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Fungi - Black Country Park

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Hi everyone First upload so hope its ok.
I'm struggling to get used to this lens and looking for any advise please.

Camera:Canon eos 450d
Lens:Sigma 105mm Macro
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Title:Fungi - Black Country Park
Username:paul1000 paul1000
Uploaded:4 Nov 2010 - 3:20 PM
Tags:Black country park, Close-up / macro, Flowers & plants, Fungi, Macro, Wildlife / nature
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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
banehawi Critique Team 101091 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada3086 Constructive Critique Points
4 Nov 2010 - 3:53 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Welcome to EPZ Paul.

Working with a macro lens, when taking macro shots does take some practice.

Theres a few basics to keep in mind, and I will refer to your shot as I go along.

First off, let us know you shot settings, aperture, speed, ISO and if you used a tripod.

Your image is focused, and sharpest where the foliage is, closer to the lens that the mushroom. So you have either focused on thw rong spot; used auto focus which can do the same; and you liekly used an aperture which was way too large.
So this brings us to the need to MANUAL focus when shooting macro. In this shot, focus on the near edge of the rim of the fungus, or slightly behind the near edge. You also need to be exactly parallel with the fungus, right down on the ground, so that the front of the glass is parallel with the fungus; if its at an angle vertically, then adjust the camera to the same angle to make sure its parallel.

Next is to use a tripod, and if available a remote release cable so your not touching the camera when the shutter opens. If you dont have one, you can use the self time on the camera.

Macro lenses allow you to get very close to the subject, so the closer you are, the more likely you are to notice camera shake in the shot, hence the remote, timer, and tripod.

Then depth of field is the most important setting. Always use Aperture priority, - called Av on the Canon, and select an aperture that will provide the depth of field you need. It varies depending on hoe close you are to the subject, so spend some time reading up on this at dofmaster.com; use their online dof calculator to input your camera and lens and it will provide you with depth of field at various aperture settings, and distances from the subject.
The camera will select the shutter speed, and assuming you will use ISO 100, which you should use most of the time, the exposure can be quite long, - 20 - 30 seconds is not unusual in a low light setting like the one above.

As a quick example, if you were 3 feet from the fungus, and used f/5.6, your depth of field is only 1/2 inch starting 35.7 inches from the front of the lens; if you used f/22, you now have a dof of 2.27 inches, starting 34.9 inches from the front of the lens, - so you are likely to get all of the fungus sharp.

You will learn that you will need a very small aperture (large number, since aperture is a fraction, so think of f/16 as 1/16) to take a shot like this one. You can also use very large apertures (small numbers) to completely isolate a small part of a flower and leave the rest blurred, - which is why we buy macro lenses!

Hope this helps, keep practicing, - its a very good lens that get great results when you follow the basics.



Last Modified By banehawi at 4 Nov 2010 - 3:55 PM

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paul1000  4
6 Nov 2010 - 9:13 AM

Thanks Willie
Looks like i have a lot of work to do as all my settings are wrong.
Best get back to ground level with the creepy crawlies.
Regard Paul

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