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It's a small world, and capturing it with a photograph can be challenging. In this course, photographer, author, and teacher Ben Long takes you on a fantastic voyage into the realm of the tiny, detailing the gear and shooting techniques necessary to capture extreme close-ups of everything from products to posies.
After touring the possibilities of macro photography, the course details essential gear at several price levels, including lenses, flashes, and other accessories. Next, Ben explores the special challenges of macro photography: dealing with moving subjects, working with extremely shallow depth of field, focusing, lighting, and more.
The course also explores advanced close-up tools and post-processing techniques, such as using Adobe Photoshop to "stack" multiple shots to yield wider depth of field than a single shot can convey.
Very often, when shooting macro, whether in the studio or in the field, you are going to have your camera in an inconvenient location. I mean, inconvenient to you. My viewfinder is way down here; my eyes are way up here. So, if I want to look through the viewfinder to frame my shot, I've got to get down here. And, I would really like to offer that if you do find yourself having to work this way, don't do what I just did. When I go like this, my eye is now sideways; it's actually more difficult for me to figure out if my shot is leveled. And, you may think, "Well, no, I'll just pay attention." And, as many times as I think I can get away with that, I still come home with crooked shots.
Instead, you really do need to keep your eye level, and come down here, and that's really going to tire out your knees very quickly. Fortunately, there are a couple of options. You can, of course, turn on live view. With live view, even from up here, I'm still having a hard time seeing the screen. And, if I was working in bright daylight, the screen might get washed out. There is another option, and that is the right-angle viewfinder. This attaches to the viewfinder of my camera, and gives me an easier way of seeing my shot. There are a number of different brands of these. This is a third party. This is a Seagull angle finder.
Canon actually makes one, as does Nikon, so you can buy brand-specific viewfinders. And, they attach in different ways. The Canon ones, your viewfinder always has this little cover that has to come off. And, it's very easy. You just squeeze the edges, and slide it off. In the case of this viewfinder, you need a special adapter for different models of cameras, and this one ships with a whole mess of adapters. When you order it, be sure to check the list of compatible cameras, and make sure yours is on it. And, you may find that some support your cameras, and others don't. So, I slide that on there, and then I slide this on here, and now it fits real snug. Okay.
So now, I've got a nice right-angle viewfinder that I can use, and I don't have to bend over. I can even tilt it, so I can get down like this. Again, I still want to be careful about ensuring that I'm able to see an accurately-leveled view. If I'm looking at this, I'm seeing a sideways image, so I would want to come over here. A nice feature of this viewfinder is it also has magnification. I've got a little switch right here; it's set on 1X. If I move it over to here, I get a cropped 2X view of my image. Not magnifying the final image, just giving me a magnified view of the viewfinder that can make it much easier to focus.
These are very handy. Honestly, I find that I rarely use them. Live view really gets me through most of my difficult focusing situations. And the having to mess with setting it up . . . . I just find that I tend to just suffer through looking through the viewfinder. If, though, you're finding yourself craning your neck a lot, hurting your knees, or that you just can't see the live view screen, you are going to want to check into a right-angle viewfinder for your camera.
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