Friday, October 24, 2008

Macro photography

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Planar 50/1.4 + extension tube

My extension tube set finally arrived, all the way from China (got it on Ebay). Needless to say, I spent most of the past weekend in the garden, leaning over flowers with the camera in hand. I tried to resist the temptation to just do extreme close ups of pretty flowers and hairy insects...

I like the next photo, with saturated colors and just a dash of sunlight on top of the flower.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Planar 50/1.4 + extension tube

In macro photography, depth of field (DoF) is very narrow and closing the diaphragm beyond f11 causes noticeable loss of sharpness due to light diffraction (you can read a clear description of this phenomenon here). A creative way to overcome this might be using high apertures and selecting the focus plane wisely, so as to have a sharp portion of the image contrasting with a blurred surrounding, hopefully in an interesting composition.

Easier said than done... The next photos are three of my attempts at using a narrow DoF creatively.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Planar 50/1.4 + extension tube

I confess I’m not yet very confident about the quality of the results. I like the second photo best, with the sharp edge of the leave contrasting with the “hand painted look” of the flower above. But in the third photo I find that the intense red-orange blur on the left diverts attention from the little flower lying on the tip of leave. The background should have been chosen more carefully.

I'll have to keep trying…

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