Creativity Challenge #12 - Macro

Macro Photography has its own challenges aside from the usual things to consider when shooting landscapes. Getting shutter speed and aperture right are critical to getting the image sharp and with the right depth of field. The usual definition of 'macro' is at least 1:1 magnification, i.e., a 35mm wide object will fill the frame on a full frame 35mm camera. However, more generally it is used synonymously with 'close-up'. I have used the latter here.

Ocean Grove Nature Reserve


I took a walk in my local nature reserve looking for a close-up shot and found a dead flower head backlit by the sun but with shade in the background. I spent time lining up the shot to make the most of the backlighting but also concentrating on the background to provide some out-of-focus interest to frame the subject. Once I had the composition 'right', I took some test shots varying the shutter speed, aperture and ISO to get:

  • a fast enough shutter speed to freeze movement caused by the plant swaying in the breeze
  • enough depth of field to blur the background but retain enough detail to provide some interest
90mm Macro lens, ISO 100, 1/100 second @ f/13

90mm Macro lens, ISO 100, 1/100 second @ f/13

For this second shot, I moved the camera slightly to better separate the flower heads and change the background. I also opened the aperture to blur the background even more.

90mm Macro lens, ISO 100, 1/200 second @ f/5.6

90mm Macro lens, ISO 100, 1/200 second @ f/5.6

Check out the video of this shoot on my YouTube Channel:

Please feel free to comment below. Constructive criticism and informed discussion are always welcome.

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