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

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


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...

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.