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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Macro Photography

Macro Photography or close up photography is one of my favorite part in taking photographs. The macro function on a standard camera is seen as flower symbol. Before I go into further details, it's best I mention what camera I'm currently using.
Brand & Model : Panasonic DMC-TZ1
Resolution : 5.0 Mega pixels
Lens : 10x zoom on LEICA-branded lens
ISO : 80-1600
Shutter : 60-1/2000

Berry fruitWhen taking pictures using the macro function, set the focus on the desired object. This will make the image of the object very clear while everything else is a little fuzzy. For example the berry image above taken from my garden. Using the macro function, I set the ISO settings to 200. The ripe fruit (which was later eaten by yours truly) is the focus of the image, thus being clear while the other half ripe fruits are slightly blurred. Or another example is the cactus bud in my previous post. The bud is the focus of the object while the brick wall in the background is blurred.
Night photography however, is a different game all together. The following two images are taken by my hubby (he's got steady hands). The camera is set using macro mode, ISO100, exposure compensation at +3 (I'll talk explain about exposure compensation another time) and with flash (using a cardboard to disperse the light). I used the LED light on my handphone (Sony Ericsson W810i) and shine on the flower. So this gives the impression of a spot light shining directly on the flower. The reason why we used the LED light on my hand phone is because the light created is white. Some LED lights are slightly bluish or yellowish making white objects either bluish or yellowish.
Cactus flower - night bloomThe second image below is taken using the zoom function. All the original pictures are sized at 2560 x 1920 and all those on this blog has been resized for easy loading.
Cactus flower - night bloomerSo the picture of the filament below is a crop from the original picture above.
Cactus flower filamentTo create the similar effect in a closed environment, just place an object in a dark room (turn off the lights and close the curtains). Then place a small light source (white LED lights are best) focused on the object. Usually the flash from the camera will over expose the object and if you don't use flash, the image may come out too dark. So try other options like placing a thick piece of paper in front of the camera's flash to disperse the light. Or use a brighter light source. Playing around with every function available gave me an idea of what each function can do to the particular object. So I know how to take pictures that looks like the picture is taken from an SLR camera.

Anyway, I've also learned that taking pictures of flowers requires patience. And at nights it's easy for us to fall prey to those blood sucking mosquitoes. So I take this opportunity to thank my hubby for sacrificing a few drops of blood and hours of continuous itching just to help me take pictures!

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post, Waileng :). You have berries in your garden? What a privilege! I would love to have some, too. A shaking hand is one of my obstacles to shot photos with my husband's camera. I usually seek for an item to rest my hands or elbows. Have you any tips on taking photos of moving objects? I would love to learn about that.

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  2. Hello Rosidah,
    The berries were left by the previous owner. We didn't even know they were edible until my hubby decided to be the guinea pig and try them. They are a little sour but the birds seems to love them!

    I've looked into the review of your husband's camera. I suggest you use Shutter Priority Mode from the Manual Settings Menu when taking pictures of moving object. In addition, use continuous shooting so your chances of getting a better picture is higher.

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  3. Thanks for the advice, Waileng :).
    I'm glad that Dennis was okay after trying these berries.

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  4. I really have to work on these night shots. The photos on last Earth Hour were giving me a hard time. I will upload them on my blog as soon as I'm feeling better. I hope you can give me suggestions for improvement by then :).

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