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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk 
Thread started 12 Jul 2005 (Tuesday) 13:21
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STICKY: How about all you "Macro Pros" giving some Tips?

 
LordV
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Dec 08, 2005 01:19 as a reply to  @ post 973249 |  #31

Edwin Bont wrote:
For me, the most important thing in macro is the light.
I always use a small softbox on my flash.
Or when i shoot insects indoors, in an improvised studio, i use reflectors too.
Setup (do'nt laugh): http://members.lycos.n​l …ign2/Macro/opst​elling.jpg (external link)
Result: http://members.lycos.n​l/eddysign2/Macro/fair​y16.jpg (external link)

And when i use my stacked lenses setup (100mm macro+ reversed 50mm) i use a cardboard ring reflector (r).
http://members.lycos.n​l/eddysign/ringflitser​2.jpg (external link)
Samples: http://members.lycos.n​l/eddysign/Macro/zweef​1.jpg (external link)
http://members.lycos.n​l/eddysign2/Macro/spri​ng2.jpg (external link)
http://members.lycos.n​l/eddysign/Macro/torre​tje1.jpg (external link)

Excellent improvisation there- I like it.- results in amazing shots too!
Brian V.


http://www.flickr.com/​photos/lordv/ (external link)
http://www.lordv.smugm​ug.com/ (external link)
Macro Hints and tips
Canon 600D, 40D, 5D mk2, 7D, Tamron 90mm macro, Sigma 105mm OS, Canon MPE-65,18-55 kit lens X2, canon 200mm F2.8 L, Tamron 28-70mm xrdi, Other assorted bits

  
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G3owner
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Dec 12, 2005 05:47 as a reply to  @ post 734951 |  #32

G3owner wrote:
Don't know - yet. I will give it a try myself as I just bought a 350D for myself ;) I'm still waiting for the EF 100 mm macro lens, but as soon as I have it I will try to develop some low-cost version for it...

Bamce

In this thread you will find a picture of another money-saving macro diffuser setup...

https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=119507

Bamce




  
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tce5
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Dec 18, 2005 08:33 |  #33

Hi there
I'm a new member but have been taking macro shots for a few years now. Take a look at my work at http://tanyaevans.phot​ium.com (external link)
If you like this work then this is how I usually create the results:

1. Set your camera up on a tripod with a shutter release cable on the camera
2. Use reflectors if you have them - if not tin foil works wonders
3. Get good flowers, I like orange gerberas
4. Spray water onto the flower head - the droplets give fantastic results
5. A good macro lens like 100mm f/2.8 is a godsend
6. Good lighting and patience
You will take loads of photos before you get the shot you really like.
Good luck
Tanya




  
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Hogster
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Dec 27, 2005 12:08 |  #34

This trick was given to my by a 75 year old lady in my photo club. When working with insects, catch them first, put them into your refrigerator (don't get them mixed up with the leftovers) and the cool temperature will put them to sleep, take them out and place them on your selected scene, then you will have approximately 2 minuets to shoot before they wake up and hop away!


One of these days you're going to drive me to thinking! :cool:

  
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racketman
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Jan 08, 2006 09:30 |  #35

handy link explaining all the aids to macro photography:

http://www.ephotozine.​com …uide.cfm?buyers​guideid=12 (external link)


Toby
Canon 5D MKIV & 90D
Olympus EM-1 MKII
Flickr collections (external link)
Gear

  
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LordV
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Jan 23, 2006 02:33 |  #36

Focus Stacking Tutorial

Thought I'd knock up an example of this as there are always a few questions about it.
Focus stacking is simply used to increase the DOF in a picture which can be a major problem in taking macro shots. It is done by taking a series of picures of the subject from the same point of view but at different focus depths covering the area you want in focus. This is achieved either by moving the camera or by using the focus ring. It is best done on a tripod but can be done handholding as long as the FOV is reasonably consistent.
I use the freeware Programme combinez5 to do this available from here
http://www.hadleyweb.p​wp.blueyonder.co.uk/CZ​5/combinez5.htm (external link)
First a series of three pics to be stacked- notice how the focus point is slighlty different in each shot- I tend to start with the nearest point and move in.

Pic 1

IMAGE: http://static.flickr.com/22/90115248_87cefd93f7_o.jpg


Pic2
IMAGE: http://static.flickr.com/31/90115249_e372aa7442_o.jpg

Pic3
IMAGE: http://static.flickr.com/13/90115250_c561f9a27c_o.jpg

It is important you do not do any cropping before focus stacking as the programme will only accept pics of equal size.

Now the hard bit :D

Run combinez5 and open up the file load dialogue

and choose the pics to be stacked

IMAGE: http://static.flickr.com/15/90115251_cd4e2baa14_o.jpg

Once loaded Simply tell it to stack them

IMAGE: http://static.flickr.com/31/90115252_5b2108815f_o.jpg

It then works away re-aligning, colour and contrast matching and resizing, picks the in Focus bits apparently on a pixel by pixel basis and hopefully will produce a clean focus stacked image.

IMAGE: http://static.flickr.com/43/90115253_4253898a5f_o.jpg

Producing the Final focus stacked image.


IMAGE: http://static.flickr.com/17/90116526_a28f654d3f_o.jpg

It's just then a matter of saving the file using the Save Frame/Picture As dialogue.
Sometimes if the pictures were not that well aligned you will get odd effects around the borders which obviously need cropping.

Brian V.

http://www.flickr.com/​photos/lordv/ (external link)
http://www.lordv.smugm​ug.com/ (external link)
Macro Hints and tips
Canon 600D, 40D, 5D mk2, 7D, Tamron 90mm macro, Sigma 105mm OS, Canon MPE-65,18-55 kit lens X2, canon 200mm F2.8 L, Tamron 28-70mm xrdi, Other assorted bits

  
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Ballen ­ Photo
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Jan 23, 2006 11:48 as a reply to  @ LordV's post |  #37

LordV wrote:
Thought I'd knock up an example of this as there are always a few questions about it.

EXCELLENT demonstration Brian, Thank You for posting this. :D
-Bruce


The Captain and crew finally got their stuff together, now if we can only remember where we left it. :cool:

  
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Roach711
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Feb 01, 2006 11:53 as a reply to  @ Ballen Photo's post |  #38

I would imagine that this same effect could be created in Photoshop by taking multiple shots with different focus points, then stacking them as layers and using layer masks, paint out the unfocused bits. The shots *would* have to be very well registered making a tripod almost mandatory.

This technique is pure genius!


---------------
50D, 100-400 L IS, 100 Macro 2.8, 24-105 L IS, 420EX, No talent

Shoot 'em all and let Photoshop sort them out.

  
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stetner
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Feb 22, 2006 03:36 as a reply to  @ post 654161 |  #39

Roach711 wrote:
DOF Preview Button

Another thing that I *usually* remember to do is to press my camera's DOF preview button

Roach711, I find that the image is so dark when I use the DOF preview that I can rarely make out much. In good light with an f 1.8 lens it is OK, but with something like my Tamron 90mm f2.8 lens, if I stop down more than about f8 it is too dark to see what is in focus or not.....

I have the 20D as well, and thought it was a function of the view finder. Can you really tell your DOF if you are shooting macro at f16 say?

Doug


Equipment: Canon 7D
Canon EF 24-70 F2.8 L - Canon EF-S 10-22mm F3.5-4.5 USM - Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Canon 50mm f/1.8 II - Canon MPE-65 - Tamron 90 mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro - Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite - Canon Speedlite 580 EX

  
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Salticid
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Feb 25, 2006 23:14 |  #40

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned John Shaw's "Closeups in Nature". It's outstanding. He covers every possible way to increase magnification. He even makes flash look natural. But the most important advice he gives is in the Forward. It's something fundamental that I haven't seen in the other nature photography books I've been going through:

"In terms of locating subject matter and "working" it in the field, my best advice is to learn as much as you can about the natural world. I've said it before, but it still holds true: To be a better nature photographer, you must first become a better naturalist."

I don't yet have anything to contribute about photography--but maybe I can help a bit on the "become a better naturalist" part, especially for tiny critters.


Identification:
---------------
Why bother, it's the photo that counts. Well... It's disconcerting and a distraction from the image to find a beautiful photo of a syrphid fly--labeled as a bee. The photographer cared so little about his subject that he didn't bother to learn the equivalent of how to tell a dog from a pony.

An ID is the handle you need to find out more. Don't worry about the species--that's difficult for most invertebrates. Start at the top and work down: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. (Botanists are a tad strange, and use Division instead of Phylum.) It's usually easy to ID an invertebrate to Order (e.g. fly, grasshopper, beetle) though you need to be careful about mimicry. With a key, a good hand lens and a corpse, you can generally get to Family if you enjoy the process, but the correct Order is a fine start.

Appearance isn't the only thing useful for ID--you might also keep track of location, habitat, time of year and day (hooray for exif!), behavior (strong or weak flier? hover or perch?) and even weather, esp. temperature. If you don't have time to write a few notes, take some wider photos of the area to show the kind of vegetation (forest? roadside? meadow? bog?) as a nudge to your memory later.

"The Practical Entomologist" by Rick Imes is a great beginning insect book. It covers each Order, with what sets it apart from the others, and includes collecting and rearing, some interesting experiments to try, and a bit of ecology. To get to Family, the Peterson guide "A Field Guide to Insects" by White and Borror is good. You need to use the keys though--if you only look at the pictures you'll either be frustrated or misled.

For spiders, the Little Golden Book "Spiders and their Kin" by Levy is the only reliable beginner's guide. It will get you to family without much fuss--spider ID to that level is by eye arrangement and web type. Beyond that it's often a matter of dissection and a microscope.


Behavior:
-----------
Names are all well and good, but the interesting bit is what they -do-. How they live and grow, who they meet and eat. Try a few of these for hints about what to watch for:

"Broadsides from Other Orders" by Sue Hubbell
"Stokes Guide to Observing Insect Lives" by Donald and Lillian Stokes
"Wasp Farm" by Howard Ensign Evans
"Pleasures of Entomology" by Howard Ensign Evans
"Spineless Wonders" by Richard Coniff
"In the Company of Mushrooms" by Elio Schaechter
"Wily Violets and Underground Orchids" by Peter Bernhardt
"The Trees in My Forest" by Bernd Heinrich

For an overview of how it all fits together, Edward O. Wilson's "Diversity of Life" can't be beat. His autobiography, "Naturalist", is also excellent.


Finding subjects:
---------------
If you have even a small city yard, you can have oodles of subjects at your doorstep--no driving or gear lugging. Simply plant local native plants. A native plant typically has close relationships with 50 or more other species, (other plants, fungi, insects, bacteria, vertebrates), an exotic only about 5. Convert some of your lawn into a habitat, and be amazed from year to year as new creepy crawlies discover your oasis, and new birds come to feed on the creepy crawlies. (You'll also spend less time mowing / watering / fertilizing, because once established, well chosen native plants need little care.)

If you only have space for one plant patch, try goldenrod. Canadian goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) in an Illinois prairie remnant was found to attract 50 bees, 78 wasps, 60 flies, 4 butterflies, 4 moths, 14 beetles, and 3 bugs just to the flowers, thus not counting spiders, foliage eaters, sap suckers, and root nibblers.

To find help with plant choices, look for your state or region's Native Plant Society. Some of the members will be gardeners and/or photographers. (Slide shows are a popular activity, and some chapters keep a slide library for lending out to schools.) Many or most NPSs have email discussion lists, so you can get good advice about what to plant even if you can't go to meetings. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation <http://www.xerces.org/​> (external link); is also a valuable resource.

Build some micro-habitats, too. In forested/thickety areas, shaded stumps and logs are a magnet for fungi, ants, beetles, solitary bees and wasps, and all who feed upon them. Brush piles and rock piles make good homes. A small pond can be a gold mine. My pondlet is just a kiddie pool with a pond liner and a small pump. A rocky bog takes up about a third of it. It's not photogenic as a whole, mostly due to the attentions of Raffles, 'my' raccoon, who keeps rearranging it. But the protist, plant, bug and bird activity it generates is wonderful. (Alas, that's also why it keeps Raffles amused.)

It should go without saying, but I've learned it doesn't: If you want invertebrate photographic subject matter on your doorstep, you can't use pesticides. All pesticides kill far more species than the 'pests'. Think of 'pests' as a resource instead. I adore aphids: they're essential fodder for ladybugs and their alligator offspring, bright orange syrphid fly larvae, teensy black wasps, lacewings, warblers and vireos... Once you've tuned in, a plant description of 'pest-resistant' shouts out 'boring'!


Become a practicing scientist:
---------------
Biology, like astronomy, is a subject where amateurs can still do original and valuable work. Educate your eyes and take careful notes, and you have a chance to make some important contributions. If you can also document your discoveries with great photographs, that's a big bonus. Even in North America there are still invertebrate species to be discovered and described, and many or most species that do have names are only known by appearance--little or nothing is known about how they live. Do they overwinter as eggs, larvae or adults? Who does that parasitoid wasp prey on? Who does that caterpillar become when it grows up? Who pollinates that wildflower--bee? fly? moth? It could be up to you to find out.


Salticid
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LordV
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Mar 02, 2006 02:35 |  #41

How not to scare bugs

Thought it worth posting this reply here.
I do sometimes scare them off but have just got into a few habits when approaching bugs.
1. Make sure you are not blocking the sunlight on them
2. Keep low (if possible at the same level or lower than the bug)
3. Approach slowly taking pics as you go ( at least you end up with something if they do fly off)
4. Luck and time :)- often find if the bug is occupied doing something - cleaning, feeding, mating, blowing bubbles they take almost no notice of you, but if they are just sunbathing they can be a bit jittery.
5. The smaller the bug often the less notice they take of you.
6. If you do scare them off just wait a while- they will often come back.
7. Stand/sit near a popular plant or flower and wait for them to come to you- they seem to regard you as part of the scenery if you are there when they arrive.
8. Although it's harder to take pics of them, they are less jittery if it's slightly windy- many times I've actually managed to hold the leaf the bug was on to stabilise it when it's been windy.
Brian V.


http://www.flickr.com/​photos/lordv/ (external link)
http://www.lordv.smugm​ug.com/ (external link)
Macro Hints and tips
Canon 600D, 40D, 5D mk2, 7D, Tamron 90mm macro, Sigma 105mm OS, Canon MPE-65,18-55 kit lens X2, canon 200mm F2.8 L, Tamron 28-70mm xrdi, Other assorted bits

  
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dpastern
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Mar 07, 2006 03:37 |  #42
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Thanks for sharing those tips Brian :) I'll reiterate what some others have said - invest in a good dedicated Macro lense, 100mm or 150mm preferably. Give yourself as much working distance as possible, to both avoid scaring the bug, and two, blocking light.

Dave


http://www.macro-images.com/ (external link)

  
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dpastern
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Mar 07, 2006 03:42 as a reply to  @ Salticid's post |  #43
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Salticid wrote:
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned John Shaw's "Closeups in Nature". It's outstanding. He covers every possible way to increase magnification. He even makes flash look natural. But the most important advice he gives is in the Forward. It's something fundamental that I haven't seen in the other nature photography books I've been going through:

"In terms of locating subject matter and "working" it in the field, my best advice is to learn as much as you can about the natural world. I've said it before, but it still holds true: To be a better nature photographer, you must first become a better naturalist."

I'll 2nd this. Get Shaw's book, it's a gem. I'm reading through it now. I'm also reading through amphoto's "Digital Nature Photography closeup" by Jon Cox. It's not as good as the Shaw book, but does cover it from a digital viewpoint. Both of them make good reading and compliment each other.

In all honesty, any of the Shaw books are worthwhile, I own 2, and will be purchasing a 3rd one. Seriously, get the close up book :)

Dave


http://www.macro-images.com/ (external link)

  
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BigAl-SA
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Mar 30, 2006 04:26 as a reply to  @ dpastern's post |  #44

I've just spent about 1/2 hour trying to find this thread of folks macro setups as I'm looking for a new flash mount, so I've decided to post links to some threads which contain useful info, but are buried.
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=142566
[edit]
This thread has some pics of HiddenForms homemade flash bracket
https://photography-on-the.net …hread.php?t=154​104&page=2
[/edit]

Trying to keep a moving bug in focus (unfortunately, not too many replies here)
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=146093

Some thoughts from Brian V (LordV) on manual focussing at high magnification
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=146646

Using a tripod collar for a flash bracket mount (*merged*)
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=142566

Full frame sensors vs crop sensors for macro
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=147105
Also a fairly heated debate here:
http://www.outdoorphot​o.co.za/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=1497 (external link)

Cheap Kenko tubes
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=141794

Not sure how useful this is, as it's one of mine, but a method of measuring bugs.
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=152369

[edit]
Best way to handhold while shooting - has a pic of Brian V (LordV) and his famous beanpole, which may or may not be linked in this thread
https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=142217
[/edit]

Sorry if I've missed other useful links, but I had to wade back through 19 pages to find the first link :(


Birds (external link)
Bugs (external link)
Spiders (external link)
Flowers (external link)

  
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cgratti
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Apr 08, 2006 02:28 |  #45

Found this page, seems worth the look just for the use of homemade diffusers. This guy uses bubble wrap...

http://home.comcast.ne​t …smit/bounceflas​htoys.html (external link)



Canon 30D

Canon 10D
Canon 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 II USM
Apple iMac G5



  
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How about all you "Macro Pros" giving some Tips?
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