Thursday, September 23, 2010

Little Things Mean A Lot

With my photo guiding business in mind, I'm thinking there may well be clients who are interested in shooting macro .  Life's little things can be overlooked but uniquely local photographic subjects, so I'm working on those skills and destinations at present.  The first and last time I went bush with my new lens, I learned that if you're going to shoot macro, shoot macro, don't go out with all your gear just hunting for any good shots.  You've got to be more single minded, eyes down and moving slowly, covering a much smaller distance than you would if you were prospecting for larger prey. So, that determined, I headed up to McGouns track on the edge of town the other day.   It's still a little cold for invertebrates and fungi to be in abundance but I did find this great little red-capped fungus to play with.  I got my flash and extension cord out and set it to ETTL - full auto and fired off a shot. 


The directional light and narrow depth of field were pleasing but just like with regular photography, the subject needed some fill or bounce light to bring out the detail in the shadow area.  The great thing about macro is that your reflector can be pocket-sized.

Lighting Macro

That's my HTC Magic phone on the right, bouncing light back onto the 'shroom.  Worked a treat.   Think I'll stash some white cloroplast in my bag, handy for next time.  Of course it wasn't until much later that I noticed the little mite crawling around on the fungus.  I didn't shoot anything to give a sense of scale, but the 'shroom is about the height of a match.  I guess it's as big as an apartment block to that mite.


Next I experimented with the tiny fern tips from the forest floor, placing them on a live leaf like I'd seen on my last expedition. A little contrived looking, but I like the result.  This was an exercise in background management.  Every time I took a shot I'd notice yet another bit of background distraction. 


By the time I'd discovered some dead leaf skeletons, it was getting dark and time to head home for a meal.  These were a great find, and something I definitely want to work on in future.


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