Macro Photography?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Scott WRG Editor, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Scott WRG Editor

    Scott WRG Editor King of Smoothness

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    I'm looking at doing some macro photography and would like some advice as to how to go about doing it since I have never done it. I will be photographing in detail a control panel in the cockpit of a WWII fighter. Basically close-up of 2 inch diameter dials and switches and such. Suggestions on lighting, lenses, and general how-to appreciated.
     
  2. Rainman

    Rainman TPF Noob!

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    Hmm. That will make it hard to use a tripod or other support, though others may have some ideas. It would be good to mount the camera. That way you could take longer exposures if needed. Also, when doing close up photography, the depth of focus is extremely shallow, meaning it can be very challenging to get good crisp images hand held.

    It is difficult to use on-camera flash because 1) it is so close it will burn out the picture and 2) it is probably pointed at the wrong area. If you must use on camera flash you may be able to bounce it using a piece of white plastic or cardboard. You may also need to put layers of tissue or handkerchief over the flash to reduce the light output. There are flash rings that surround the lens and put out soft light, but I doubt you want to invest in something like that for this purpose.

    If you are using digital and have some time you may be able to experiment as well as take lots of images to make sure you get what you want. Experiment at home to get some ideas of what works.
     
  3. deb

    deb TPF Noob!

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    Try a macro ring flash......I know that minolta makes one that is designed for macro work.
     
  4. Slowboat

    Slowboat TPF Noob!

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    A tripod is a must, in cramped quarters tabletop tripods have worked for me in the past.

    An off camera light source is a must have if ambient lighting is not sufficient and there are lots of distracting shadows. I have found a simple umbrella and a bright light source to relfect from the umbrella.

    Remote trigger and mirror lockup really help in obtaining sharp images, anything to reduce vibration is good.

    Use manual focus and manual settings.

    If your camera has depth of field preview, use it to ensure you have everything in focus you want at the aperature settings you have selected. If the aperature limits the light to much to see thru the view finder another good flashlight shinning on the object really helps.

    Try to make sure the camera film/sensor plane is parallel to the object to ensure the entire object is in focus.
     

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