Lately I started to look at common items around the house and get up close; really really close. This is what some feathers look like with a macro lens Canon EF 100 mm 2.8. I guess aside from having the lens and something to photograph what is paramount for this king of images it’s the lighting. Here I used only one light Canon 580 EXII flash directly to the right of the image, diffused with silk, on the left side I placed a reflective surface to bounce some of the light back into the left side of the image as a fill light. This lighting shows the texture of the feather and makes it for an interesting image.
Pretty cool what a simple feather can look like up close. Lots of common items can become a topic of abstract photography when we get close enough. Play with shapes, textures and shadows, and take lots of pictures until you are happy with the results. Besides it’s free. Unless you are shooting with film.
Some tips for this kind of images.
- A tripod it’s helpful. (very helpful )
- If the camera has mirror lock up function make sure you use it. It helps reduce vibrations.
- A cable release it’s also a good way to help reduce movements. Otherwise you can used the self time on the camera along with the mirror lock up feature.
- A small F stop. Since the working distance it’s not much at all so it’s the depth of field (DOF) very narrow, you’ll be surprised how little it’s in focus when working like this. F8 or smaller F11 depending on the subject it’s not a bad stating point (play arround and see what suits your subject) if the camera has DOP preview that will give you a good indication.
- Set the lens to manual and use the live mode to aid focusing.
- Make sure you have enough light ( you’ll have to play with it) if you have a flash do not use it directly on the subject, otherwise you are most likely burn it (over expose) or have unattractive results. Try detaching the flash from the camera (if your are using one) with a cable or wireless. Use something to diffuse the flash like silk, fabric or something like it will do.
- Have lots of fun