Macro photography is one of those disciplines which can make you look at the world and your photography in a different way. In a world that is small everything is huge; a small shaft of light in the forest can light up your entire scene and just in the same way a small cloud can kill your shot, depth of field is greatly reduced and there are all sorts of digital steps we can take to extend it.
One of the hardest things I have found with macro photography, is getting the shot sharp. I have only been shooting macro images for four months. When I started I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like it and I purchased extension tubes instead of a macro lens, which means focusing 100% manually with your feet. While leaning in and out getting something sharp can sometimes be a spray and pray moment. This works fine but jittery subjects jump away from the crazy human.
About 2 months ago, pleading for more light, I started using my Speedlight to fill in light and this has improved the sharpness to no end; also allowing me to lower my ISO. When using the Speedlight I tend to take a stab at the exposure and then chimp and adjust. Most macro photographers will advise to use a tripod but this is not always practical when your subject is constantly on the move. I tend to keep a Gorillapod in my bag just in case I need extra support. The last thing I do to keep shots sharp is to use Photoshop’s Shake Reduction, when Photoshop CC first came out I was dubious about shake reduction working. I will preface by saying it won’t make out of focus areas sharp but focused areas slightly blurred can be pulled back. A combination of all of the above has helped create my sharpest macro shot so far. The composition and angle are not the best but the sharpness and definition in the fly as well as the colours really pulls the image together.
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