This weekend has been the most fun photography-wise that I’ve had in a long time! I completed 2 photography classes in the City with Remember Forever, one for people and portraits and one for macro photography. And macro photography is oh-so-fun! I think I have found a new favourite sort of photography!
The settings I used for these shots were fairly consistent… White balance set for shade since I was avoiding direct sun as I was already sunburnt, aperture set at 14 (which gave great depth of field when I was so close to my subjects!), and an ISO of about 400 for in the sun and around 800 in the shade. The only setting I really changed was the shutter speed so that I could get the correct exposure for these shots. If the shutter speed became too slow to hand-hold the camera, I would bump up the ISO by one or 2 stops. I have a tripod and could easily have used it, but I was having more fun without.
I have a few tips for macro photography which were shared and I found extremely helpful:
- Be patient. Some of my favourite shots took me about 10-20 shots to get to. Take your time setting up the shot and getting the camera settings right, and don’t try to rush through expecting a perfect shot from the start.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Jeans are great for when your out and about, but for some of these shots I was kneeling, crouching, laying down and contorting myself into all sorts of weird angles. Gym pants allow for much more comfort!
- Take photos from different perspectives. Off centre, from above, underneath, etc. These resulted in some interesting shots! My favourite photos here are the daffodils, and I took plenty from up above and behind to get these ones.
- Get in close. My lens is macro at 0.25m/0.8ft. That means I need to get within 25cms of what I want to photography to get a true macro shot.
- Check the display on your camera for each of the shots by zooming right in on the dark and light patches to check for correct exposure, and for the sharpness of the details. This is how I ended up with some of the most detailed shots, because I kept at it until I got to the right shot that I was after.
- If you subject is partially in shadow, you can use an LED torch to brighten it up, or something reflective to reflect back light onto your subject.
- You want your subject to fill most of the screen when possible. This could be anywhere from 70-90% of the image. This makes for really striking images!
Apart from plants and spiders, some other subjects that I want to photography in macro include shells, bees and ladybugs, some jewellery, food, coins, water droplets and ripples, an eye, craft supplies, and I’m sure there will be much more that comes to mind! Anything with awesome amounts of details!
I took quite a few photos while in the class, but only have a few that I actually like. Sunday at Michael’s sister’s though, I took quite a few more in her garden, though. In total, I ended up with 138 macro photos over 2 days! And here I’ve narrowed it down to 20 of my favourites, starting from the very first one I took of the grass between the bricks. I’m sure over the next few months though, I’ll spend many more hours photographing awesome little details 🙂