Monthly Archives: April 2013

Reverse Lens Macro Photography

Reverse Lens Macro is the really cheap way to get started with actual Macro Photography

This will be quick. You will discover how to take an actual macro shot with your kit lens (or any lens for that matter). It will work with any digital SLR camera, but I will be using a Canon Rebel T3i. Note that with a T3i you can use Live View in your LCD panel.

Make sure you read the whole article or watch the video all the way through to find out how you can greatly improve the quality of your reverse lens shots.T3i - kit lens - macro setting

The picture on the right was taken with my Canon T3i and the Kit Lens. The camera was set on the Macro setting on the mode dial (the setting is the one that looks like a tulip flower). This is not a true macro photo, even though it was taken on the right setting. The Kit Lens just is not capable of taking a true macro.

Macro image with kit lens reversedI disconnected the lens and turned it around, holding it tightly against the lens opening and took this next shot. You can see a major difference in how much of the frame is filled with the flower. Now, this is a macro photograph.

So this can be done with any lens you have in your camera bag. The most common lens for reverse macro photography is the 50mm f1.8, but the kit lens works almost as well.

The down side is that you can’t adjust the aperture, which means there is very little depth of field (the picture will have an area in focus, but just a few millimeters in front or behind that focus area is blurry.

But, Fear not! Just watch the video and pay attention to the second half to find out how you can increase the depth of field.

I also recommend that you get a Reversal Ring for you camera. They are very cheap and they will allow you much more control and accuracy, since you don’t have to hold the lens and camera together and keep them steady at the same time.

Watch the video. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

FYI, I learned this from Ben Long at Lynda.com. In fact, I have learned so much over the years, that I highly recommend Lynda. I recommend Lynda to YOU. Try it at no cost – Get 7 days of free unlimited access to lynda.com.

Of course, I would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below, and let me know if there is anything you would like me to talk about on the blog.

Cheers!

Spring Is A Great Time For Flower Photographery

Flower Photography Is Easy In The Spring
(here are a few tips that I have found helpful)

change perspective
This daffodil is growing in my front yard.

The first sign of spring for me is the daffodils.

Tip #1: Always have your camera handy.

I will never forget my first trip to visit the area where I now live. It was during Spring Break – April. I had to stop and take pictures of the daffodils by the side of the road even before we reached our destination. They were beautiful. I still love them.

Right along with the blooming of the daffodils comes the willow tree buds. It is truly amazing how one day there are a few tiny buds and the next day, the tree is practically covered with leaves. The color of the first leaves is quite different than later when the tree has settled into full leaf. It is more of a bright, lime green.. very refreshing.

I am trying to notice now the chronological order of spring blooms. As of today, April 6, SpringFlowers-abundanthere is what I have blooming around me:

  • Daffodils
  • Hyacinths
  • Bartlett pear trees
  • Cherry trees – all varieties
  • Poppies
  • Tulips
  • Creeping phlox
  • Azaleas (just starting)

I will update as more flowers and trees awaken.

Shoot earlyTip #2 – Get Out Early

They are called “the Golden Hours” for a very good reason. Your so-called ability as a photographer is sometimes no more than knowing and following through on what you know. Every nature photographer will tell you that the best hours for flower photography are early or late, but I prefer early.

I love the dew drops that form just before dawn. And the light is so different than when the sun makes its way high into the sky.

Set your alarm clock if you must, but get out early.

Tip #3 – Change Your Perspective

Even though the flowers look fantastic, a normal picture as you stand in front will just get mild appreciation, and you will be disappointed most of the time. With flower photography, or any other type of photography, you need to really practice the concept of thinking about the final image as you shoot, not after it’s too late and you are looking at the images on your computer. Here are a few ideas to change your perspective.

  • Get down on the level with your subject.
  • Get under the subject and shoot up.
  • Shoot through the foliage to capture the glint of sunlight.
  • Change your position to add or eliminate from the background.

Shoot macroTip #4 – Shoot Macro (close-ups)

The details of flowers never cease to WOW me. Shoot a single blossom or even part of a flower. Make sure you steady your camera for this, possibly using a tripod or your camera bag as a tripod.

Tip #5 – Use Aperture Priority

This is a bit more techy, but it will pay off in spades. I usually go for a large aperture. Large apertures are the smaller numbers, like f/2.8 or f/4.

Using large apertures will give that nice blurry background that you desire. It sets the flower off as the star of your image.

I have written more about the subject of flower photography, especially Spring flowers at Squidoo. Here is the link: Photography Tips For Spring Flowers.