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Working with sliders for macro

From: Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-Up

Video: Working with sliders for macro

If you've been following along doing any macro shooting of your own, then you should already have discovered that camera and subject placement is critical when you're building a composition. Now, this is true with any kind of photographic composition. But at the macro scale, it gets down to millimeters of placement of both your camera and your subject. You've seen how I have my geared head here for rotating, and panning, and tilting the camera. But as I've been trying to get things positioned, I've been sliding my subject back and forth. If I'm needing to get something in focus, I could, of course, move the tripod back and forth, but making a fine motion of this whole tripod is really tricky.

Working with sliders for macro

If you've been following along doing any macro shooting of your own, then you should already have discovered that camera and subject placement is critical when you're building a composition. Now, this is true with any kind of photographic composition. But at the macro scale, it gets down to millimeters of placement of both your camera and your subject. You've seen how I have my geared head here for rotating, and panning, and tilting the camera. But as I've been trying to get things positioned, I've been sliding my subject back and forth. If I'm needing to get something in focus, I could, of course, move the tripod back and forth, but making a fine motion of this whole tripod is really tricky.

Fortunately, there's another piece of gear you can employ to help you with that, and that's a slider. This is a geared rail that I can mount my camera on. And, by turning these knobs, I can slide it in different directions. So, this knob slides it back and forth this way. This knob slides it back and forth this way. Now, as I turn this, you may not be seeing much motion, and that's actually good. This is geared so that it takes me a lot of turns of the knob to get much movement on either axis. That means that I can make really fine adjustments.

Here is what I'm talking about. I've gone ahead and put my camera, or my tripod plate, on the slider. I'm going to just mount it here on my tripod. And now, my camera attaches to this normal tripod screw right there. Let's get rid of this cable release here. So, I am just going to mount this, just like I would mount the camera to any other tripod attachment. So, I screw this down here. Now, I've got full control over the camera. I can pan and tilt with my geared head. And, if I decide, "Well, I need to be a little bit closer," then all I do is slide the camera forward.

So now, I've got a way of making really refined focus adjustments, simply by turning this knob. If I need to truck to the left or right, I just turn this knob, and I can get some little adjustments. So, when I'm in really tight trying to refine a composition, the slider is really the missing element that I haven't had access to so far through this course. I've got all my motions of the camera. Now, I can also go forward and backward. Really aids focusing. Really aids composition. And, they're not that expensive. This is a Velbon Slider that I really like. It's very sturdy, very well-made. I really like the motion of the rail.

This is around $100 from Amazon; it might have been, like, $125. If you poke around on eBay, you'll find some extremely inexpensive sliders, some like around $20 or $25. I have not looked at these; I don't know what kind of quality they are. If you're just wanting to maybe dabble in this a little bit, maybe that's a better way to go. But if you're doing a lot of close- up studio work, check out the slider.

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

47 video lessons · 15523 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
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  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

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