Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with backdrops for macro, part of Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-Up.
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Whether you are working in the field or in the studio, you need to give some thought…to the background in your image.…Now at macro distances, you often won't have a background, because your subject will simply…fill the entire frame, and you won't be able to see what's behind it.…If you're working at more close-up distances, or sometimes, when you're working at macro,…you will be able to see what's behind your subject. And so, you first of all need to learn…to pay attention to that. And second, you might want to try changing that, or controlling it.…When you're in the field, you don't have a lot of control of what's in the background,…but you can change how it's represented in the frame.…
Most of the time, at macro distances, because of your shallow depth of field, backgrounds…are simply going to blur out to just a flash of light or smear of color.…You can change your camera angle and position to try to include more or less of that.…If you're working in the studio, you can actually change what's back there.…
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.
- What is a macro photograph?
- What is a macro lens?
- Finding good subject matter
- Evaluating macro gear like extension tubes and tilt-shift lenses
- Composing and framing shots
- Exploring depth of field
- Lighting macro shots
- Working with light tables
- Editing macro shots