Mellow Yellow - image by Anila Hussain
Blog written by Steve Stamford
For an image to be considered macro the image recorded on the film, or in these days of digital photography the sensor, should be at least as large as the subject. This means that when we view the image at a ‘normal’ size as a print or canvas it will be very much larger than life. In doing so it can reveal an amazing level of detail and beauty.
It is though a very unforgiving subject. When photographing landscapes the amount in focus between the foreground and background can be anywhere between a metre or so up to infinity. The distance between the nearest point in focus and the furthest is known as ‘depth of field’ often just seen as DOF. In macro though this can be in the order of a millimetre or two so even a simple dandelion clock or daisy requires extreme care and the application of specialised (expensive) lenses or a cunning technique known as focus stacking.
Focus stacking is where an image is taken where the nearest point is in focus, and we accept anything behind that is not in focus. Then we take another image focusing a little further away, accepting that the nearest one is now not sharp. We continue to do this, taking shot after shot until the farthest point is the sharp one. Now of course we have anywhere between two and – well however many are needed. Sometimes in the case of those amazing images of insect eyes hundred of images are needed – each one a fraction of a millimetre different to the other.
All we need to do now is line them all up, selecting only the sharp bit from each one, then ‘stacking’ those sharp bits on top of each other to create the final image. Fortunately there are some rather nifty software tools that largely automate this for us.
This all takes time, patience a tripod and a subject that doesn’t move and a light source that doesn’t change between images. Macro isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but then again wouldn’t it be a boring world if we all liked the same thing?
Please take some time and click on the links below to see some wonderful and varied macro and close up images from some of our very talented artists:
Steve Stamford https://lens2print.co.uk//albumview.asp?albumID=7093
Mary Fletcher https://www.lens2print.co.uk/albumview.asp?albumID=7100
Pete Hemmington https://www.lens2print.co.uk/albumview.asp?albumID=1151
Anila Hussain https://www.lens2print.co.uk/albumview.asp?albumID=5830
Terri Waters https://www.lens2print.co.uk/albumview.asp?albumID=7114