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Author Topic: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.  (Read 8522 times)

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Offline NGF Staff

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How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« on: December 24, 2010, 08:53:07 am »
Some tips to help you with your close-up/macro photography....

  • Find a subject that you would like to get a close-up photograph of.
  • Set your camera to the Macro (Close-up) mode. It is universally symbolized by a flower on your dial. This tells your camera that you want to be very close to the subject you are going to photograph and allows the lens to focus a very short distance.  The normal 'auto' setting isn't designed to focus on a close subject.
  • Looking through the viewfinder, fit the object you are wanting to photograph snugly into it (or LCD screen if you prefer).
  • Push down the shutter button half-way and get your subject in focus. You may have to adjust your position or the lighting to get the subject clear. Don't get frustrated, just move the camera back a little or forward some, or shine a light on your subject until you figure out what will bring it into focus.
  • Once you find it's in focus, push all the way down on the shutter while keeping the camera steady.

Some extra tips...  

Make sure your subject is well lit.  A flash on some cameras at a short distance may hinder the picture (practice will help here)!

If possible, set your camera to timer and place the camera on a tripod, or a solid surface.  This will eliminate camera shake and will allow a clear picture.



Here is a forum link on how to upload your pictures to a '3rd Party Website', which will then allow you to put pictures on this forum.
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=424.0
« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 07:26:26 am by Tank »
Account used for maintenance only.  Contact Tank or other forum staff if you have any problems.  Thank you.

Offline Chris

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2010, 08:16:07 pm »
Also in addition, if you are lucky enough to have an SLR camera, or one that you can adjust the F-stop, then the larger the F-stop the larger the depth of field you can use (ie. more of the layout is in focus). Larger F-stops require longer exposures so a tripod is essential for this (e.g 15 seconds for an f22 exposure). This is how I take my photos so most if not all the layout is in focus rather than just a small area.

Offline fisherman

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2011, 03:11:00 pm »
if you have to shoot indoors you often need flash.  this is a very harsh form of lighting and casts sharp shadows. One way to limit this a bit is to cover the flash lens with a crumpled single sheet of white tissue paper. This acts as a diffuser and makes the shadows less harsh
<o({{{<<

Offline malfoy

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2011, 04:18:19 pm »
It is very important to select a camera which has a good quality optical zoom in it. This is because you would be using the zoom to display the detailing that you have undertaken in the piece of art that you have produced. Remember my friend "A wrokman is only as good as his tools". Select the best SLR camera you can lay your hands on.

Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2011, 05:27:49 pm »
I'm not found of macro mode for web type shots either - Carl Arendt recommended taking the photo from a longer distance and instead of scaling it down simply cropping the middle bit you wanted. On the camera I had I found that really helped, but it was no fancy SLR. My cameras tend to come cheap from Morgans when they are on end of line stupidly low prices !
"Knowledge has no value or use for the solitary owner: to be enjoyed it must be communicated" -- Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden

Offline RMurphy195

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 10:15:02 pm »
There is a technique I use indoors without flash - made much easier with a modern digital SLR.

Use a tripod (of course) and get everything set up.

To help reflect the light (and check white balance) use plain white paper to set the subject on, and as background. Crumpled baco foil is also useful as a reflector (but keep it out of the picture)

Use a couple of table lamps each with the same kind of bulb (e.g. both Tungsten filament or both flourescent). Or even one will do.

Move the lamps around until you are happy with the result.

This is where the digital bit comes in - 'cos you can set the white balance, take a test shot (or 3!) until you are happy.

Then take your piccy.

Remove subject, then replace with next subject. Do a test shot and preview to make doubly sure.

And so on ...

Lighting set-up is real cheap, and even re-usable for other purposes (I used the bedside lamps!)

I photographed all of my old Dinky/Corgi models and catalogued them this way. Here's a couple of samples (OK they could be sharper !)


« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 10:49:21 pm by RMurphy195, Reason: Add samples »

Offline Dorsetmike

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2013, 12:40:11 am »
Quote
Select the best SLR camera you can lay your hands on.

I beg to differ here, a bridge camera is far better as the depth of field is far greater; because the sensor is so much smaller, the focal length of the lens is much shorter than an SLR or DSLR for the same field opf view, the same holds good for compacts, however the options for zoom, white balance and quite a few other aspects make a bridge camera a better tool than a compact.I have 2 DSLRs and a bridge, I gave up using the DSLRs for shooting model pics.  It is possible to get reasonable depth of field from a DSLR, but you either have to resort to techniques like focus stacking or use more expensive lenses, you can get some improvement as has been mentioned above by shooting from further away and cropping, but there are limits.

As for lighting I use an LED ring light (not flash) and reflectors, some good led ring lights at reasonable prices on Chinese Ebay shops.
Cheers MIKE


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Offline Malc

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2013, 02:12:11 pm »
Please excuse my ignorance. I know about DSLRs, and Compact cameras, but what is a bridge camera?
I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over.

Offline Leo1961

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2013, 02:25:56 pm »
They 'bridge' the gap between SLR and Point-and-Shoot cameras apparently...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridge_camera

 :-\

Offline Dorsetmike

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2013, 03:06:24 pm »
Bridge cameras often look like a small DSLR, but do not have interchangeable lenses, the better ones often have an eye level view finder in addition to a view screen and you can select one or the other. The more expensive they are the more "bells and whistles" they have some having almost as many facilities as DSLRs.

A point about view screens versus eye level finders,  view screens are usually used at arms length (or nearly so) which can magnify any movement causing blurred images, eye level needs to be close to the face, usually with arms tucked in resulting in less image blur. Obviously if you use a tripod or monopod, camera shake blur is eliminated to a great extent, the various "anti shake/vibration reduction" or whatever each manufacturer calls it can improve matters but doing all you can physically can only improve things further.

Other tips to reduce shake, if on a tripod use the self timer to eliminate any movement due to your hand operating the shutter release, if you don't have a tripod or monopod with you, steady the camera (or your arm) against a wall, fence, tree, car roof or window, a bean bag can be handy on a part opened car window or any horizontal surface.

Cheers MIKE


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Offline Peediemodels

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 07:04:29 pm »
There's some really good tips here and having trained as a commercial photographer I am more than happy to assist if anyone has questions.

If your camera allows you to use a stand alone flash gun then I would think about this as you could try bouncing the light of a white wall or celling, or as I do for my product shots I have set up a three sided white surround on a white base and this allows for the light to bounce around inside the enclosure to give softer shadows.

All my product photography is done this way with only one flash gun, its a little bit of trial and error to get the settings right but once you are there its a simple process of using the same setup. This link will take you to one of the products I shot this way http://www.peediemodels.com/proddetail.php?prod=PMA15001

Hope this helps?
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein

Offline RMurphy195

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 07:41:33 pm »
Hi Peediemodels -

It would, but apparently the triggering voltage on my old Vivitar 283 is far to high for my Pentax DSLR, so I haven't risked using it and I'm too mean to fork out for a new flashgun. The little one on top of the KR doesn't work so well for this kind of thing.

Ho hum

Offline Tdm

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 08:35:55 pm »
I have a Canon Rebel Xti which I bought online some time ago from I think a company called Cameras4u. Shipped from Britain but an American model. As well as the standard 18-35mm lens I also have a 35-250 lens for distance shots.

I just use the standard lens , chose the "close-up" setting and focus & shoot, and no complaints whatsoever about the results which give a sharp image of what I want and a blurred backgound. I always use the viewfinder as my eyes are not good, and on this Canon model you can adjust the viewfinder to suit your own eye.

Would always choose a Digital SLR over a compact camera every time, as I find so much quicker and easier to "twist" the Lens with my left hand to focus than use the not very precise zoom buttons/levers on a compact.

Buy the way I got a great deal on the Canon which came with loads of accessories including a small tripod and a PC USB adapter to stick your memory card in as an alternative to a standard cable connection.
Came in very useful when I accidentally reformated the memory card whilst on a Polynesian cruise, as using the adapter and some recovery software I was able to regenerate the 200 or so photos I thought I had deleted.

Offline Peediemodels

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 09:28:12 pm »
Another thought is that some flash guns come with remote triggers built in, which are triggered by another flash. So if you have a small built in flash you could partly cover it with white cotton cloth or tissue, but still allowing some light to trigger the other flash gun.
Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein

Offline RMurphy195

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Re: How to get better pictures - Close-up Photography.
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2014, 10:23:51 pm »
Another thought is that some flash guns come with remote triggers built in, which are triggered by another flash. So if you have a small built in flash you could partly cover it with white cotton cloth or tissue, but still allowing some light to trigger the other flash gun.
I never thought of that - maybe I should try and find such a trigger that can attach to my flash, thanks for the tip

 

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