Close up of fungus on wood

ClearBlueDaze

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So I think I like macro photography. I don't have a good zoom lense...YET. Everything I shoot is with my out of the box lens on the D3100.

Enjoy the rot.

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closeup2.jpg


Okay....which is best, why, and how can I improve?

Beth
 

firelight

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I like the perspective in one and two, but the light is a little flat (though it looks like you were just using the natural light, so not a lot of choice there). However, I would like them more if there was more DOF. Just my two cents though.
 
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ClearBlueDaze

ClearBlueDaze

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It was natural light, and a shaded area. Taken in the morning. Not alot of choice on the angles. The rotting wood is a split rail on a fence, and to get it I had to stick the lens through rusted wire to get the shot. I need a new fence. LOL

Beth
 

WesternGuy

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You have run into one of the situations that we all experience when we start with macro and that is small depth of field (DOF). You can get around this by using a smaller f-stop, which usually means you have to shoot from a tripod because your shutter speed will be fairly slow, or you have to do what is called "image stacking" or "focus stacking". This site will give you some idea of what this is all about - Using Focus Stacking to Extend Depth of Field. There are lots of others if you Google "image stacking macro photography" or "focus stacking".

If you are interested in macro, why not try a set of extension tubes first. They are relatively cheap when compared to a good macro lens. and they will get you started. That is how I started and they worked for me for awhile until I decided it was time to invest in a good macro lens. You should note that there is no such thing as an inexpensive macro lens - like most equipment, you get exactly what you pay for. For extension tubes, have a look at these: Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set DG for Nikon Lens AEXTUBEDGN B&H . The set of three tubes can be used individually, or in combination to give you different "macro effects". You just have to experiment with them to see what works for you. MY 0.02¢ FWIW.
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WesternGuy
 

Joel_W

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WesternGuy gave you some very solid advice. Pictures 1 & 2 really suffer from DOF issues. Sometimes moving back, using a higher f stop will give you the DOF you need, then crop in Post.

I'm currently using a set of Kenko extension tubes, which work great for my floral imagery. However, there are minuses to be considered as well. Using an extension tube with a 18-55 kit lens generally has your lens right up on top of the subject. Using a longer focal length lens lets you move further away from your subject. My go to lens is a 55-200mm lens. Extension tubes decrease the amount of light reaching your sensor, so longer exposures are going to be the norm, not the exception. You're going to need a good tripod for this type of work. DOF is very limited with tubes, so the advice to learn stacking is a great idea. Something that I keep on putting off.
 

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