The Frustrations of Macro Photography

BlurLRI think macro photographers are probably either the most patient photographers, or the most frustrated photographers. Or perhaps both! There are, after all, some unique challenges inherent in macro photography.

In the October 2012 of Pixology magazine I wrote about how stability is relative, and that sometimes no matter how careful you are putting a tripod to use, sometimes the subject or other factors will make it difficult to get a sharp image.

That can most certainly hold true for macro photography, especially if that macro photography is performed outdoors in the elements…

While filming one of my video training courses, I was photographing a rose that was covered with water droplets due to a recent rain. The rose was beautiful, and of course the water droplets only added to the potential of the subject. So I quickly setup my tripod and started preparing to capture an image.

Of course, when focusing very close to a subject, your depth of field is going to be minimal. So you need to try to stop down the lens as much as possible to maximize depth of field. But that, of course, leads to a slower shutter speed, which can be problematic when the subject is moving.

What struck me as both frustrating and amusing was the degree to which the rose was moving, even though the breeze was so slight that I could barely feel it. But looking through the viewfinder, the rose was just bouncing around. I was so amused, in fact, that I captured video of the rose, which you can see below.

RoseWithDropletsFortunately, with a bit of patience and some careful attention to camera settings (as well as some efforts to block the effect of the breeze), I was able to capture images of the rose that didn’t feature any motion blur. But this experience (among others!) served as a great reminder that sometimes you need to be patient, perhaps compromise, and work hard at overcoming some of the challenges you’re presented with in photography.

You can learn more about making the most of macro photography in my video training course, “Mastering Macro Photography: Learn by Video”, available through my video2brain online store here:

And here’s the video showing the “bouncing” rose in front of my lens:

If you’re not able to see the video above, you can link to it directly here:

About Tim Grey

Tim Grey is in the business of making photographers smarter and happier. He is the author of more than a dozen books on digital imaging for photographers, has written hundreds of magazine articles, and publishes the Ask Tim Grey e-mail newsletter as well as the Pixology digital magazine. He also speaks at a variety of events and leads photography workshops around the world.
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