Macro technique?

jriepe

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For those of you who shoot macro I would like to know if you insist on at least a 1:1 shot or would you rather back up a bit and crop for better DOF? I, in the past, have preferred backing up a bit and cropping but today I got as close to this spider as he would let me. Not at the minimum focusing distance but fairly close. This spider is teeny, teeny, looking like not much more than a speck on the side of the garage but even with his tiny size the whole spider is not in sharp focus even at f/18 with the 180mm lens. So as for myself I will go back to backing away a bit and cropping more so more of the insects and spiders I shoot will be in sharper focus. Most of the things I shoot will also be MUCH larger than this spider.

Jerry

OnGarageSiding013copy.jpg
 

cgipson1

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Macro DOF is frustrating at times, isn't it? It all depensd on what I am shooting.. and the type of shots I am going for!

Nice shot.. too bad he wasn't looking at you!
 
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jriepe

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Macro DOF is frustrating at times, isn't it? It all depensd on what I am shooting.. and the type of shots I am going for!

Nice shot.. too bad he wasn't looking at you!

I was trying to get a face on shot and I took the tripod low and aimed up but still didn't get the one I was striving for. When I say tiny I'm talking tiny. A house fly beside this spider would look gargantuan.

Jerry
 
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jriepe

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Nice shots....i always try to avoid cropping.

I've seen several of your shots where the entire spider or insect is in sharp focus so how do you manage that. I know there are without a doubt techniques you use that I don't since you are much more advanced in macro than I am.

Jerry
 

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Have a peek at some of Dalentechs work No Cropping Zone some really outstanding work and he neither uses cropping nor focus stacking for his work.

In general a lot of shooting in macro isn't so much pushing the depth of field to the extreme as that comes with costs; if you use very small apertures you get diffraction; if you crop a lot you lose resolution; if you focus stack it takes time and a still scene (even then it can fail). Instead its about getting your angle right so that you maximise the plane of focus that you have to work with as best as you can. This can oft be very tricky - esp when working on subjects near or on the ground as you can't push lower to get the right angle (as you've experienced in your shot above).

Sometimes moving the subject to a slightly different position helps a lot - many insects will be very single minded if they are eating or if they are very cold from a long night (or a sudden heavy rainfall) and present ideal candidates for allowing a little manipulation of their position to best allow for a photo.
 

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I would love to not crop, but with a 60mm Macro it's avoidable when taking shots of the juming spiders unless you want lots of surroundings.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7224/6931714418_9d6abdecd2_b.jpg
that shot was cropped, obviously, but if you shoot at a low enough ISO it can still turn out pretty good.

Some day I'll get a reverse adapter and 50mm. I'm expecting some extension tubes in the mail any day to help get me closer.
 

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