Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Working with macro stabilizing options

From: Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-Up

Video: Working with macro stabilizing options

A tripod is probably the most versatile way of stabilizing your camera. You can use it in a studio for macro work. You can carry it out into the field for any kind of other type of shooting. A lot of times, for macro stuff though, you are going to have a better time working with some smaller stabilization hardware that's going to make it easier to get your camera into the up-close position that you need. With the tripod, sometimes the legs are in the way of your table, and you can't quite get your camera where you want it to be. So, we are going to look at a couple of other alternatives, starting with a variation on the tripod. I mean, specifically, the adorable variation on the tripod. This is the cute tripod that you may not have that I do, and I'm very proud of.

Working with macro stabilizing options

A tripod is probably the most versatile way of stabilizing your camera. You can use it in a studio for macro work. You can carry it out into the field for any kind of other type of shooting. A lot of times, for macro stuff though, you are going to have a better time working with some smaller stabilization hardware that's going to make it easier to get your camera into the up-close position that you need. With the tripod, sometimes the legs are in the way of your table, and you can't quite get your camera where you want it to be. So, we are going to look at a couple of other alternatives, starting with a variation on the tripod. I mean, specifically, the adorable variation on the tripod. This is the cute tripod that you may not have that I do, and I'm very proud of.

This is a Vanguard Tripod. I'd never heard of this company. I was goggling around for cute tripods, and came up with this. Slik, which is a pretty well-known tripod company, also makes a line of adorable tripods. They don't call them that, and I wish they would. As you can see, it's got cute, adorable, little legs and an adorable, little ballhead up here. The legs actually extend kind of, but they extend in a really cute way, so that makes up for their lack of extension. What's cool about this is it's meant for tabletop use. It can sit right here on my table, I can put my camera on it, have my subject right here, and actually get in pretty close.

What's nice about this is it's inexpensive; it's very lightweight, really easy to carry. If you do do field shooting, this is a great alternative to a full-on tripod, especially, if you are shooting flowers in the field, where you're very often on the ground, where it's very likely you can't get your tripod into position. The only downside to this tripod is that it has a built-in head. I can't use my own head on it. My own head would be taller. So on the upside, I'm lower. The downside to this built-in head is it's not super stable. It's a little wobbly, but most important, when I lock it down, it doesn't stay there. And, I don't mean that it drifts over time.

I mean I put it into position, I lock it down, I let go, and it floats a millimeter or two, which, for really up-close work, can be significant. Still, again, an inexpensive, lightweight option whether you travel or work in the studio. This is a great way to get your camera closer to certain things. A variation on this that offers one advantage is this gizmo. This is made by Kirk Enterprises. You can get this at kirkphoto.com. Solid metal, really not very heavy, though. Its handy carrying handle right there.

I put that down. And, what's nice about this is I have a normal tripod screw right here, so I can put on any head that I want. I'm just going to just grab my geared head here, and put this on, and now I have a tabletop configuration that's outfitted with the geared head that I like so much. Again, this lets me get my camera positioned exactly where I want it. And because I'm right here on the table, I don't have legs in the way. I can put my subject right here, and really get to work up close. So, I really like this is as an option. It's incredibly sturdy.

I've used this with very long combinations of lenses and extension tubes, and it has such a low center of gravity that I've never had a problem with it falling over. So, I really like this as a tabletop option. An extremely affordable, extremely easy- to-carry tabletop option is a bean bag. Now, this is not just your old run-of-the-mill bean bag. This is a special photography bean bag, meaning it has special beans in it. It doesn't actually. What makes it more of a photography-oriented bean bag is that it's stitched into these quilted patterns. And, that makes it very easy to fold into particular configurations.

And, that sounds much more fancy and technical than it really is. What I'm talking about is I can set it here on the table, and fold it up in such a way that I can prop up my lens exactly where I want it. Now, this is not an extreme precision photographic instrument that I'm dealing with here. I set my camera on it, and maybe it syncs a little bit more. It's hard sometimes to get it adjusted exactly right. This is not an option when I'm working at extreme magnifications. If I'm at 1X, or just shooting close-up rather than macro, though, this can be a great way to go. Easy-to-pack, doesn't cost very much, and it's pretty lightweight.

Finally, there's one last thing, another variation on the tripod, which is, of course, the monopod, a tripod that is missing two of its legs. What I like about this monopod is its carbon fiber, so it's extremely lightweight. And, carbon fiber is extremely durable. You can run over it with your car. I did that once, and nothing happened to it. I didn't run over this, I ran over my tripod with my car, and it was fine. The tripod. The car was totaled. So, what's nice about this is I have these extensible legs here, and of course, I get it out, and then I've got a normal tripod screw up on top here, so I can just put whatever head that I want.

I'm going to put my ballhead on here. What I like about a monopod, it's for times when I don't want to carry a tripod, because the tripod is too heavy. This is very lightweight; it packs very small. But more importantly, if I'm shooting something moving, if I'm trying to shoot a macro shot of a bee or something, I can put my ballhead on it, loosen the ball, and now I've got stabilization on one axis. I don't have to worry about the camera going up and down. It can still be shaky on other axes, but this is still more stable than shooting hand-held, But as I tilt around, because of my ballhead, I can keep my camera oriented however I want.

So, this is a nice way of getting some stabilization when I'm trying to shoot a flying insect, or maybe a flower that's blowing in the wind or something. And, obviously there are exposure issues when we're doing that sort of thing, but as far as getting some extra stabilization, a monopod is a great, lightweight, very affordable way to go. So, if you are serious about macro photography, you're probably going to want to look into some of these options, whether you're a field or a studio shooter. All of these are great choices.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-Up
Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-Up

47 video lessons · 15507 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 54s
    1. Welcome
      2m 17s
    2. What you need to know for this course
      1m 37s
  2. 20m 33s
    1. What is close up?
      2m 21s
    2. Understanding minimum focus distance
      3m 55s
    3. Comparing wide lens and telephoto
      1m 55s
    4. Understanding depth of field and focus
      2m 11s
    5. Working with extension tubes
      4m 30s
    6. Working with close-up lenses
      5m 41s
  3. 28m 7s
    1. What is a macro photo?
      4m 15s
    2. Understanding how to shoot macro with a reversed lens
      5m 37s
    3. Using a point-and-shoot camera for macro
      1m 55s
    4. Working with backdrops for macro
      3m 45s
    5. Practicing macro by shooting in the kitchen
      12m 35s
  4. 58m 38s
    1. Choosing a macro lens
      2m 4s
    2. Exploring macro lens features: Focal length
      3m 16s
    3. Understanding macro lens shutter speed
      7m 6s
    4. Shooting basics with a macro lens
      8m 24s
    5. Getting closer with macro lenses and extension tubes
      11m 13s
    6. Working with depth of field and macro
      5m 1s
    7. Understanding depth and composition in macro
      6m 43s
    8. Working with subject holders and support
      6m 36s
    9. Shooting with the Canon 65 mm
      8m 15s
  5. 13m 12s
    1. Working with macro stabilizing options
      5m 45s
    2. Working with sliders for macro
      2m 44s
    3. Working with a bellows
      1m 55s
    4. Working with viewfinders in macro
      2m 48s
  6. 52m 59s
    1. Working with direct light
      6m 13s
    2. Macro and the angle of light
      2m 24s
    3. Augmenting direct light with reflectors
      6m 42s
    4. Continuous lighting to add fill to a macro shot
      5m 55s
    5. Lighting your macro scene with continuous light
      4m 50s
    6. Lighting the macro scene with strobes
      4m 59s
    7. Setting up a macro-specific flash unit
      3m 21s
    8. Shooting with the Canon Macro Twin Lite
      7m 56s
    9. Shooting macro in a light tent
      3m 31s
    10. Shooting macro on a light table
      7m 8s
  7. 19m 44s
    1. Field shooting for macro, starting at home
      7m 5s
    2. Managing backgrounds in the field
      7m 39s
    3. Shooting macro water droplets
      5m 0s
  8. 56m 19s
    1. Creating a simple manual focus stack
      4m 40s
    2. Creating a focus stacked image with manual merge
      6m 17s
    3. Creating a focus stacked image using Helicon Remote
      11m 6s
    4. Working with a StackShot rail for focus stacking
      11m 46s
    5. Merging a focus stack with Photoshop
      11m 12s
    6. Merging photo stacks with Helicon
      6m 53s
    7. Understanding the aesthetics of depth of field
      4m 25s
  9. 1m 5s
    1. Next steps
      1m 5s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-Up.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.