10/03/2016 at 8:46 pm #278
Sajal HossainModeratorMacro Photography,the Smartphone way Pt. 2Macro Photography is my swag(All photos in this thread are taken by my Mi 3)
Macro Photography – Part 2
We’re back with another lesson in macro photography. As you might recall from the previous tutorial, there are two ways to we can shoot macro through our mobile device. One is through the macro-mode option in camera setting and the other with amacro lens attachment. We’re done with the first one. Now, we’re going to get close, really-really close to our subject. Ready? Let’s get started!
In this lesson, we will need an additional attachment for our phone, good thing Xiaomi has manufactured one for us – the Xiaomi Wide Angle/Macro Camera Lens.With a macro lens attachment, I usually shoot with Macro mode on. The camera app focuses faster in this mode than when it is set to auto as it will not focus on further distances.
Here are a few shots taken with a Macro Lens attachment. All other settings are on Auto.
To be able to take this kind of shots, you would need to get really, really close to your subject. Like 1-2 inch close. Depending on the how large (or small) your subject is.
There’s a bit of a disadvantage though when using auto-focus and macro mode. The camera tends to favour brighter or larger objects to focus on rather than what you really want focused. If this should happen to you though, It would be best to switch to Manual Focus mode.
Manual Focus Mode
In manual mode, it’s best to slide the slider to zero (0) to get a shallow depth of field (DOF). In this mode, you need to find the optimal distance from your subject to get a sharp focus, again this will depend on the size of your subject. Try to experiment with a small inanimate subject first to familiarize yourself with the distance needed. As a Rule-of-Thumb, for subject half an inch and smaller, get as close as a quarter of an inch. And for larger subjects, around an inch or two.
Know when to use Digital zoom
Normally, you would want to avoid using digital zoom, It blurs the details and sometimes add unnecessary noise. But during bright and sunny days, it can be pretty useful if you really want to see the intricate details and patterns on your subject like the eyes on this dragon fly for example,
Photo taken with a macro lens attachment and 2x zoom
However, this is more of an exemption than a rule. It’s still best to shoot at normal, then just crop the picture to your liking.
Because of the shallow DOF we work on in macro photography (especially with a macro lens) we have the added ability of creating very pleasant bokeh not possible with other shooting styles. Again some example:
Techniques to Get Great Bokeh
As an added bonus, (I was inspired by @allakazoo’s bokeh lesson) I’m going to share some techniques of my own. This is how I get nice looking bokeh (I know, it a great contrast to how I look haha!)
Look for other source of light and shadows.
Of course you’re not just limited to these background. Wet leaves and sparkling water gives great bokeh. You can also try to attach your macro lens to your phone and just use it to look at different textures and backgrounds to see what they would look like before using it as a backdrop for your next photo shoot.
Macro photography gives a novice an almost 100% success rate of creating beautiful and amazing photos. Considering that the things you will shoot are mostly underappreciated and invisible to the naked eye. With that said our mobile cameras still aren’t perfect and some post-processing can give your photos that extra “uhmp.”
(For the benefit of full disclosure, some of my photos presented above aren’t SOOC (Straight-Out-Of-Camera). Some I have post processed. These are some of the apps I use: Pixlr Express, Snapseed and Perfectly Clear. I’d love to share some tips and tricks regarding these apps but I’ll save these discussions for later XP.)
As a parting note: All the great equipment in the world can never really help you take great photos if you don’t practice often. So go out there, and shoot, share and inspire.
If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.– Jay Maisel
Happy macro shooting guys!
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