Neil Pont

Wildlife Photography

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Macro Magic - take one...

Posted on 28 April, 2020 at 9:40

Macro photography is a unique form of photography that involves photographing small objects to make them look life-sized or larger in the photo. The usual subjects include flowers and small insects, which we don’t normally get to see up close with the naked eye.

I now basically work with two bits of kit for photography.  I switched to Fuji Mirrorless (XH1) for my long range shots, with a 100-400 lens (sometimes with a 1.4 'converter' to reach even further) - the equipment is lighter and more portable.

When I bought the Fuji I traded a lot of Canon equipment (which I had bought over the years - and seldom used!) but kept my rather battered Canon 5d iii and one Canon lens - my 100mm 2.8 Macro lens.  This lens lets you take images 1:1 - and then, of course, crop in closer on the computer.

Use of the Fuji is now very limited as we are confined to the house and garden. But I have been able to practise some macro skills. The fine sunny weather has made things easier and has given us some beuatiful colours in the flowers.

It also allows you delve right into the flowers - and even see what beasties are lurking there!

Here you can see the rhodedendron's stamen and anthers in great detail - quite an arty picture!

And here too on the tulip...

Another feature of good macro lenses is that they go 'down' to a large my case f2.8. This means a lot of light can enter - but also that there is a very shallow 'depth of field'. This means that only a small part of the picture will be in focus. This can be a help or a hindrance depending on what effect you are trying to achieve.  In this picture of a lavender flower, I wanted just a tiny flower tip in focus with the rest blurring in the background.

In order to get well-focussed pictures you need a fast shutter speed - or you need to work on a tripod.  Camera shake can be a problem.  But, all these pictures were taken 'hand-held' because the light was so good that I could achieve shutter speeds of 2000th of a second or more.

MacroMagic - part 2 (you will have to wait until Friday!) will feature insects - bees, hoverflies, wasps and ladybirds.  And perhaps something else if I can capture any photos before then...

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