Jim Feldkamp Nature Photography in the Yard: Macro Photography
3 Basics of Macro Photography by Jim Feldkamp
When Jim Feldkamp fell in love with nature photography, what he found most frustrating was having to always check weather conditions first before hitting his favorite national park or even just their community park. Rains mean staying indoors. That is, until he discovered the perfect spot to practice his nature photography skills without leaving home: his beautiful backyard.
Since the depth of field is limited, he decided to focus on macro photography. And it was one of the best decisions he’s ever made, Jim Feldkamp says amusingly. Macro photography is magic. Below he shares his three basic tips for newbie macro photographers:
1. Use a macro lens
Whether you buy one or borrow a friend’s, a macro lens is essential if you want to get as vivid a picture as you can without disturbing the subject. A good macro lens should have a focal length of around 90mm to 100mm and a 1:1 magnification ratio.
2. Use natural light
Although some would argue that flash is necessary in macro photography, Jim Feldkamp thinks otherwise. The only times he uses flash are when he takes close-up pictures of plants and flowers. For insects, he prefers using natural light because the flash might surprise the bug and cause it to fly or scurry away.
3. Manual focus
With a 1:1 magnification ratio, auto focus might distort your image. Plus, depth of field is generally limited in macro photography, and if you’re using a dedicated macro lens, AF might get your camera to focus on anything but your subject. Instead of relying on your lens’ auto focus function, use manual focus. MF also renders more vivid pictures when photo stacking.
Ready to practice your nature photography skills? Go out into the yard and start snapping!
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