Autumn Outings – Delving into the World of Macro

reverse-lens-macro-close-up-photography-03Autumn is drawing to a close in the Southern hemisphere, I need to make the most of what is left of the sunshine, only problem it appears the sun has forgotten us in Melbourne, barely any sun, just clouds and wind and rain. So just for fun (certainly not for profit) I have been turning my hand at some Macro shots, but what to shoot? I look at a lot of Macro shots and they are all insects or flowers, or both. Surely that is not the limits of Macro Photography? Initially I had thought I did my self a disservice by getting a 50mm Macro lens and found I just could not quite get close enough, not like the images on WordPress, 500px, Google+YouPic or even Facebook. etc. So do you spend an exorbitant amount of money for a really big (or is that small?) Macro lens to get closer? So what about Reverse Macro Photography? or even using extension tubes? How do they compare? Apart from the cost, extension tubes seem a little daunting, don’t get me wrong the whole idea of using your lens backward in reverse macro is still pretty strange. I get the science that dictates, but still. Anyway I ordered a $5.00 Reverse Ring from USA and I am still getting used to it. Mine is just the reverse ring (in picture below) I did not go for the reverse protector ring – perhaps I should have?

reverse ring
Courtesy Google Images

So you attach the reverse ring to the front of your lens (like you would a filter), I am using the kit lens 18-55mm with my Nikon it has a 52mm diameter,  and then attached the other side to the camera. This makes everything really basic as there are no electronics…… auto focus or zoom capabilities. The apertures are all backwards, and the depth of field is really small, everything is also really dark…….this is taking quite a bit to get used to, perhaps I should have gone for the more expensive extension tubes?


So if you don’t want to photograph flowers and insects, which seem a logical choice for Macro (according to some), what else is there? I mean there is cutlery and fruit and vegetables, water droplets (liquid of any kind really), coffee beans, lollies and chilies? There are cars, fences, old rubbish bins, animals (well bits of them anyway), rusty tin, padlocks and old door locks, I guess when you really look at it, it is endless. So do you ever shoot in Macro? Where do you find inspiration for your choice of subject?

Then there are backgrounds, whether you are shooting flowers, bugs or cutlery, what about the background? Do you use what is already there or do you use colored card/ paper to create an illusion of something else? I have heard good old fashioned baking paper can add a really cool translucent and edgy feel to a setting, almost a reflector if you will, whether a contrasting color in the background, or subtle highlights (if you put it in front of the light source). I guess something else I should mention is that I shot most of these off tripod……..really should use a tripod next time! I am not the steadiest of hands and I am too used to having the VR mode on my camera. Going Old School has given me a new appreciation of my camera 🙂 . So all in all I cannot say it was a success and most of the photos are quite awful, but I thought I would show them anyway. So I guess more practice is in order, especially the manual focus thing! I’ll post some more non flower pics next time.

This next image is another macro shot, that I have given the whole fine art treatment, this was probably more fun that trying to get the macro shots, to be honest. If you would like a little more tutoring on that subject try this tutorial, very informative


Giving your Macro Photography the fine art touch in Photoshop

Well til next time………happy snapping and safe travels

– Julz