It”s been a while since I’ve been doing macro work, so it’s time to turn the tide.
This blog is all about the techniques and how I personally pursuit a macro image:
Well, Choosing a macro lens was the easy part here, as there is only one option for the Sony a7, meaning I got the FE 90mm f2,8 Macro G OSS lens.
For lighting I use a LED light (Ice Light) to give an extra pop to the images, together with 2 small tripods.
Inspiration comes once I arrive at a location. The things I see makes me imagine certain composition and lighting.
At that point, It’s about getting as close as possible to the image I have in my head.
Trying to express the things I see, the way I see them, is like a drug to me.
I mostly try to isolate the subject and then I search for a background or other components that makes it more interesting.
In general I take macro images early in the morning, when dew is creating those nice pearls on the subject. And at this time, insects aren’t flying away that fast.
In order to break that rule I decided to make use of the Ice Light and do some macro / night photography. The main advantage here is that manual focussing is easy, using continuous lighting. The main disadvantage is that you are a mosquito magnet and you’re considered to be a late night snack.
I recently started experimenting with continuous lights and I am starting to appreciate it. I think it’s mostly because it gives me the ability to see while I am creating. It’s for the same reason I like an EVF. It’s of course not a replacement for a flash, but when I don’t need the output of a flash, I’ll use LED’s.
If the subject isn’t moving, I’ll use manual focus, in following way:
I’ll chose the magnification that I want for the subject by using the focus ring and then move the camera and tripod in order to focus. Then, I'll fine tweak it, again with the focus ring.
I must say that manual focus assist and focus peaking does make manual focussing child's play. So this may not be so easy, using a DSLR
If the subject is moving, I’ll use autofocus, or at least try to.
The autofocus on the 90mm macro is ok, considering it’s a macro lens (and terrible if you compare it to the 55 mm 1,8). But if it hunts to much, I’ll switch back to manual focus.
I’m not blaming this on the lens yet, as it seems to focus more accurate on my wife her A6000.
Once I see the images this lens produces, the mediocre focussing is forgiven.
Because of the small distance between you and the subject, your depth of field is very shallow, even at F14 or more. So most of the time I’ll be using a hi F-number, and if there is some wind, a fast shutter speed as well. This does lead you to hi ISO values.
Being able to use higher iso sensitivity is the main reason why I use the a7 for macro and not the a6000.
It’s however always a dilemma: The a6000 has better focussing and due to the fact it’s a crop sensor body, I’m able to get closer to the subject.
It’s been a long time since I tried macro photography but it is something I’m planning to do more.
The wind makes it impossible sometimes but I’ll figure out some solution for that.
The main thing with macro photography is that you can see in a way not many people can and it makes other appreciate those little things.
Thank you for reading