With macro photography, we can discover entirely new worlds and see tiny creatures in a completely new light. In this video, Micael Widell gives you five tips that will help you find the ideal subjects and then nail focus and exposure for some amazing macro shots.
When I do macro photography, I do it mostly freehand, outdoors, and when possible, in natural light. I love my Sony A7 and the abundance of affordable macro lenses available for it via adapters. But one thing that I often struggle with, and sometimes damn my full frame sensor for, is the minuscule depth of field.
So one day, I got the idea to pick up a macro lens for my newly purchased Micro Four Thirds camera: The Panasonic Lumix G80 (known as G85 in the United States). In this article, I want to briefly go through some important aspects to consider when you pick between full frame and crop sensor for macro photography.
There seems to be many beginners in photography, who enthusiastically buy a mirrorless or DSLR-camera, use it intensively for two weeks, and then never touch it again. Yet some people manage to truly make photography into a passion from the very start, and they go on to enjoy it for years and years.
I believe a core deciding factor for which of these you become, is how good your experience is during the first few weeks with the camera. Furthermore, I believe that the experience is often decided by what kind of accessories you have. In this article I am listing six accessories I believe should be among the first you purchase. Most of them are cheaper than you might expect, especially if you are brave enough to purchase third-party versions.
Image quality, weight and value for money. We have come to accept that most lenses are strong in only one or two of these three factors, that I personally focus on when researching lenses to buy. Sometimes though, we stumble upon a great lens design which is strong in all three. One of the prime examples of such a design is the “nifty fifty” – the 50mm f1.8 lens construction that many lens manufacturers provide. Another example is the 100mm (or sometimes 90mm) f2.8 macro lens. If you buy a nifty fifty or a 100mm macro lens you simply cannot go wrong – you will get a great and handy lens for your money, with great image quality.
The other day I was lucky enough to catch some Northern Lights over my hometown Stockholm. It is quite rare to see them here, especially on a full moon night, and with all the light pollution from the city. The experience of seeing and photographing Aurora Borealis inspired me to compile a video and this article with my 10 best quick tips to catch the northern lights with a camera.
Cameras and lenses are expensive. Really expensive. Even the cheapest entry-level DSLR kit today costs $500 and upwards. But what if you would buy the cheapest possible used DSLR? A camera that is over 10 years old? How would it stack up against today’s modern cameras? I was curious about this and decided to find out for myself.
After two weeks of watching classified ads closely, and missing a couple of good bargains because I wasn’t fast enough, I finally managed to purchase a Canon 400D (also known as Rebel XTi) with a battery grip and a Canon 50mm f1.8 II lens on it. All this for only $80. It seemed like a great deal to me. It even came with a 2GB CF card!
As my love for photography has increased over time, so has my love for manual focus lenses. Lenses such as the Samyang 135mm f2 provide unsurpassed sharpness and image quality, at a price much lower than its autofocus counterparts. Often you also save weight and size when switching to a manual lens. I switched my Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART for a Voigtländer Ultron 35mm f1.7, and got a lens that was just a fraction of the weight and size while maintaining comparable image quality and low light performance. Not to mention the joy when using manual lenses – the fact that you are forced to pause for 2-3 seconds whenever you take a photo, forcing you to consider the composition for a moment, often with better photos as a result.
There are several good lens options for macro photography. You could use extension tubes combined with a normal lens, which gives you some magnification. Or even better, you could reverse a normal lens, which combined with extension tubes gives even more magnification. The most convenient and flexible option though, especially for a beginner within macro photography, is to get a dedicated macro lens.
The most popular models come in focal lengths between 90-105 mm, and have 1:1 magnification. There are also shorter focal lengths such as 50 or 60 mm, but these have shorter working distances, which means you have to get very close to your subject, risking to scare it away. 1:1 magnification means that when you focus as closely as possible, your subject is as big on the sensor as it is in real life. So if you have a full frame sensor of 36×24 mm, it means that any insect you want to shoot that is 36 mm long, just about fits in your picture.
In the last year, I’ve walked probably more than 2000 miles with my camera. I love photo walks, because they are so meditative. There is also great excitement when you get home to look at the photos, to see if you caught any great ones. It adds a dimension of extra beauty and flow to your regular long walks. Following, are the seven most important lessons I have learned, when it comes to getting the best possible enjoyment and results from your photo walks.
There are plenty of opportunities for creative photos all around your home. And one pretty cool idea comes from a Swedish photographer Micael Widell. He uses a glass kettle of boiling water, speedlights with colored gels and a macro lens to get some abstract photos. There are plenty of ways to play with light here. Because of this and the unpredictable movement of water bubbles, you’ll get unique photos every time.