Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The right background

In close-up photography, the choice of background may be as important as the main subject. In the photo below, a slight change in position allowed getting a lighter background on the left half of the image. I think this blends quite nicely with the out of focus portion of the flower.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Sonnar 85/2.8 + extension tube

In the next photo, the somehow "unreal" look of the image comes from the contrast between the orange petals and the neutral, "empty", background.

Pentax K10D + Zeiss Sonnar 85/2.8 + extension tube

Close-up
work isn't just focusing and choosing aperture. Moving around the subject and studying its interaction with the background also plays an important role.

2 comments:

John said...

Do you have suggestions on what extension tube combinations (12mm|20mm|36mm) you use with which lens for your macro work?

I am also assuming that this is all manual focus and that you are using a tripod. Correct?

Frank M. said...

John
I've been using mostly a 85mm lens with a 20mm tube. I've also tried the 50mm with the same tube but with the 85mm I get the most appropriate image size for this kind of flower shots. It doesn't quite classify as "macro". It's better called close-up photography. I've also tried longer tube combinations, but the results have not been very interesting, at least so far.

I'm not using a tripod. I have so little time available for taking photos, that carrying and assembling/disassembling a tripod is a luxury I cannot afford...

And yes, this is manual focus. The lens are manual, anyway. But even if they weren't, I think auto-focus is unreliable and unpractical for close-up/macro and a final manual adjustment should always be done.