Macro photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by peaceluvr, May 12, 2009.

  1. peaceluvr

    peaceluvr TPF Noob!

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    I just bought a Canon Rebel XSI after shooting with a Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 point and shoot for several years. When I put the Canon in macro mode, the flash pops up. When I put the Sony in macro mode, the flash does not pop up. (This is shooting the same subject.)

    Considering that macro mode on both cameras doesn't allow you to change any settings, this seems inconsistent.

    What could be going on? How can I prevent the Canon macro mode from using flash?
     
  2. a2dadamm

    a2dadamm TPF Noob!

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    thats weird, I thought slrs have a seperate lens for marco shots i didnt know they were built in. unless there not slr's.

    umm idk.. lol
     
  3. ZWolfe21

    ZWolfe21 TPF Noob!

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    Close-Up mode or macro mode is an auto mode. The camera is making the shot decisions for you and the camera will fire the flash under low light conditions. Its an auto mode and I doubt you can change that but i'm not entirely familiar with your camera. I'd suggest learning a bit more about photography and get away from the automatic modes.

    Macro Mode adjusts the camera settings by analyzing the light coming in through the lens and trying to adjust for the best possible macro shot. Same goes for every other mode, its a series of algorithms to try and, for lack of a better term, think for you.

    Get a good book or two, research the internet, and read your owners manual again :p. Get out of the auto mode department when your going to take shots like that.

    Just my two cents.
     
  4. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Macro modes on the two cameras are not consistant.
    In both cases its a mode where all the settings choices are made by the camera based on the light availble for the shot and also on a set of predefined criteria for this sort of shooting.

    However far better is start to understand the 3 (or 4) components of an exposure that you have control over and to use them to use your own settings.
    Firstly I strongly recomend a book - understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson - it will explain things in more detail and provide a lot of examples and trials that you can do and it is aimed at the learner photographer so its simple to understand but covers a good amount of depth.

    Basically you have these factors:
    Aperture (f number) - controls the amount of light entering the camera through the lens. A big aperture means a small f number (like f2.8) and means more light gets through to the camera; a small aperture menas a big f number (f13) and means less light gets through to the camera. Aperture also controls the depth of flield - that is the amount of subject in focus - a small aperture has a very wide depth of field whilst a big aperture a very thin one.

    Shutter speed - very simple this one the faster the speed the more action you can freeze in a shot - note that you should also aim to keep the shutter speed at least 1/focal length (so if you were shooting with a 100mm you would no shoot slower than 1/100sec) so that you don't get handshake in your shots - note that this is true down to 1/60sec which is the minimum speed before you need a tripod.
    Of course remember shutter speed is based on teh amount of light - a lot of light and a large/wide aperture (f2.8) and you can shoot very fast - little light and/or a small aperture and you will need a longer shutter speed to get the exposure right

    ISO - basically how sensetive the sensor is to light - the higher the ISO the less light needed for a shot - but the higher the ISO the more noise (little dots in the shot) that you will get. A general rule I use is to shoot at around ISO 200 and then adjust up or down depending on the ambient lighting.

    Lighting - if the scene is too dark to get the shot you want then you can add more lighting - flash - if you so desire - doing this well works wonders, do it badly though and it looks poor. A quick tip is to secture (elastic band) a bit of toiletpaper (A few folds) over the front of the flash to diffuse the light (make sure its white toilet paper!)


    Now for macro - idealy you want a good depth of field (since depth in a shot reduces as you get closer) so you want a smaller aperture (think f8 to start with) then set your ISO and shutter speed - now at these distances you might end up needed to use the flash or if your subject and camera are rock steady (tripod) you can instead use a slow shutter speed to get the shot - if things are moving around though then your going to need the flash to make up for missing light.
     
  5. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The reason the flash is popping up is because (generally) in macro photography at CLOSE distances, your budy or the camera itself is BLOCKING light; the flash needs to fire or the subject will come out underexposed.
     
  6. peaceluvr

    peaceluvr TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to all. I've enrolled in a beginner's photography class, which I'm really looking forward to. And I'll check out Understanding Exposure, Overread. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  7. Mtalicarox

    Mtalicarox TPF Noob!

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    On my canon there is a button that you need to push to make the flash come up in certain modes.. perhaps that's how it works on your camera as well for this mode?
     

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