Macro-Land: On a Sunny Day

1

You've got the basics of using your macro lens down; now let's take it outside! There are some unique challenges to shooting outside with a macro, and the next few tipsters will help with a variety of scenarios.

Even the smallest details can look huge!

It was a bright, sunny Tuesday, so I wandered out to Great Sand Bay to shoot some scenery and, especially, some rocks. With a macro, you can get right up on the rocks themselves with no problem, capturing those little bits of detail you only get holding them right up to your face.

The picture above is of a rock that’s actually less than an inch long. But lighting is tricky for setting your aperture, and focus can be a concern, so here are a few ideas for getting everything just right:

Sometimes the little waves decided the rocks needed to be covered while I was shooting.

1. Wear clothes where it doesn’t matter if you get wet/sandy/dirty. I wore everything synthetic, tight weaves, and while I got a little wet while doing this, the sand just brushed right off. That’s important, as I had to lay down flat to shoot the ground like this.

2. Don’t try to magnify the object completely with the lens; use your proximity as well. Unless there is some feature that is relatively flat, trying to get the lens to do all of the work on something so small means you have relatively little in focus. Rather, use your body to get it down there just right.

3. Especially when water is involved, be careful with your aperture settings. The light reflecting off of water like this will play havoc with any built-in lightmeter (again, I’m using a Canon AE-1 Program with a Vivitar 1:2.8 macro lens). I frequently had to choose between two, and simply took two shots, one at each. What I discovered was that, while the more open aperture had a brighter feel, the stuff out of focus would wash out if it was reflecting sunlight. Conversely, the smaller aperture didn’t give the feeling of a sunny day. So pick your angles carefully, and see which mood suits you best!

Same shot as the top photo, with a more open aperture and a bit more distance. More is in focus, but I’m not sure I like how much light I’m seeing here.

You can, of course, use your macro as a very minor zoom lens for the horizon as well; we’ll get into that in a future edition. For now, hit the shore and see what you find!

A wider shot of the type of rock fields I was sifting through.

Next time I’ll be back with advice on using your macro with the buds, blooms, and blossoms of spring!

Credits: kevinhodur

Words and photos by Kevin Hodur. Previously calling suburban Chicago and Portland home, Kevin now lives and works as a writer on Upper Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Catch more tipsters in the Macro-Land series next time with Full-Spectrum Nature.

written by kevinhodur on 2013-05-21 in #gear #tipster

One Comment

  1. kevinhodur
    kevinhodur ·

    Incidentally, I had "That Sunny Day" by Soundpool running through my head this entire afternoon.

More Interesting Articles

  • Welcome to 365 Days of Lomography!

    written by Derek Woods on 2015-02-05 in #people #lifestyle
    Welcome to 365 Days of Lomography!

    Throughout this project I will be shooting with a variety of Lomography cameras to explore how they render the world in their own unique ways, as well as some tips and tricks I learn along the way.

    2
  • Chemical Manipulations with the Lomo’Instant

    written by tomas_bates on 2015-01-21 in #gear #tipster
    Chemical Manipulations with the Lomo’Instant

    Perhaps you’ve already had chance to try light painting, multiple exposures and long exposures with your Lomo’Instant, but what can you experiment with next? Well, that’s exactly the thought I had which led to giving this Tipster a go. I wanted to shoot Lomo’Instant photos which felt a bit “messier” than what I’m usually used to and to use a technique which would open up new possibilities with the kinds of images I could create with my favorite instant camera. Well, here I go!

    2
  • What to Shoot with the New Russar+ Lens

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-04-12 in #lifestyle
    What to Shoot with the New Russar+ Lens

    As the mother of all modern wide-angle lenses, the New Russar+ Lens shoots sharp wide-angle photos bursting with character. The solid yet compact ultra-wide 20mm lens can be used to photograph practically anything, and is compatible with a variety of film and digital cameras. Certainly this is a lens that delivers, but like anything, you can reap its full potential by choosing ideal subjects and shooting from a creative perspective.

  • Shop News

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Fly over to our 30% Discount Section to discover previously unavailable Editions & Clones! Be quick and make one yours before they are all gone again!

  • Football Photography on a New Level: Petzval on the Field

    written by zonderbar on 2014-11-10 in #lifestyle
    Football Photography on a New Level: Petzval on the Field

    We first came across Ryu Voelkel while he was shooting for his photography book about the World Cup in Brazil. His use of Aerochrome Film for the project especially caught our attention. Now the Berlin-based sports photographer has finished his book and is ready for the next challenge: testing the Petzval at a football match.

    2
  • FEElim Photography's Samantha Talks About Pre-wedding Photography with the Petzval Lens

    written by zoeyeung on 2014-06-17 in #lifestyle
    FEElim Photography's Samantha Talks About Pre-wedding Photography with the Petzval Lens

    After our previous little chat with Samantha of FEElim Photography, we just couldn't wait to learn more about her pre-nuptial photography experience using our Petzval Art Lens, and were eager for some tips on how to use the lens for a prenup shoot. Read on for our interview with Samantha and of course, get hold on her amazing photography along with a few pre-wedding shots!

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Lomokev

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-11-06 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Lomokev

    By now most of you would have heard of Lomokev, one of the UK's most prolific film photographers. Based in Brighton, Lomokev loves to shoot with the trusty LC-A and his work has been featured in numerous publications and projects. We lent him a Petzval lens and asked him a few questions about what makes him tick. Here's an exclusive interview, along with a several fantastic shots by the talented UK-based photographer.

    2
  • Shop News

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Build vivid hanging LomoCurtains, robust free-standing LomoCastles, and dazzling mounted LomoMosaics! Just click them together with the Lomography Photoclips!

  • Petzval Artist: James Nader

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-07-16 in #people #lomoamigos

    James Nader is a UK-based Fashion and Editorial photographer. He started his career in photography shooting with film, processing and developing his work by hand. He now works on high end fashion shoots and has photographed the likes of Dita Von Teese and Richard Branson. James still has a passion for film photography and uses it regularly. We lent him a Petzval lens to shoot with and he has kindly given us a full, in depth review of this beautiful portrait lens. Say hello to James Nader.

  • Nature & Culinary Delights With The New Petzval Lens and Feldküche

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-10-21 in #people #lomoamigos
    Nature & Culinary Delights With The New Petzval Lens and Feldküche

    Feldküche is a group that organizes dinner parties with a difference by cooking wonderful meals for groups throughout the Austrian countryside. This summer, we gave them a New Petzval lens to use in capturing their wonderful gatherings of people, food, drink and nature. We then got the opportunity to chat with Martin Fetz who runs the organization about what they do and their experiences shooting with the Petzval.

  • Huge Vintage Camera Lot for Sale on eBay

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-03-03 in #world #news
    Huge Vintage Camera Lot for Sale on eBay

    Fancy building a camera museum or, well, simply have hundreds of cameras at your disposal? You might want to take a look at this newest camera lot to show up on eBay, which includes 600 cameras by various makers and carries a "Buy It Now" price tag of $34,900.00.

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • LC-A 120 and I: chappelow

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-03 in #people #lifestyle
    LC-A 120 and I: chappelow

    For chappelow, 2015 is all about pushing the limits and improving his photographic style. To reach this resolution, he adds the LC-A 120 to his arsenal and set off on his analog adventure.

  • Creative Ways to Shoot the Lomography LomoChrome Purple Film

    written by Robn Kester on 2015-03-03 in #gear #tipster
    Creative Ways to Shoot the Lomography LomoChrome Purple Film

    The LomoChrome Purple is easily one of the coolest films to come out in a very long time. The amazing colors and vibe it gives each shot and its wide range of exposures make it a must-have and must-shoot film. Here are some cool ways to help you get the most out of your LCP.

    3
  • To Russia with Love (Part 3)

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-03-03 in #people #lifestyle #locations
    To Russia with Love (Part 3)

    In the third and final installment of his Russian love story, Herr Willie recalls some of the most memorable experiences from his trips to post-Soviet Russia, including traveling aboard the Trans-Siberian Railway and shooting with the La Sardina for Lomography on assignment, and waxes nostalgic about all the amazing people he had met.

    6