Finally after years of deliberation, took the plunge in getting a Macro lens to explore tiny world. Its pretty amazing to see the details, shape, color of some these things you find everywhere.
Its one thing to find things that are really interesting, but completely a different ball game in getting a picture of it. I’ve new found respect for all macro photographers out there. They make it look so easy, but I got a taste of how hard it is behind the lens.
Here are some of the stuff that I learnt with this new toy:
- Extremely shallow DoF: This wasn’t a surprise, but my assumptions of dept-of-field were way off the mark. Even at f/22 (maybe bordering on diffraction) its still razor thin. The plus side of it is you get some gorgeous bokeh.
- Auto Focus: When you are working in the range of 1:1 or 1:2 magnification range, auto focus is pretty much useless. One has to rely on using manual focus. Luckily some of the modern cameras have visual indicators to show the areas in focus, so that should aid in focussing.
- Focus Stacking: When you are working with a very shallow depth of field and to get your focal point of the picture in focus, you’ll pretty much have to focus stack images. Focus stacking is to take multiple pictures at different focal points and combine them into a single picture in post. When shooting in the yard, one has to contend with the winds as moving objects are almost impossible to focus stack.
- Camera Positioning: Natural elements like flowers, buds, petals, stem, insects are all over the backyard. In order to frame them in a way you like, you’ll have to really position the camera in some really weird angles. Most of the time I felt like I was just spending time in adjusting either the tripod or the ball head to position the camera. Sometimes when you are shooting neighbor’s flowers, you got to be extra careful too 🙂
- Patience: This is by far the most I’ve had to struggle with. After struggling to correctly position camera, adjusting the tripod and trying to manually focus, I pretty much loose it. Most of the things I do with my life, I’m extremely patient enough, but macro, takes patience to a whole new level.
I’ll admit that it can get really frustrating at times. But its also very satisfying; like all things in life. Looking to have some interesting times with it.