How to Photograph Up Close – III: Fun Gadgets for Macro PhotographingPosted: June 11, 2009
One of the many reasons I enjoy photography, is the gadgets you can play with while you photograph. I love a new toy! Most women love diamonds…I like diamonds but LOVE photography equipment. Today my post will be about some of the toys you can purchase, but I want to make it clear to you, these gadgets are not needed to photograph up close, they help you enjoy the process while photographing.
Before I start talking about what toys I like, check out Really Right Stuff”s info on macro photography. You can also click around their site to see if you like anything I have not mentioned in this post.
So, let’s get started… Of course I want to talk about my favorite tool first!
The Novoflex focusing rack is one of those tools that until you use it, you think you don’t need it. When you want detailed focusing, this helps tremendously. When we talk about depth-of-field (what’s in focus and what is not in focus) I will be discussing this tool. The focusing rack is attached to your ball head (at least my ball-head) on your tripod. The mini quick release is attached to your camera. It’s so nice and easy to work with!
Ok…I like to show you a wonderful ball-head from Really Right Stuff. Again, you don’t need a ball head to connect to your camera but I can maneuver my camera much easier with one:
Remember, if this is too expensive for your pocket book, I showed you a great buy from B & H in the last post (#2).
This is another cool toy that I like to use, it’s called an angle finder :
If you need to be at ground level to view your subject (I have outdoors) or adjust your camera in a weird position to get the shot, the angle finder is excellent for this! It also has a magnifier that I love, which helps with sharp focusing. For more details check this tool out at B & H.
Another good gadget to have is a cable release (see below). My next post will be about basic ways to photograph up close and one thing I want you to remember is that if you keep the camera steady your photography will come out better. With that said…I like to use my cable release (all the time) so I don’t touch my camera. Yes, I purchased this at B & H 🙂
The last tool I want to talk about is lighting. Below is an expensive tool that you will love if you get into the macro thing. I will have a post just on lighting in the future, but for now…this is on gadgets that I love, so here is one of them. Again, if this is too expensive, you will be surprised on what a flashlight can do 🙂
This twin light attaches to your lens to get up close to your subject. You can adjust the intensity of the lights and move them around for some fun exposures. Save your money for this toy…it’s worth it!
Macro is fun! I love the photograph below because we can see the unique view of the bubbles in the liquid. Be creative… I have photographed body parts, products, bugs, and of course flowers (my favorite subject). I now look at things differently…I remember my professor telling us that he wanted us to see photographically. At first I didn’t understand, but now I do, and I’m grateful that I have added this sense of sight to my life… The more you Macro the more you will pay attention to the details around you.
So for now check out some gadgets and send me questions if you have any. Our next post will be the basics of photographing macro. I’ll give you the steps I take while I photograph in natural light. Your homework is to read your manual on your camera or google your camera…there should be a blog out there you can refer to. There is no such thing as auto photography in macro…so learn what an F-stop is and what the shutter speed does. I will briefly discuss this in the next post but would like you to understand the terms. One more thing…A good book I suggest is John Shaw’s Macro and Nature. I found it on Amazon. It’s a good starter book on Macro Photography. It’ a bit outdated and discusses film more than digital but whether you’re photographing digital or film the concept is the same.
See you next week 🙂
- Photographing Insects and Other Small Creatures (nikonusa.com)
- 20 Spectacular Macro Photography Examples (digital-photography-school.com)
- Macro photos of explosions of color and liquid (lostateminor.com)
- Stunning and Inspiring Macro Photography (techie-buzz.com)
- Closer Still (pronghornwildlifephotography.wordpress.com)