How do i take the perfect close up?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by ScouserAndy, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. ScouserAndy

    ScouserAndy
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    Can you experts give me some advice on how to take the perfect close up/macro?

    The kit i have:

    Canon 400D 18-55mm kit
    70-300m tamron tele-macro (1:2) lense
    Tripod

    I must add i am a total beginner! :)

    Thank you!!
     
  2. Yandros

    Yandros
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    Ok, I'll have a go at this.

    Subject - although in theory you can make anything interesting with a little creativity, if you've not done any closeups before you might as well make life easy for yourself and pick something photogenic. At this time of year it's a bit thin pickings out in the garden, unless we get a good hard frost. If you're stuck for inspiration, nip out to the garden centre or florist. Valentine's day flowers maybe? (dual purpose!) :devil:

    Light - macro indoors needs bright diffuse light. We've had a few threads on setting up a cheap tabletop setup for about £40. Don't even think about using the built in flash or a flash on the hotshoe, the results will be pretty awful. Basically, the easiest thing is to wait until you've got a fairly bright fine day and head outdoors. Direct sun will give you more glowing colours and contrasty images, but can be too harsh (watch for blown highlights).

    Support - use a tripod whenever you can obviously. Depending on what you have though, you may have trouble getting low to the ground.

    Composition - pay very close attention to the background as well as your subject. Another advantage of something like a pot plant is you can position it easily. Since your lens isn't a 'proper' macro lens, you may have to try a little harder to get nice bokeh (the out of focus stuff in your photo), so trial and error may be required. If the background behind even the best subject sucks, give up on it! Someone posted a gorgeous butterfly the other day, but sitting on a nasty wire mesh! I've a heap of them myself - it's criminal, but they're just not keepers.

    Mode - aperture priority

    Focussing - choose your point of focus with care, as your depth of field (the amount of stuff that's in focus in front and behind your focussing distance) will be shallow. For creatures aim for eyes, for flowers aim for the stamens, or tips/edges of petals and leaves.

    Bracket Bracket and bracket some more!!! For each composition take shots with a variety of focus points and aperture settings. Macros at very wide apertures can be stunning, but the focus is supercritical, so when in doubt, take some stopped down shots too. If you've got direct sun, try shading the subject as well.
     
  3. ScouserAndy

    ScouserAndy
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    Thanks for the tips! :smashin:
     

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