Step by step FO­CUS­ING FROM CLOSE UP

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

01 Swi tch to man­ual fo­cus

Although mod­ern aut­o­fo­cus (AF) sys­tems are highly so­phis­ti­cated, AF is rarely the best op­tion for close-up work. AF has a habit of strug­gling to lock on to small, nearby ob­jects and fine de­tail, es­pe­cially when you’re shoot­ing in low-light or low-con­trast sit­u­a­tions. Man­ual fo­cus is usu­ally a bet­ter op­tion for macro pho­tog­ra­phy, al­low­ing you to select and place your point of fo­cus with far greater ac­cu­racy – pre­cisely on an in­sect’s eyes or the sta­mens of a flower, for ex­am­ple.

02 Think about aper­ture

Aper­ture se­lec­tion has a crit­i­cal ef­fect not only on how much of the sub­ject ap­pears in fo­cus, but also on the sur­round­ings. By select­ing a wide aper­ture only the parts of the sub­ject that are in the same plane as the fo­cus point will come out sharp. Ev­ery­thing else will be blurred. Con­versely, by stop­ping the aper­ture down to, say, f/16, more of the sub­ject, but also the sur­round­ings, will ap­pear sharp. It comes down to the sub­ject be­ing pho­tographed, and per­sonal pref­er­ence.

03 Find a suit­able par­al­lel

Fo­cus is not only af­fected by the aper­ture that you choose, but also by the po­si­tion­ing of the cam­era in re­la­tion to the sub­ject. In or­der to cap­ture more of your sub­ject in fo­cus, make sure the back of the cam­era is par­al­lel to (in other words, in the same plane as) the most im­por­tant parts of the sub­ject. For ex­am­ple, if you want to get the wings of a rest­ing but­ter­fly in sharp fo­cus, then the cam­era’s sen­sor should be par­al­lel to both wings. That way you’ll cap­ture max­i­mum de­tail.

Far left In this im­age, the but­ter­flies’ wings are par­al­lel to the cam­era sen­sor for max­i­mum sharp­ness

KIT­BAG

While ex­ten­sion tubes and their ilk are use­ful for get­ting close-ups, if you’re

se­ri­ous about macro pho­tog­ra­phy, you should in­vest in a proper

macro lens. Top Think about the back­ground, too: let your sub­jects stand out!

Mid­dle left Wa­ter drops can look fan­tas­tic in macro shots, but they need to be pin-sharp

Left Some­times you may want to set a small aper­ture to get more of your sub­ject in fo­cus

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.