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Thread: Macro Shooting Tips

  1. #1
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    Macro Shooting Tips

    The goal of this thread is to collect some tips on macro shooting. Let me lay out some ground rules.

    * Please post organized tips - This can be a step by step approach, or a single tip that you've discovered.

    * Try to avoid discussion - Unlike other threads, the goal here is to just get tips in one place, so if ends up being a 20 page discussion then it will be harder to find the tips.

    * Avoid repeating the same tips - Please read through the tips before posting... if someone has already posted a tip, there is no need to repost it. However, it may be useful to add to it, or cover a different context.

    If this approach works out, then we'll do similar types of threads in the other genres. So, post up your helpful tips!

    "Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter..."
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  2. #2
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    Ok.. I'll start this off with something from About.com here are some basic tips for Macro Photography..


    Here are some tips to get started:
    • Like any other photo that you take, simplify.
    • Fill the photo with your subject.
    • Sharp focus is a must.
    • Try shooting from different angles. If youíre looking for deep saturation of the colors, use front lighting. If youíd like to bring out the texture of your subject, side lighting is the way to go.
    • due to the narrow depth of field, the background will usually be thrown completely out of focus, which allows the natural background to be nice backdrop, Just make sure you donít have anything distracting in the back thatís recognizable (branches, cigarette butts, etc.).
    We can add to these tips and provide "real" user tips to this thread.
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  3. #3
    ..My tips include using a tripod and cable release and if possible, locking up the mirror before taking "bracketed shots" around your basic F-stop/shutter speed combination.
    ProPhotoImages/ Ted Austin
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  4. #4
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    yes Ted, a tripod and cable release are a must have but i never tried useing mirror lock up..maybe thats my problem! also, flash flash flash! I have to start using my reflector to block sunlight.. i trained myself to pop the flash onto the camera with the macro lens so now i need to train myself to grab the darn reflector too when i do!

    EDIT To include: If you do not have a remote release.. use the self timer...
    Last edited by zacker; 03-16-2007 at 07:19 AM.
    Canon EOS 30D With grip, various lenses and stuff...

    see my pics at www.brokenfencephotography.com

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  5. #5
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    * Manual exposure
    * Manual focus
    * Aperture of f/8 or smaller
    * Shutter of 1/125 of faster
    * Fill Flash (either onboard OR hotshoe)
    * Fill frame with subject within reason
    * Tripod recommended
    * Cable release recommended
    * For bugs try and hunt early morning while they are slow
    * Kneepads are recommended for long times at low altitudes =)
    * TRY and pick a windless day
    Ross Mealey
    Canon Professional Services Member

  6. #6
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    Some more bug specific...

    * Learn and know your subject and its routines
    * Plan for shooting times when subject will feel least weary of humans being around
    * Butterfly Specific: For stubborn butterflies bring a bulb blower to **gently** blow on the tops of their wings to make them open up
    * Use a managable Shutter/Aperture to be able to hand hold
    Ross Mealey
    Canon Professional Services Member

  7. #7
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    Another tip that works pretty good... (i know cause I have to do this) to up your keeper rate if you do not have a tripod... use the High Speed shutter and pop off two or three shots in a row, usually the second will be much sharper than the first cause by the time the second is taken, youve stopped moving the camera and are holding the shutter button and not pressing it. It does work.
    Canon EOS 30D With grip, various lenses and stuff...

    see my pics at www.brokenfencephotography.com

    Visit me on Facebook..

    Feel like helping some homeless Pets?
    the proceds from any of the products purchased go
    directly to helping CT animal shelters.
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  8. I know many folks recommend manual focus but with the shallow DOF any movement can make it tough to nail the focus. I prefer to use AI Servo. The one drawback is it's tough to frame a shot as it will change your focus point. I personally use this method to nail the focus and crop to frame later. You could consider focus lock (with AI Servo), but this defeats the use of AI Servo. Give it a try, I think you'll consistently have more keepers.
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  9. #9
    I agree about tripod even if you have the anti shake on your camera (like I do).

    My tips for Macro Shooting (things that I find help me)

    - Subject has to be simple, otherwise you'll loose what you are trying to capture (well for me anyways).

    - TRIPOD, TRIPOD, TRIPOD (no matter where I am I use mine).

    - Breath, take your time, and work with things that are around you. I've done a lot of Longwood Gardens here in Pa, and having to work with outside elements, people, and natural light. Sometimes if I rush the subject I end up having a bad shot, so just take your time when you are ready you are ready to take the shot.


    Anyway, that helps me with Marco shooting, I'm not as experinced but I do know what works for me.

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