Sunday, December 5, 2010

Part Five - The Close-up World

         Part five begins with a chapter on macro photography. It explains that a true macro lens has a close-up distance yielding 1:2 life-size reproduction and extends to infinity. An expensive lens can be used to take pictures of small insects to large landscapes properly. Less expensive options include teleconverters, lens extensions and close-up supplementary lenses. None of these offer the image quality that a true macro lens does. Extension tubes reduce the amount of light transmitted by the lens and reduce the stop time.
          The option of a supplementary lens may be better in low light conditions where a low f stop is necessary and beneficial. These doe not alter the f stop or the amount of light coming in. Different options include wide-angle lenses for expanded perspective and tilt-shift lenses for a maximum depth of field while using larger aperatures and fast shutter speeds to freeze motion. Due to the darkness of many macro situations, and the amount of light needed for a good composition, some suggestions on flashes is given here as well.
          Stabilizing a macro image is one of the most important things one can do, because a longer shutter speed is going to mean more detail in the flowers. Tricks include holding the base of the flower with your hand but leaving it our of the composition or using a tool such as a plant clamp or "Plamp" to stabilize the flower to an object which isn't being affected by the strong winds. These can also be useful for lining up the flower exactly where it is wanted to be. The opposite of this would be to use a hand or something to make motion to blur out some of the nearby flowers that distract from the subject.
          The best light recommended for shooting wildflowers is in overcast, hazy skies. In this situation a white matte reflectors should be used to help give detail to shadows and bring out the colors as well as possible. The opposite is true if shooting during the middle of the day under blue sunny skies. One option given is using a large umbrella of neutral colors to block direct sunlight from the composition. The reflector is then used to send soft light back into the scene and bring out even more details.
          The most important part of this chapter are the tips on taking wildflower portraits. This begins by telling us to get close enough to the flower. The flower should take up a large enough part of the composition to keep it interesting. The sharp focus should be on the most interesting part of the flower so that the image appears in focus in the important parts. Using the out of focus background is a good way to add a little extra to the image. Nothing should take away interest from the main subject flower.

No comments:

Post a Comment