The concept Near and Far in photography easily lends itself to using a low depth of field in order to distinguish between the near and the far. So when I set out to meet the Daily Post at WordPress.com’s Weekly Photo Challenge head on, I slapped on my Canon 50mm 1:1.8 II lens, set the camera to aperture priority (AV), and headed outside just before the sun peaked out from behind the Rocky Mountains.
Canon 60D | 50mm lens | 1/100 | f/1.8 | ISO 200 (adjusted levels and cropped to 5×7)
Near to the camera is the bright red fire hydrant. Far from the camera is the house that this little hydrant has sworn to protect. If the house caught on fire, these two objects would become fast friends, and the fire fighters would be the glue that would hook them together.
I also chose the red fire hydrant because it’s rivalry week here in Utah and I wanted to express my true color - Crimson. If you follow college football in Utah, you’ll understand the reference. Go UTES!
I have been intrigued with macro photography for years, though I have never had enough mula to invest in the macro lens that I really want. So when I heard what I consider to be a weird tip about macro photography, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. And if it worked, then I could share the tip (as part of the DIYPhotography How I Took It Contest) with others in case they were a ‘Doubting Mustafa” just like me.
The tip sounds (and is) simple.
- Take the body of your camera and make sure no lens is attached.
- Grab your 50mm lens and hold it backwards against the area where the lens would normally attach to the camera.
- Take some photos.
Like I said, the tip itself is pretty simple. But there are some nuances when it comes to actually getting a shot. Your depth of field is EXTREMELY small - I’m talking millimeters. It’s hard to hold the camera and the unmounted lens steady enough to take a photo with such a narrow depth of field and have the item in focus that you are hoping for. I would recommend using a tripod or setting it on a surface. This technique probably wouldn’t work well with an insect because your focal length is roughly 5 inches (i.e., the bug would get startled and run away).
Here are a few samples of some photos I shot using this technique, along with the camera settings for each photo (NOTE: There is no f-stop listed because the camera doesn’t record an f-stop since the lens and camera can’t talk to each other when the lens isn’t actually connected to the camera).
Canon 60D | 50mm lens (on backward) | 1/80 | ISO 400 (slight crop to a 5×7)
Canon 60D | 50mm lens (on backward) | 1/20 | ISO 400 (slight crop to a 5×7)
Canon 60D | 50mm lens (on backward) | 1/60 | ISO 400 (Converted to B&W with a slight crop to 5×7)
Although it isn’t as sharp as what I would probably get with the 100mm f/2.8 macro lens I want, it’s a great way to experiment with macro photography to see if you enjoy macro photography before purchasing the expensive lens.
Good luck, and if anyone shoots macro using this technique, I invite you to share a link to it on this post.
I’ve seen a lot of photos of water splashes and thought, “why don’t I try?” So, here is one of the shots I ended up with after about two hours of setup and shooting.
If you’ve ever wanted to try, here is how I set this up and the things I would change if I were to do this again… which I will do… eventually.
I found a clear, glass bowl and filled it with water. I wanted to have something cool appear in the splash, so I made a checkerboard pattern large enough to fill the whole frame using four 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper taped together and matching up with the pattern.
I focused my camera on the center of the bowl, set my aperture to 1.8, using my 50mm lens, and hooked up a shutter release cable to my Canon Digital Rebel (I don’t recall the final shutter-speed or ISO, but I imaging a fast speed and sensitive ISO in order to stop the motion). In order to give myself the best lighting, since I only had an on-camera flash, I did this outside in my backyard.
The challenging part was figuring out timing. I dropped a marble into the water and pushed the shutter-release cable when the marble hit the water. Many were too early, most were too late. But about a dozen came out like that one, with different shapes, lengths, ripples and size.
Once I brought the camera inside to see what I had captured on the larger monitor, I cropped in a little closer on the splashes and got what I deemed a decent finished product. However, I am open to any pointers or best practices on how to capture this better, or create other effects of water splashes for the next time I give this a go.