C&C macro shots, new new new at this!!


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Jan 5, 2009
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North Georgia
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Wanted to get some tips on making this better. I would like some tips on camera shake. I blew a LOT of pics b/c of it. Also, I did a little editing on Digital Photo Professional (came with my XSI). Last, how do I make the size of a file smaller? I really want to post one, but the file size is to large.



This last one was zoomed in on quite a bit.
Are you using a macro lens or just zooming in on close up shots? Also, to eliminate camera shake, use a tripod.
I'm using a sigma 5o mm F2.8 macro lens. I'm getting close the the subject, so I don't think I can use a tripod, can I?
I don't see why not.
Well, I'm like 1 foot away from the bugs. How could I use a tripod? Also, how about making the file size smaller?

And no good, bad, or uglies about my pics?
I like the second one (the grub) the best. I would have liked the spider the best if it was more in focus. I'm guessing a smaller aperture would have helped there. I could be wrong though, since I'm still learning, myself.
you can certainly use a tripod at any distance ;) the trick is that you have to have a still subject to let you setup - if not then a lure to attract the bugs to you (honey can workwell as will rotting fruit).

You will need a good pro end tripod with a very low max height as well as a rock steady tripod head (the manfrotto junior geared head is a fantastic solid and good head for macro work) as well as a focusing rail so that you can move the camera further and closer to get focus

As for your shots I like what I see - the best is your maggoty thing where you have the focus right on the head/eyes and the subject is well lit (the frist shot the beetal is hiding and the spider makes for a tricky exposure for you)

As for shake its a constant macro difficulty and only practice will help you in the long run. There are some tips though, try to relax yourself when shooting to reduce shake = also use manual focusing for these shots and move back and forth gently and then when the focus is at thebest spot hit the shutter; also with AF off half depress the shutter button whilst focusing, that way you don't have to press it as far when you go to shoot

As for making a shot smaller you can resize the shot to a smaller number of pixels on the longest side (say 600, 720, 800, 1000) and then add a slight bit of sharpening to the shot (since you lose some sharpness when resizing) and then save the shot.
I like the rocking tip. I also have been trying Time priority, with a little more success. I don't have anything but the stock flash, so I've been trying to do the shots in a semi-manual mode. I thought A-priority would be more important, until the camera wanted a such a slow shutter speed.

I know this was a little out of focus.

And I should have backed up on this one to get more in focus. I liked the worm in it though.

I used natural lighting on these. I think that part of it turned out much better. I didn't do any editing on the color, just cropped them a little.
gah nice beatle!

natural lighting is possible- but its generaly done with still subjects (many bugs can be still very early in the morning after they are all cold from the night) and a tripod for allowing a longer shutter speed in many cases.

As for the mode I do my macro in full manual mode- since you need both a fast shutter speed and control over the depth of field (aperture). I do most of my work with flash support so I can use a small aperture (f13) and a fast shutter speed (1/200sec) with a good ISO (ISO 200) 0 but if your zooming in too close to the insect then the popup won't have enough power for that sort of work - experiment and see.

also if you put some folded white toilet paper infront of the flash that will diffuse the lighting to make it softer and less harsh.

creepy crawlies though are tricky as they hate to be exposed to light and always try to burrow back under things
What type of flash in particular would help? Very specific help would be greatly appreciated. I realize that lighting is at least half of a good pic, if not more. I will definatly try full manual tomorrow.
the subject of flash and what to use in macro is a very very big one and gets rather complicated at times!
but its best to start with basic lighting and work your way up - a lot of it is personal preference as well as how much money you have for it ;)
As for a good standard recomendation a ringflash is a good macro light source and twin positional head lights are often considered to be excelent light sources for macro work. Both of these light sources are clostly and mostly limited only to macro work (though ringflashes can also work well for portrate work). They both connect to the end of your lens so you have to make sure that its either compatable or that you have an adaption ring.
However I have found good lighting from a single speedlite flash - a 580M2 in my case though a 420 would work just as well and be lighter (and cheaper). I also use a lumiquest softbox on the flash to diffuse the light and I find that really does help a lot with getting good lighting into the shots
I like the shoe mount flashes (is that the right term?). At least my budget does.

What is bokah?? I keep seeing people say it. Also, I've tried to find where i can reduce the pixels, but I don't have a clue where to find that at. Is it on the camera, or the software?
if you don;t have a shoe (hotshoe) flash then I would certainly go for that first since it will benefit you in a lot of areas of photography as well - far more versatil then the more macro specific flashes.

bokeh is the background blur of a shot - essentially any area of the shot that is blurry due to being out of focus (if you look at my ava its all the areas that are not fox for example ;))
Normally a wide aperture is used to get the effect, in macro though you still get it with smaller apertures because the distances have changed a lot (the subject is a lot closer to the lens. One can do two things in macro to get increased blur.

1) image stacking - done with a tripod and focusing rail you use a wide aperture and a static/still stubject and then focus on a part of it - take the shot, then move the camera close/further away (using the rail) and take another shot (makingsure that part of the area captured in focus is the same as in the first - ie some overlap). You repeat till you have covered the area of the sbuject you want in focus and then stack the shots together in editing to give you a greater depth of field but retaining the background blur of a smaller aperture

2) longer focal length - the longer the focal length of the lens the greater the effect.
I've got a couple more. I would love some more C & C.

I know this next one is washed out a bit at the top. I think that is a little inevitable until I can get a better flash and diffuser.

Also, thanks Overread for your advice. I feel like it's helped me make some good progress.

Which of all I've posted so far do you all like?
i like the texture and detail of the soil on the beetle's leg

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