STEP BY STEP

Macro for not mu­cho

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills Teach Yourself Flash -

1 Re­verse gear

A macro lens or even a kit lens is fine for this shoot, but we opted to re­verse a wide-angle lens to keep our kit as light and as cheap as pos­si­ble. We used a Nikon 24mm f/2.8 lens. What­ever you use, switch the lens to man­ual fo­cus and choose the min­i­mum fo­cus­ing dis­tance.

2 Down to the wire

Ca­bles are the most re­li­able way to trig­ger an off-cam­era flash, and they’re ideal for this project. (We used the Yongnuo SC-28A.) Put one end on your Nikon’s hot­shoe and lock the wire in place, then seat the flash­gun on the hot­shoe at the other end of the ca­ble.

3 A place for ev­ery­thing...

Use the bracket to po­si­tion the flash above the lens, but with­out it pok­ing over the front el­e­ment. You want the light to be as close to the sub­ject as pos­si­ble – that way, you’ll need less power, re­sult­ing in quicker re­cy­cle times, and the light will be softer, too.

4 Soft op­tions

You need to soften the light, and there are many op­tions for this. You could just use a sheet of pa­per, or make a soft­box from a box with tis­sue pa­per over the flash hole. We chose a blow-up dif­fuser de­signed for flash­guns be­cause it’s water­proof and can be in­flated quickly.

5 Set­tings

Use man­ual mode. Set your aper­ture to f/8, and a shut­ter speed to match the sync speed of the flash (for us, 1/200 sec) and as high an ISO as you can. (We used ISO200 as ISO100 was too dark.) We set 1/16 flash power as it ex­posed our sub­ject well with­out clip­ping the high­lights.

6 Keep go­ing

The depth of field is so nar­row with macro pho­tog­ra­phy that you’ll need to rock back and forth from your sub­ject while shoot­ing in con­tin­u­ous drive. This way, a dif­fer­ent por­tion of the sub­ject will be in fo­cus in each shot, and you can be selec­tive when choos­ing the best photo.

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