29th October 2014 - Small is beautiful - macro practical evening

Practical evenings at the photo club are always great times for asking other members questions such as ‘Do you know how this works on my camera?’ or ‘Can you let me know where you got that gadget?’ or possibly ‘Please can you help me pack up my tripod as its extendable legs seem to have locked?’ Practical evenings are meetings where it’s a good opportunity to try out new skills and to seek advice and so it was with the club’s focus on macro photography.
It’s always good to start with a bit of tuition and Maurice Sadler provided that in his enjoyable presentation of the techniques he employs in creating still life pictures which tell stories. Whilst he was at pains to point out that macro photography gets in far closer to objects, the principles employed in still life photography transfer very well. In both the use of a tripod is essential to ensure pin sharp results. Maurice also recommended doing research before shooting and above all not to rush as the best results come from careful preparation whether you are getting in close to an insect or flower or in creating a still life.
This was followed by some practical group work where members were able to visit several displays to test the macro capabilities of their cameras. Doing this also showed how it was possible to use additional LED lighting, effective backdrops and tripod accessories to ensure sharp images which also had good depth of focus. How close you can go to obtain this was demonstrated in one display where a macro image of a micro-chipped computer card was put under the spotlight. This revealed not just the extremely small numbers on the card but also the microscopic dust and hairs invisible to the eye.
Whilst the evening concentrated mainly on the opportunities to create a different kind of photographic image it was also useful to see how such extreme close up photography could be made if trying to sell objects on-line. So whilst this practical evening was helpful in an artistic sense there was also guidance on how to take the pictures to make the money to buy the next gadget!