1:1. So, I turned on live view. Since the AF in live view is barely usable indoors, I set the focus point to 30cm and just moved the camera around the moth until it was in focus.

Due to the difficult lighting and the lack of a suitable camera bracing position, I also decided to push the camera a little bit. I set the Auto ISO to a max of 3200 (in the end it decided on 1600) and pushed the shutter speed to 1/1000s. Because it was indoors and at night, I had to use a flash too. This give allowed me to try Auto FP on the SB600. The flash was mounted on camera and pointed slightly off at an angle upwards away from the moth (effectively bouncing off the ceiling which was only about a foot away).

Let’s just say this isn’t the easiest way to get a macro, and the shot above proves it. You have to rely on a bit of luck if you’re holding the camera up above your head, trying to hold it stable, yet trying to find a suitable angle to make the image interesting. I don’t think the image is anything special. But at least I know what the camera can do. :)

 

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.stillworx.com/2011/11/08/snapshot-break-the-rules/

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