Macro Photography

Macrophotography is one of my favorite types of photography to practice.  Landscapes have a special place in my heart too, but getting out and about can be taxing when you have a family with little children.  DuringColor.jpg times of limited time, I will run out in the backyard to photograph small insects, plants or anything else that catches my eye.  Other times, I will setup shop in my house and think of different ways I can make interesting photographs.  Oftentimes, my photographs tend towards capturing water.  Water is such a versatile substance.  You can capture it in motion such as the photograph to the right.  Other times you can use the refractive properties of water droplets and create something quite different.  From oceans to tiny water droplets, your options are endless when it comes to water.

Flower_Globes__1_.jpgToday, I decided to try a slightly different way to photograph a flower.  I didn’t quite want to capture the whole flower in a water drop refraction per se.  After much fiddling with the setup and attempting to get the right droplets, color and lighting, I finally ended up with the photo you see on the left.

To get this shot, I had to do a little preparatory work.  First, I had to go get flowers.  Add to that to make the wife happy a bottle of wine, some chocolate and a myriad other items on the grocery list.

For setting up, I prepped a plate of glass from an 8×10 picture frame with rain-x.  I applied rain-x to both sides to make sure everything was clean.  Two speed-lights are set up approximately 60 and 90 degrees from my camera.  I reconfigured my tripod to hold my camera underneath the legs.  Underneath the glass is a piece of bluish construction paper with the flower.  Both speed-lights were ultimately set to 1/4 power 90 degrees and 1/8th power at 60 degrees.  To get everything in focus, I had to take eight shots of varying distances from the plate of glass.  When I say varying distances, I am talking moving the camera a millimeter at a time.  When using macro lenses, your depth of field tends to be paper thin…literally.

My camera settings were ISO 200, aperture f/11, shutter speed 1/200th using a Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens on a Canon 5D Mk II.

The Setup

Setup Shot

After shooting, I loaded up the photos into Aperture for editing.  For this particular photo I had to use Photoshop CS5 to get the depth of field I wanted.  So from Aperture, I loaded them into Adobe Bridge and selected the option to load them into layers.


Once the layers are loaded into Photoshop, select all the layers.


From here you select auto-align and then auto-blend (both in the same menu list).  For auto-align I chose “auto” and for auto-blend I chose “stack images”.



From this point I performed the normal cropping, enhancing and other small tweaks for my normal photographs.

I hope this post gives you some ideas on what to do on a time limited day.  For me, it took about an hour from setup to post processing to make the final image.

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  1. Posted August 16, 2011 at 9:17 AM by Darius | Permalink

    love them really good idea .. :)

  2. Posted October 19, 2011 at 6:08 AM by Dave | Permalink

    Great write. Retired Master Chief here, living in Va Beach and have just gotten back into photography, now that the kids are gone and grown I have the time and money. Enjoy your site.

    FCCM(SW) USN(Retired)

  3. Posted April 29, 2013 at 12:57 AM by Zinaida | Permalink

    What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads.

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