Notes on learning photography (Part 5)

Macro shots and lighting

Yesterday, I posted some photos of water plants in my blog. Today, I am going to share about my experiences in taking the macro shots of the plants.

As I sat down on the edge of the pond, I noticed small water droplets sitting on the green textured leaves that float on the surface of the water. I decided to move my camera closer to the leaves on the water surface, and take some close-up pictures of them.

The above photo is one of those photos that turn out clearly. The photo below, however, did not turn out too well. I think it is because I had moved the camera too closely to the water droplet, and hence, it appears slightly out of focus. Besides, the camera was positioned almost directly above the leaves. This shut out the natural lighting from the sun above, and hence, the colours in the photo did not appear very natural. The purple fringing is due to chromatic aberration.

Selective focusing

I also practised selective focusing when taking macro shots of flowers. First of all, the photo below shows a straightforward macro shot of a purple-white flower in which it appears in the centre.

Then, I took some more pictures of the flowers. This time, I included two flowers instead of one in the photo.

I decided to make the left flower in the above photo the main focus. I first aimed the camera at the left flower and press the shutter button lightly halfway to lock the focus (there will usually be a green lamp appearing on the camera LCD screen to indicate that the focus has been made and the camera is ready to take the picture), and then I shifted the camera slightly to include the flower on the right in the frame before I pressed the shutter button fully. As a result, the left flower appears sharply focused in the photo, whereas the right flower has a soft focus effect.

Conversely, in the photo below, I switched the focus to the right flower instead of the left. I first aimed the camera at the flower on the right and pressed the camera shutter button halfway to lock the focus on the flower, and then I panned the camera slightly to the left to include the second flower on the left before I pressed the shutter button fully to take the picture. Now the picture turns out showing the right flower in sharp focus, and the left flower in soft focus.

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