Attempting macro photography

20 03 2008

This past weekend, I was able to take advantage of some spare time and some late-day light filtering through a window that I hadn’t noticed before (the light, not the window…).  Grabbed the camera and a couple of pictures that turned out a little better than I’d expected they would.  What do you think?  Leave thoughts, feelings, and suggestions in the comments!

1 

2

3 

5

Here’s a few other ones I’ve taken fairly recently that I liked.  Hope you do too.

Sideways

calf

kc1

staircase 

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4 responses

20 03 2008
Ryan

Hi,
I’m very interested in fountain pens and I’ve been enjoying your blog. I’m also interested in macro photography. Those are some nice shots. They allow me to see a detail I haven’t really though about before. There’s no small splashes of ink on the nib of your pen. No matter how careful I am with mine when I fill it, there always seem to be some for me. What’s your secret? Or is it just that the pen is empty in all those shots? I notice it’s not bleeding ink into the paper in the shot where you have the nib touching the paper. Keep up the good work.

25 03 2008
rroossinck

Oh, I’m just that good. 🙂

Just kidding.

The pens were empty for those shots. That’s the only way I could get ’em clean like that, too.

18 04 2008
penagogy

Hey roossinck,
I would love to start taking similar photos of my pen collection. Where and how did you get started? You can post here or send me an email through the FPN.
Thanks.
mikew

7 05 2008
rroossinck

Mike, thanks for the question, and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to it. Here’s the best tips I can give you.

1. Use natural lighting whenever you possibly can.
2. Take the biggest resolution your camera will allow.
3. Use a photo editor to crop pictures, as it’ll help you highlight details.
4. Don’t be afraid to tweak light levels and contrast. It’s NOT cheating.
5. Take tons of pictures.
6. Practice.
7. Patience.

I don’t have a fancy setup at all. In fact, my digital camera was pretty inexpensive. It’s a Panasonic DMC-FX01; 6 megapixels, 3x optical zoom. When I bought it nearly two years ago, it was $300. I believe that prices have come down a fair bit since then.

What I did was basically trial and error; it still is, to be quite truthful. I throw away far more pictures than I end up keeping. The key is the natural light, at least with my camera. If there’s one fault with it, it’s that it doesn’t handle low/synthetic light sources very well. The images get very noisy. However, the macro setting works pretty well, and the light sensor does pretty well in natural light.

I’ve got a light box that I’ve messed around with, but frankly, I haven’t gotten great results with it yet. I’m still learning the proper techniques for positioning and lighting.

I hope that helps!

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