Macro Shots and Adding a Human Element
so, yeah, we got a bunch of macro stuff, the macro sections a little bit larger. We could do a whole class on macro, but we're gonna do it. A good section on macro here. And so for doing these close ups, overcast days are definitely the way to go. Makes things very, very easy. Getting your camera parallel to your subject. I got a nice little illustration. Teoh illustrate exactly what I mean by this one. Manual focus is going to be much, much easier. I know there's a lot of newcomers that are like, Well, my camera does auto focus on just let the camera do it cause it does such a good job. It's very frustrating working with macro and auto focus, and it's much better to use manual focus and move the camera closer and further away to adjust focus. And so if you want to do that sort of system, as I say, moving the camera away for focus. And if you want to change the magnification size, how big your subject is, you would actually do that by changing focusing on the camera. So if you want it ...
to be as biggest possible, rack your camera to the minimum focusing distance and then slowly move it in. And this is where it might help to have one of those macro focusing rails that I showed you yesterday. I don't use those, but if I'm working on something, I just try to move my tripod inch it forward or centimeter it forward. Millimeter it forward just ever so slightly. So one of the most important aspects is getting things as sharp as possible, keeping them in focus. And so this is gonna be keeping the camera parallel to the subject. So what am I photographing here? The tops of some mushrooms and let's go to the illustration. All right, so here the mushrooms. And here's my camera. And this is what I am not doing. Okay? The focus plane in the camera is right here. And where is the subject plane? Well, it's exactly parallel to the plane in the camera. Unless, of course, you're using a tilt shift lens, which we're not talking about. But the subject plane is parallel to the focal plane. When I have a little bit of depth of field, maybe F 11 F 16 set, it's gonna extend in front and behind that subject plane. But you can see in this illustration the front edge of the mushrooms and the back of them are not in focus. And so what we need to make sure is that the plane where the sensor is is exactly parallel to where your subject is, and so you have to be able to position your camera directly over your subject or directly at your subject, so that when you said it to have a little bit of depth of field, you'll get everything in focus. And so here it's really a matter of figuring out the exact correct position for the camera and getting it there. So here on the left, and it is an example of an incorrectly lined up photograph you'll see on the left picture of the upper right hand corner of that leaf is out of focus simply because my camera was not quite parallel to the subject and so you could try to set more depth of field. But there's gonna be a limit to that. You want to start with your camera in the best position possible, and so some examples of shooting my subject straight on with my subject in my camera, parallel to each other, making sure my camera left and right is exactly even. So the droplets on the left or the sharpest, the ones on the right. Some more tips for shooting macro. You will constantly be challenged by the shallow depth of field, and this is where that focus stacking that we talked about in the focus section might come in handy. The longer lenses. If you're shooting with the or 300 millimeter lands, it's going to give you a little bit more distance with your subject, which is going to allow either mawr light or easier to work with reflectors and or additional light. And it's also going to change the background area as far as how much of it you see, and it may simplify it. And those longer lenses will also render the background mawr out of focus, because that's what longer lenses do. Things on limbs move in the wind. You got to be really careful because you'll see these things that air dangling out on a long branch in there. They're constantly bouncing around, and they're going to be virtually impossible to photograph. I know a lot of people will be walking down the trail and they'll see some flowers and like, Oh, that's so awesome. John, take a shot, Get your camera out. And these flowers, They're all just doing this little dance here, and I'm like, I am never going to get a shot with these flowers movie. And so I sometimes look for flowers that are either shorter. Or maybe they're going up against another branch, which is really solid so that one happens to be nice and steady. Or maybe if I'm really tricky, I'll take a stick and I'll try to steady that flower so it's not moving as much in the wind. In fact, there's a device called a plant, and what you do is you set your tripod up near your little flower. You clip one end onto your tripod and you clip the other end onto the stem of the flower or whatever it is that you're shooting, and that way it holds it as steady as your tripod. And then you could unclad pit and nothing's been harmed, and you release the flower back into the wild, using out of focus subjects for framing can be kind of nice because we do have that shallow depth of field. We do have this out of focus area to work with. One of my favorite macro shots is not shot with a macro lens. This is shot with a 300 millimeter lands and an extension to We talked about those in the focusing section yesterday. And so here I have, I think, a 25 millimeter extension tube on my 300 millimeter lens, which has a minimum focusing distance of probably five feet. But I think I got it down to around three feet or so and getting the camera down very, very low to the ground, keeping a very simple background, just some out of focus grass in the background. Here is a short video clip, and you can see that there's just this ever so slight movement in this flower. And that's gonna be enough that I wouldn't bother photographing this lower at all. Just that little bit of movement. And so you have to be very, very critical about how much movement you're getting, because a lot of times when you're shooting thes macro shots, you are shooting at a modest aperture maybe f 8 11 16 Which means your shutter speeds are often going to be down around 1/ 2nd in length. And so a little bit of movement like this is no go. You're gonna be out of focus. And this is why a number of my macro shots feature very stout little things. You know, they're not gonna be blowing around in the wind. Okay, let's add a few humans to the photograph, all right? Adding the human element. Humans go out in nature. That's what we're doing. And so photographing people out there, what do you want to look for? Well, kind of. My idea is first get a great shot and then just have somebody stand in. And so if it's a good shot without them in the photograph, that's a good starting point. Talk about the rule of thirds will be doing that more in the composition section, but most of you already know about getting that person out of the middle of the frame, keeping the area around the people. Very simple. You want those people to stand out and not have a cluttered background. A tree growing out of their head is the old example and then try to find ah, lighting situation, which really highlights the people out there. And so it was kind of funny at the wave. I'm gonna talk more about this location. Later on the I had his shot lined up, which I was really liking the composition and they're walking through and they're like, Oh, we're really sorry for getting in your shot. I go. No, you guys look great. Come on up side by side because they added a nice element of scale in there. So a good example of just having a nice shot and then having somebody walk in and I'm perfectly happy, happy and walk through my shot doing some mountain climbing in Colorado had these clouds kind of casting the shadows and Sunbeams and having the buddies that I'm hiking with right there in the sunshine, you can see that the background behind them is a very clean area. We don't have lines kind of crossing right through their heads of their bodies down in the slot canyons in Utah, using a backlit situation. Having that human element kind of small, a little off center can look very good a big part of my personal history is doing a lot of adventures in great locations. And I had the whole thing where I was taking lots of photos on these epic trips that I would take and then we were doing slideshow. So we're doing a lot of photography out there. And so we're really trying to show the environment that we're in. And this is my buddy Tim, and we're biking across one of the interior roads of Iceland, which is a very rough and remote place, and we wanted to show that desolation. So we want to have a sense of the place that they are. And I've done a lot of self timer shots long before they were called selfie shots, and I have my own idea of what looks good. And I'm kind of tired of the stupid grin self timer shot. So I'm going to show you some alternates to that and then capturing just the simple little things that are going on can be very, very nice and the implied adventure, I'll I'll show you what I mean by that. And so first off, just having a sense of scale and place, and this is often times where I want the person fairly small in the frame, big enough to recognize as a person and what they're doing. But to show the desolation of this location, the self timer without the stupid grand. And so in this case, we would set the camera up, and then we would go about doing something that we would naturally be doing anyway. And this was a very lucky shot in Iceland because we were dealing with a lot of wind, and I set the camera up off the side of the roads right in front of a bush, and it just happened to be really blowing right when the shot took place. And so you get this nice blur. And in the story we were trying to tell, we were trying to tell was that we were battling headwinds. And this this photo tells that story to some degree, another self timer shot where we're just camera casually capturing what we're doing anyway. Where you were eating dinner in the lee of the boat here, trying to stay out of the wind and it's a self timer, it's a set up. It's kind of a fake shot, but it's just like Okay, what do we normally doing? Well, we're just eating dinner now. Well, I'm just gonna set up a camera and take a picture, and you forget that we're gonna be taking it. Don't look at the camera and give us a stupid smile. And this is our implied an adventure. And so just having the bikes mounted on the car at night leaving the camera out at the campsite, shooting about a four hour exposure, you can get a sense that Okay, there's something else going on. And so if you are going out on these great adventures, getting that 10 shot out there just to kind of get a sense of the environment, even though there's no person in it, it lets you know where you are and what you're doing.