Posts Tagged ‘source light images’

Macro Photography Reveals A World Unseen

March 13, 2012

Are you ready to try something new with your photography? If you have yet to venture into the world of macro photography maybe it’s time to give it a go.

Macro photography often reveals a world not perceived by the naked eye. In the case of the images shown here, it is a world of color, texture, and surreal design elements.

So exactly what is macro photography?

You can find the textbook definition here.

For me macro photography is a way to take the ordinary and mold it into the extraordinary. Take a glass bowl, that while interesting on its own, becomes something otherworldly when photographed with a macro lens.

For these images I used a Canon 50mm macro lens. Lighting included a gold reflector, and two studio strobes with colored gels.

Macro photography requires a way to magnify your subject beyond the capabilities of a normal camera lens.

A normal lens will not allow you to focus close enough to your subject to produce a true macro image. A macro lens captures subjects at a 1:1 ratio, also called life-size.

Macro lenses can be expensive. A low-cost alternative is a set of extension tubes.

Extension tubes are attached to a lens you already own. The tube (or tubes) attach between your camera body and lens. Extending the distance between the rear element of your lens and the image sensor (or film) turns your normal lens into a macro-focusing lens.

To capture macro images I use macro lenses, extension tubes, and even a perspective control (tilt-shift) lens.

If you would like to learn more about macro photography I highly recommend Jim Zuckerman’s e-book, “Secrets Behind Great Macro Photography.” I ordered my copy from his website.

Follow the links below to take a closer look at the macro images used in this post.

Sun Worshippers

Watching 01

Until next time, have fun with Macro!

RG

Add A Little Color To A Black Background

March 6, 2012

In the course of teaching a studio lighting class and daily conversations with photographers, the topic of backgrounds inevitably comes up.

I thought I would use this post to show the versatility of the good old black paper background.

We all know black makes a terrific background color for portraiture—usually with a background light added for accent and separation.

What many photographers seem to forget is that the background light need not always need be the standard white we are all use to seeing.

How about adding some color to your black background?

It seldom fails. Whenever I suggest adding color to a black background I get a quizzical look… Add color to black? Can you do that?

And of course you can. By hanging a colored gel in front of a background flash source the black paper takes on a whole new look. (I use a studio strobe with a 20-30 degree grid. See photo below.)

Strobe with grid and colored gel.

You will get a deep shade of the gel’s color where the strobe is strongest, with the color gradually radiating back to black towards the edge of the background. I love this look.

The photographs shown here show how I used this effect in three of my flower images. I have also used this method to create some of my favorite portraits and product shots.

Give it a try next time you are looking to add a little variety to your studio session.

All the best,

Randy

The floral images pictured in this post are available as fine art prints by following the links below.

Calla Lily

Pink Mum

Orchid 01