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Old Mar 3, 2010, 1:06 PM   #1
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Default Setting -up Macro or Close-up Shots

Macro or close up shot are very effective as they allow the viewer a closer look at something. The Macro Mode on your camera begins when the distance between the camer and the subject is 30 inches or less. The Macro Mode then continues down to the minimum distance at which your camera can successfully focus the photo. That minimum focus distance will vary from camera to camera, based on the lens design.

However, there a several issues to take care of when shooting a macro photo:

1. Frame your photo so the suject fills the frame as much as possible.

2. Be sure the camera focuses sharply. Do not exceed, or move closer than the minimum focus distance for your camera.

3. Be sure your camera's WB is set for the photo environment, and Auto ISO is being used. We use Auto ISO because as you come closer and closer to the subject, you will begin to "shade" the subject with your own body, thus reducing the light.

4. In a lot of cases, your shutter speed will be quite slow, in the sample photo the exposure was 1/30th of a second at F 3.3, so slowly and deliberately "squeeze" the shutter release to minimize camera movement.

5. Be very aware of shadows partially crossing your subject. Shadows can be very distracting visually.

6. Close-up photos require very good sharpness to be effective.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 2:54 PM   #2
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Nicely explained, Sarah, and nice picture.

I attach one macro that gives a glimpse of the upcoming spring here in Germany.
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Some of my stuff on vimeo (all shot with an FZ-35):
The tree: www.vimeo.com/11345662
with LC55 macro lens: www.vimeo.com/13884313
Zeeland: www.vimeo.com/14488204
The old mill: www.vimeo.com/14577326
autoHDR: www.vimeo.com/15797552
soccer kids: www.vimeo.com/17208358
christmas lights: www.vimeo.com/17912783


Last edited by Joho; Mar 3, 2010 at 2:57 PM.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 3:03 PM   #3
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Thanks, Joho-pring

That is a nice shot. Yes, I am ready for Spring.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 3:10 PM   #4
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Adding a Raynox supplementary lens to the front of an FZ camera gets you even closer than the macro mode, and the ultra wide depth of field you get with these smaller sensored cameras helps even at these short distances, where depth of field with DSLR's can be limiting.

Panasonic FZ28 and Raynox 150 lens..







The problem with either the macro mode or Raynox lenses is, you have to be able to get physically close to the subject. I can use an extension tube with a 70-300 zoom fitted to a DSLR, zoom to 300mm and can stay 3-4 or more feet back from a subject I cannot get physically close enough to, like a really nice bloom set back in a deep bed, and get really good closeups.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 3:13 PM   #5
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Nice pictures, lovely close-ups... great picture of the fly!
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 3:20 PM   #6
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Great pictures, Greg.
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Some of my stuff on vimeo (all shot with an FZ-35):
The tree: www.vimeo.com/11345662
with LC55 macro lens: www.vimeo.com/13884313
Zeeland: www.vimeo.com/14488204
The old mill: www.vimeo.com/14577326
autoHDR: www.vimeo.com/15797552
soccer kids: www.vimeo.com/17208358
christmas lights: www.vimeo.com/17912783

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Old Mar 3, 2010, 4:36 PM   #7
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Good write-up on macro. I use macro mode quite a bit to keep the information from newspaper articles, flyers/ads & various documents (eg, phone number lists). Having the information available electronically is more convenient than paper.

Concerning the macro though, I would add that attempted use of flash provides challenges. It is best to try to accomplish the macro without using flash via setting up the subject in suitable lighting. If one intends to use flash at close range, then they will need to locate the flash intensity control & adjust it down, often even three stops. (this also applies to close range portraits.) Also with flash, there will be the problems of shadows, possible glare & uneven lighting. Remember that when the camera gets very close to the subject then there is the issue of parallax between the lens & flash strobe resulting most often in uneven fill/coverage.

Also before you do photo work, let your monitor warm up. The CFL (that most LCDs use) should be allowed to run for 10-15 min as a minimum to attain full illumination at monitor settings.

The attached photo was shot at 1mp, cropped & reduced by 50% to be kind to Steve's server. (Note: The photo was taken late this morning when the light was high overhead. As such,it was difficult to get closer & you can already see the shadow of the camera on the tip of the lowest pedal.)
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Last edited by sdromel; Mar 3, 2010 at 9:41 PM. Reason: Adds clarifying information
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Old Mar 4, 2010, 6:33 PM   #8
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Also: don't forget to spot autofocus if you have the chance in your ps.

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Old Mar 4, 2010, 8:08 PM   #9
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I would suggest for people that have remotes and cable release capable camera's to invest in the remote or cable release if you are setting up for a tripod shot with smaller aperture and longer exposure times. It will prevent camera shake.
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