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Old 04-27-2018, 05:17 PM   #14
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Huntsville, Tx.
Posts: 45,435
Re: Focusing on the small things in life... Macro Photography

Not being happy with my results thus far, I started Googling for tips on better macro shots. I found one blog in particular that I really like!

Extreme Macro: The Art of Patience

This guy is a Canon shooter. He shoots hand held only, never crops, and never focus stacks!! His results are amazing. You can browse many of his shots here,

I read his entire blog, from start to finish. As crazy as it sounds, reading his blog FINALLY got me to really understand how the exposure works with the flash. I had never been real clear on that. Now I realize that the camera exposure settings really just control the ambient/background lighting and the flash is a separate controllable light source, almost like a fourth exposure setting that works (mostly) independent of the other settings. So while in the middle of reading his blog, I made some changes.

First, I switched to using the D7200 instead of the D750. Then I grabbed my SB-700 flash and extension chord so I could get the flash off camera. I set the exposure to 1/250, F11 and ISO 100. Then I headed out back to see what I could find on a BIG bush just outside our fence that was in full bloom and smelling REALLY strong! Here are the results,

A starry night


The flash helps. I was still having issues and at the time did not realize I had the red eye reduction setting turned on. This causes a few pre-flashes after pressing the shutter release button before the shutter actually releases. That makes timing my movements, focus, and shutter release hard. That gets changed later and makes a big difference in the number of keeper shots. Still, even with the flash related delay, some of these came out nice and the color is much better with the flash. I don't like the black backgrounds, but that also gets fixed later once I finally understood how to handle the ambient exposure apart from the flash.

The light is pretty harsh because I wasn't using any kind of diffuser other than the little pull out flip down piece built into the flash. Later, I started adding the clip on diffuser, which does better, but is still harsher than I'd like. I will probably have to make something on my own. I want softer looking highlights.
Scott Friday

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