Sunday, May 20, 2012

on Shooting Macro Wide Open

The only limit to your creativity is your imagination....

I have come to accept that in the world of photography there is no sacred rule. Mastering rules and concepts is a must; but that's just the tip of the iceberg. After attaining the basic skill comes breaking rules. The real skill set comes when you find your own way of breaking rules to show off your creativity.

I'd like to highlight landscape photography (which is admittedly one of my waterloo) a field where the basic rules are rigidly applied. You shoot at f8 to f16 on wide angle lenses, apply the rule of thirds, properly expose the foreground and background and all the other stuff. But no one ever said that you cannot shoot at wide apertures or with telephoto lenses. It's how you use what you have that makes things interesting.

And no one ever said you can't shoot macro photography wide open...

I know that in macro photography, depth of field is important. You really want as much of your subject in focus and shooting wide open will give you very little depth of field. But that shallow DOF can be used in many ways to highlight certain parts of your subject; that is where creativity comes in.

tamron wide open (4 of 4)
Here is an ant looking fierce with only its jaws in focus.

tamron wide open (3 of 4)
And a cool black true bug coming out of the hazy background.

tamron wide open (2 of 4)
This little green fly looks nice with only its eyes in focus.

tamron wide open (1 of 4)
You don't need that much DOF when you shoot parallel to your plane of focus as seen in this photo of the green fly. I still had enough details to make the photo look nice even when shooting wide open

I have to admit that shooting macro wide open is very hard. But when you get it right, you will surely be proud of it. This is what I always say to those who ask me about ideal setups, settings or whatever: maximize your gear and creativity. The most important part of photography is the thought process.