Friday, April 02, 2010

My Experiments with Macro

Water Drops 1, originally uploaded by abhishekontheweb.
Macro, or, as some may prefer - micro photography, is all about taking pictures of small objects. Full frame DSLRs have 35mm sensors (36 × 24 mm) and the less expensive ones have a cropped sensor size, so with a macro lens, ideally, an object as small as the sensor size can be captured without any reduction in size. This creates immense number of possibilities, making simple and small objects blow up on a computer screen or on a printed paper, and is ideal for taking photos of insects and flowers.

The drawback, of course, is that, you need to be very close to the object to be able to take a 1:1 scale photo on the sensor. This gives rise to another problem - as you get close to the subject, the lens will try to block the ambient light, forcing the photographer to go for longer shutter speeds, and thus a tripod becomes a necessary tool. Also, you must have noticed - that while looking closely at small objects, we generally tend to squint our eyes, to increase the depth of field. This is true for macro lenses as well. As the lens closes on the subject, the depth of field becomes shallow at an exponential rate. This makes a very small portion of the subject in focus. As a result, the photographer is forced to decrease the aperture of the lens, allowing even less light to enter the camera.

With these limitations, it becomes crucial to use a tripod while taking close up shots of small objects. But for shooting fast moving objects with a macro lens, the shutter speed cannot be decreased - and in these cases, the electronic flash helps somewhat.

These water drop photos were shot at a fairly fast shutter speed (1/200th second), with flash. The blue color was achieved by setting white balance to incandescent mode. Timing was of the essence here, so the shots had to be shot with a fixed manual focus.


  1. Nice...! And thanks for the micro lesson on macro.. :D

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