focus52|2012 {week forty-two} october 14 to 20

Welcome to week forty-two, 52’rs! I hope you enjoyed your Fall Color Week. It’s one of the most fun times of the year to get outside and capture the beauty around you and I was glad to see a lot of you jump right in, despite the fact that some members haven’t yet experienced the color change in their area. It’s a hard thing to predict. Around here, we started the week with the colors just starting to peak, and then Mama Nature brought a lot of rain, wind and some really cold temperatures and a lot of the trees finished the week off naked. That was fast! At any rate, if you haven’t yet had a chance to capture the beauty of Fall, I hope you get out there and get snapping!

This week, we’re going to be turning our focus (an unintended reference, but I like it) back to photography practices.

Macro photography is the art of capturing extreme close up images, magnified past their normal size. Now don’t freak out and think that you have to run out and buy yourself a macro lens. If you have one, great! You’re in business. If you don’t have one, you’re still in business. Most cameras these days are equipped with a macro setting that works surprisingly well. Besides, all I want you to do this week is get close up. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an extreme macro shot, just close up. And by close up, I do mean closer than your normal comfort range.

A few things to keep in mind when capturing your macro image,

  1. Sharp images are key. You’ll find that getting in close to capture details also captures a lot of camera shake. Try using a tripod or place your camera on a sturdy surface.
  2. Watch your f-stop. A large f-stop (f2.8, etc) will blur more of your image than you would like. Go for a smaller stop to get more of your image in focus. I typically start at f8 and experiment. Need some help with your settings? Here’s a fun cheat sheet.
  3. Have enough available light to allow for fast exposures. Again, camera shake is your enemy.
  4. Try different perspectives. You don’t have to get the tip of the pine needle, you might want to capture it from the side or above.
  5. Switch to manual focus. Auto-focus doesn’t really do the job in macro photography.
  6. Turn off your flash.
  7. Don’t rely on your camera screen to tell you your focus is great. Many a time I’ve thought I’ve nailed the shot, only to get home and view a blurry image on my computer screen. Take more than a few shots of your subject. Shoot, re-focus, shoot again. If your camera  has a zoom option when reviewing, use it!
  8. Did I mention a tripod or sturdy surface? :)
  9. Macro photography requires some patience. Be patient!
  10. Experiment.
  11. Have fun!

I hope you get out there and enjoy some macro photography this week, but whatever you decide to do for your project, please come back here and share your work with us when you’re done (weeks run Sunday to Saturday, don’t forget!). Links must be to the direct URL of your actual work, not just to the site it’s posted in, and may be a link to your blog post or to your flickr photo (again, the actual photo, not your entire flickr stream). It’s a fact that those who link up early, get the most interaction on their work, so get the photos in!  Also, please don’t link and run – try to find some time to visit at least a few of your fellow 52’ers. That’s half the fun!  And don’t forget the focus52 flickr pool.

Have a great week 52’rs!

psssttt… looking for last week’s link up? click here

  • Gwen
    Posted at 00:47h, 19 October Reply

    Jan, I think you’re really gonna like what I ended up with for this prompt!!!!! Hope to edit and blog it tomorrow, if I can find an hour to spend at the computer in peace. :)

  • Laura Scarborough
    Posted at 05:48h, 20 October Reply

    what? I’m first?! I love macro photography! Thank you for this week’s prompt.

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