New at macro, advice and input always appreciated


TPF Noob!
Jan 24, 2016
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Southampton, UK
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HI guys, new here on the forum. Have been taking hand-held, natural light pics a fair while but am the new owner of a Nikkor 105mm VR micro lens (body is a D3300). I thought it would be so easy to move into macro, but there is more to learn about lighting, stability, depth of field that I was expecting. I have moved on to some continuous studio lights, plus reflectors and found that (as well as being cumbersome) they just don't give enough light to use the small apertures that I want to use.
Recent purchase is a Neewer VK750II flash, which seems to be an ace bit of kit. I've been experimenting with using the flash direct and also bouncing it in various ways. I also now have a nice, weighty, stable tripod system which helps hugely.
I'm editing in PS Elements 10, which is amply powerful enough for my abilities at the moment, enabling me to use levels, layers, masks, high pass filters etc etc.
Here's some of the images I've produced, and I'm happy for any advice or comments on any of them. I simply want to get better at what I am doing.

SS stamens b cropped.jpg Yellow stamens 130116.jpg

When you are shoting flowers, try to focus on them all or on 1 or 2 and do not unfocus the firsts flowers like you did in the first and second pic.It's not looking good when you have blurred flowers in the front of the camera.And, in the third one, I can't see what's the flower that you shot, try to do not cut the flower.I love the color in these photos, but be carreful at focusing.
Thanks for your input Darek, but I'm not sure we have the same definition of macro photography.
Macro means really, really close up, so deliberately focussing right in on certain features of flowers or other things, not necessarily trying to be more wide-angle and capture the whole thing.
BTW, those are actually the ends of stamens in the first two photos, not lots of flower heads.

Your comment about depth of focus is, of course, always relevant and is the challenge of all macro photography where one is always working with unfeasably narrow depths of focus. Those pictures will all have been taken at f18-22 to get as much depth of focus as possible without losing too much image quality, and yet choosing the exact focus point is always going to be a compromise.
My feedback is that the colors in the first two photos have good balance and the third one has nice saturation. I would spend more on time on the framing and composition. While macro photography is getting really close to the subject it is as @HerzUri has mentioned - it still needs to tell a story. I can see that in the first two photos but for the third I would either step back or get even closer. I really like the second photo, the first one I like but I'm seeing some post processing that is quite visible and distracting to me.

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