Macro photography is an area of photography that I have always dreamed about being about to play with. I have seen some really creative close ups of everyday objects, but always thought that a macro lens was outside my budget. However, since getting a macro adapter for a standard fixed lens (at about 1/20th the price of a dedicated macro lens) I have been able to take photographs like the one above.
This was a test photo for a new website I am currently working on which officially launches next week. Stay tuned for some very creative, experimental macro / close up product photography.
This was the second photograph in my “instruments” series of photographs, found at the same location as the previous but this time it is a small (about four inches square at the based) bronze statue. This is the kind of photograph we often see on eBay or in magazines, catalogues and on shopping website, and it is relatively simply to take given the correct equipment.
Firstly, I found a large sheet of white paper and got an assistant to hold the paper up at the back in a large arch. The weight of the statue held the paper in place, I didn’t use flash because of the reflective nature of the bronze material. The most vital piece of photographic kit I used here (apart from a camera, obviously) was my tripod. Using this I was able set the camera to a 1.3 second exposure time at an aperture setting of f8.0.
Taking this picture with a RAW setting on the camera meant that it didn’t matter if the light in the room gave the image a orange glow, because this White Balance setting was easily corrected in Lightroom by using the White Balance Selector tool. It made sense to me to make this still life study black and white and I feel that it benefits from this conversion.
Taken on the same evening that I photographed the Glass Apple, the picture above uses a very different lighting trick. The Glass Chess Set was sat on a light box, eliminating the picture from below. I placed a black piece of card behind the set and using a tripod I made sure I was focusing on the front three pieces. I like the way the pieces further away are blurred but think that the fallen piece shouldn’t have been on it’s side. Also, three or four piece could have looked a lot better than the seven piece photographed here, but with nearly a dozen cameras pointed at this seen at one point, it wasn’t easy to move things around without ruining other people’s images. Still, I think it is an interesting lighting idea and worked really well.
Last Thursday at the Photography Club we had a practical evening where we took in still life objects to photograph. There was three or four different tables with a variety of objects and lighting solutions. It was a great chance to play with my camera, especially seeing as I haven’t done a lot of still life photography with the Nikon. For the image above I had the camera on a tripod and the glass apple was inside a light tent, using a large lamp I was able to position the shadows exactly where I wished. Professional light tents are surprisingly expensive but I’m sure it wouldn’t be too difficult to make my own, maybe for a summer project. Still, I like the way I have the light coming through the glass, it really brings out the object.