My big camera has been either in transit or at the Canon Service Center for over a week now, and I am really missing it! I’ve been making do with my older camera body for my everyday pictures, but a couple of shoots I wanted to do are on hold for now. While I’m waiting, I’ve been playing around a bit with some more creative projects.
This week’s prompt for the P52 photography project I have been following is Macro. I don’t have a true “macro” lens with 1:1 magnification (another thing for the gear wishlist), but an interesting way to try macro is by turning a lens backwards and holding it up to your camera lens mount and manually focusing on your subject by moving either forward or back. I would NOT use the un-attached lens method outdoors, as your camera’s sensor is exposed and could get dust spots very easily. There are adaptors available to make it possible to attach the lens reversed if you want this option.
I would guess that macro is one of the most time intensive genres of photography. Some people find it relaxing and almost meditative as you can find beauty in the construction of even mundane subjects. For me the tiny little tweaks to be made in lighting, arranging, and working with such a shallow depth of field were a little frustrating with my improvised set up, but I can see how it could be a fun style to learn with more specialized equipment.
Here are a few tips in case you decide to try your hand at some macro photography.
– Shoot macro outdoors on a very still day, as even a slight breeze will move your subject in/out of your focal plane.
– Be conscious of your shooting stance and how you are supporting your camera. Tuck your elbows against your body or support them on a sturdy surface. Take a breath in and hold it while you press the shutter.
– Indoors, try using a tripod and an additional light source to accommodate the narrow apertures and slower shutter speeds that are often necessary for macro shooting.
– Don’t forget about composition, perspective, and lighting; check the frame for distracting color if any background is visible, watch where the shadow of your camera/lens is falling, and experiment with subject placement in the frame.
And a reminder to myself…choose a time when you will be uninterrupted, take time to set up the area you are working in so that everything is sturdy, and keep a towel nearby because of course you are going to spill at least one vase of water =/.