Thursday, May 8, 2014

Field Photography and Close Ups

This is the third post in my series on the Nature Photography Class I am taking.  Each week we have a homework assignment and the assignment for this past week was to take an artistic photo of a flower.  The photo above is the one I submitted.  It is the backside of a Gerbera daisy.  In order to take the photo I made my own background by draping a black velvet skirt over a chair and sitting the potted plant on the chair.  I used my tripod and zoomed in close to capture this photo.  Here is the photo of the front of that same flower.  The instructor said that although the front flower was a good one he enjoyed the photo of the back since it was a side people usually don't see.  He also said it was good that I did not center the back flower photo.  It gives it more interest.

Field Photography

In the class we talked a bit about field photography with an emphasis on what to bring when you go into the field to photograph.  The main point that I got from this was that you should think careful about what you want to photograph and not try to bring all your gear but rather just what will be needed.  Here are some considerations and items to pack in your bag to overcome them.

  • Wet Grass/Mud--carry a folded up heavy duty trash bag to kneel or sit on.
  • Wind- consider carrying an umbrella to use to block the wind
  • Controlling light- reflectors in various colors-black,white, gold, silver
  • Transporting gear- pick a bag that is lightweight and fits what you are doing....you wouldn't want a heavy bag for a longer hike

Macro  Photography

We also discussed macro and closeup photography in the class.  The instructor said the difference is that macro photography would be taking a photo  at 1/2 life size or greater.  Less than that it would be close up photography.  He said most macro settings on cameras are really close up photography.  He talked about several options for taking macro photos.
  • Macro Lenses--these are great for getting small details.  The lens come in a variety of size and the instructor said if you were to get just one he would suggest something in the 70-80 mm range.  Macro lenses are a bit on the expensive size so you may want to consider the next less expensive option.
  • Extension tubes--these tubes help you to get macro photos without the expense of the macro lens.  They can be purchased usually in sets of 3 and can be used in combination with any lens...zoom or otherwise.
  • Diopter lenses- these lenses will magnify and help in macro photography.  They DO NOT work well with zoom lenses.
  • Focus Rails--this is a great tool that can be attached to your tripod to move the camera back and forth when you are focusing.  Much easier than trying to move tripod to focus.
This link will bring you to a page I wrote on basic photography tips from the last class.  I use photos to show examples.Photography Tips and Photos


5 comments:

  1. Your photos are fantabulous, as always, Mary Beth! And--Congratulations on your Photography Tips and Photos article being the Lens Of The Day on Squidoo today!

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    1. Thanks Ruth. I enjoy sharing my photos and tips.

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  2. You know how much I've always admired your photography skills, Mary Beth and this, your assignment, is wonderful. You are an 'apt' student in this class for sure. Interesting to learn that 'macro' and 'close-ups' are quite similar.

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  3. Thanks Elf. It was really a fun assignment. I love learning new techniques.

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  4. Like your instructor, I loved the photo of the back of the flower! Of course, I didn't try to analyze it like he did. I simply knew I loved it the minute I saw it.

    As always, you have given me much to absorb and test myself. I have a macro lens, but have yet to really be able to get what I am going for with it. I will continue to play with it though. I did find out that I was sold the wrong macro lens by the guy at the camera store. Should have done my own research instead of taking the advice of the guy in the store. However, in defense of the store, would you believe the owner swapped the lenses for me recently. Now, I just need time to play again :)

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