Sian: Great to see you back with us, I’m about to join Paul Ward and his two guests, Leslie and Terry, both keen amateurs wanting to learn a little bit more about macro photography. Paul, what are we doing today then? Paul: Okay, well obviously we’re gonna look at different ways in which we can take macro photography, and you know, people, people are gonna be using wide range of cameras. Luckily, we can use virtually the cheapest cameras that are out there to the most expensive, it doesn’t really matter. There’s various different accessories that can use to do macro photography. Today we’re gonna look at, we’re gonna start off with a little compact cameras that normally have luckily all macro setting on, not all of them do, but generally most of them do. Then we’ll gonna go to the bridge cameras, which have probably, you know, it’s got a single thing have a macro setting. And then we come on to DSLR’s, and we’ve got a bit of a range here of DSLRs, so. We’re gonna talk about those and the different features that they have to allow you to do macro. Then we’re gonna get to, obviously with the DSLR, you can use macro lenses, not only dedicated to macro, but a lot of macro feature on them. If you don’t wanna buy macro lens, you can use these things here, which called extension tubes. Which almost convert any lens, not every lens, but almost any lens into a macro lens, and it’s actually quite cheap way of doing that. And then we’ve got various lighting effects that we can use. We’ve got a small ring flash, that’s fairly, fairly cheap. We’ve got like a, obviously normal flash gone off a DSLR. And we’ve even got a table lamp just to, obviously try and illustrate that you can use, you know, household items as well. The other two little leads that we got at the bottom, the one is like a remote trigger, so that, because obviously you gonna need, get in that fine, fine detail on the camera. You don’t want any camera shake at all, ideally, so that will obviously help us do that. We’ve got the off camera lead as well, which helps us, obviously with an SLR, if you use the camera on top, if you use the flash on top of the camera, you’ll often get a big shadow where the lens is, coz the flash can't get pass it. That’s when you need the external flash unit and the off camera cord that’s gonna comes in handy. But we’ll also gonna use natural light as well, and just ambient light to try and get some shots. Sian: Okay, so now with the magic of television, we’re gonna be taking a closer look at the compact, bridge, and DSLR cameras. Right then Paul, what are we looking at now then? Paul: Okay, yeah, what we’ll gonna, we’re gonna experiment with the compact camera and see what sort of macro effects with this. First of all I’m gonna move the tripod out of the way, because we’re gonna use the flash on this setting, and can you just pass me the flower please Sian. Sian: Yeah. Paul: Thank you very much. And if you guys wanna grab your cameras and just move that away for a sec while I need to get some shots. So I’m gonna turn the camera on, which is the basic requirement. Right, what I’m gonna do with this is make sure that the flash is gonna fire. So if I just set the camera for the flash, I’m just gonna give myself a little bit of the low angle on the flower. Right, now again with this, because, even if the macro setting is on, you can sometimes zoom in to bring you closer to the flower, okay, that’s perfect, that’s giving us really close shot. So make sure that you’re focused on the flower it’s auto focusing there. And then take the shot, okay, that’s fine, it’s actually coming out pretty good, to be honest. So yeah, as you can see if I bring the flower from the background, it’s a little bit under exposed, but we can all always, we can always have the shot again and change the exposure settings on the flash. Or we can use photoshop and sort of, sometimes it’s better with macro, especially with the white flower, it’s better to under expose it, so you’re not over exposed on the petals or anything. But I think generally, considering it’s a very cheap camera, it’s actually not bad shot at all. Sian: Suppose beginners could start with, you think? Paul: Yeah, definitely, yeah. I mean, you know, if you’re just getting into macro photography and you don’t wanna spend too much money on the expensive kit. Sian: Yeah. Paul: One of this is the thing to get because you can get good results with it. Sian: Okay, so that was the compact camera, now we’re looking at Leslie’s bridge camera. Paul: Okay, so Leslie’s got the bridge camera which is a Panasonic Limix. It’s an 8 millimeter pixel camera. And obviously, from that of the compact we get in a much, a much better quality optics. It’s got a better digital zoom on it. It’s got a few more features, so generally a step up from that compact camera. So Leslie, do you wanna, if I move the flowers somewhere here, somewhere in front of you, do you wanna show us how you normally. Leslie: Well I’m taking this on an automatic mode while the camera is doing it sort of thing. Paul: Okay, sure, that’s cool. Leslie: Just to start with. I do then check of what it’s taken, then I try and another mode to try and get it a little bit. Paul: So obviously the camera is focusing at the moment. Leslie: Yeah. Paul: It’s just trying to select its macro, yeah that’s good. It’s in macro mode now. Okay, that’s pretty good. Just bring the image up. Yeah, that’s fine, it’s not. Leslie: Probably would’ve been better with me holding a little bit more solid. Paul: Yeah, no, I mean, I mean obviously, you know, we’re using this ambient light and we’re doing it hand held, so it is pushing the camera to its limits as far as, you know, we’re using a higher ISO setting. But, I think when we come to look at the later cameras we’ll use a tripod and see what we can do. Leslie: The first. Paul: Yeah I know, it’s fantastic. You know… Leslie: Little tone a bit. Paul: It’s great, it’s great. What I also suggest is using, sometimes use aperture quality, which you mentioned earlier that you sometimes use. Leslie: Yeah. Paul: And then, this is, so if we set, if we set the camera to aperture quality, which is normally in the A button. And maybe again try different angles, try and get low down again, so. If I, and obviously, because I set it on that it’s, I’m actually being able to control the aperture and the shutter speed more and I can sort of compensate, okay. Leslie: Oh yes. Paul: Okay, that’s coming out pretty well anyway. Leslie: That just come up well, hasn’t it? Paul: I mean obviously, Yeah, really good. I mean the main thing that we’ve done using aperture quality is you can start to dictate what the camera does so you can change, you can change… Leslie: Try and be in control a little bit. Paul: … the aperture and then you can let it. Yeah you can let it decide, you know, you can decide on the exposure and stuff like that. But that’s fantastic. Sian: Okay, that’s great, so let’s have a look at Terry’s camera. Paul: Okay, can I just swap places with you Leslie, thanks. Okay, Terry, so you’ve got a Nikon D40, it’s a digital SLR camera that you have been using. So do you wanna try and maybe, let’s move the flower across and let’s maybe try a shot. This particular camera got its own macro setting. Terry: Exactly, yes. Paul: So do you wanna have a go and just see how that comes out. Terry: Yeah, sure. Paul: Okay. I’ll gonna step to the side a bit. Terry: With this you have to get down and look at the viewfinder. There we are. Paul: Well that’s actually pretty good. Obviously, the automatic setting has used the flash. Terry: Yeah. Paul: How do you? Yeah that’s actually pretty good image. Because, because we’re using, because it’s using the flash, it’s actually cutting out all the background light, it’s making the back of the image darker and just concentrating on the flower. But I think what the beauty of DSLRs is that we can use various different things to get, so we got more control over the macro ability. We can use, you know, we got this dedicated macro lenses, and we can use extension tubes and stuff. So I think, may be might be worth bringing in my camera so that we can explain a bit little bit more about that. Okay, so we’re gonna be using the Canon 40D and a dedicated macro lens and some extension tubes. So the 40D, it has got its own sort of settings and stuff, but we’re gonna try and use it in manual mode, get a little bit more technical so we got more control. Now at the moment, I’ve got a 50 mil lens on here, which is one of the cheapest Canon lens, it’s actually a really good lens. But, it hasn’t got a macro facility on it. Sian: Right, so how will you be able to work around it to get a macro shot? Paul: Well, basically we use these things which you called extension tubes. If I just put the camera down a sec. Normally, you get three, they’re all different sizes and they come apart. And depending on which one you use, it basically separates the lens from the camera, so it allows you to get much closer with the lens than that particular lens normally would do, if it’s not a macro lens. How they normally work is take your lens off, you attach your extension tube to it and then you simply put it, put it back on. And as you can see, it just separated the lens from the camera itself. Now the problem is when we are getting that closes to the subject, it’s camera shake that starts becoming an issue with macro photography. So at this point, I’m gonna go and get a tripod and we’re gonna bring that into the equation as well. Okay, guys, so we’re gonna bring in the tripod for this one, and basically on this particular set up, what we’re gonna do, we could use a dedicated macro lens. This particular one is a 70-300 lens. And the way this works is the macro works at the end of the zoom, so we actually put you quite a long distance away from the subject. This is particularly good if you’re trying to photograph insects or something like that, that you need to get a bit of distance between you and the subject, where you can't get too close. But in this case, because we, we can get quite close to the subject, we’re gonna use the, I’m gonna use the extension tubes. And I’m gonna use the smallest one, coz I still wanna get a bit of, I don’t wanna get too close to the flower, to block the light or anything, so. Let’s move this out of the way, and let’s grab the flower, that’s my set up, and I’ll try and fit this on the tripod, okay. Now obviously we need to just set it up in approximately the right position, okay. Got the lens cap would help in this situation. Right, okay, that’s great. So I mean literally, because we’ve got the tripod up here, we can actually, we can actually move the flower around until it’s in the right position. Now, on this, now that we’ve got the tripod, everything is really steady, we’re gonna do a couple of things, we’re gonna take our ISO down, because we’re not going to worry about camera shake in your hands anymore. So let me just turn the ISO down a little bit, I’m gonna stick it into ISO 200 for the moment. Okay, so in this particular instance we’re gonna use a fluorescent white balance setting, because of the ambient light that we’ve got in this room. So what we’re gonna do, because this is on the tripod, we can use, obviously we’re using a lower ISO, so it’s less grainy, we can use a smaller aperture now, so that, that gives us longer shutter speed. But because we’re eliminating camera shake, it doesn’t matter, we can use as long as we want really. So to eliminate camera shake a little bit more, I’m going to use mirror lock up setting, which not all cameras have got, but it just helps reduce that shutter shake even more when the mirror sort of moves. And we’re also using that with the timer setting. So let me just set that up, okay. Right that set up, so. Okay, I’m just getting a general focus, now the beauty with this, this new crop of cameras that you see is that they’ve got a system called live view, which is similar to the bridge camera that you have, or the compact cameras, but you can actually press the button and you can get the shot up on the screen. That allows you to zoom in and really focusing to exactly the point that you wanna focus on. And then literally just stand to press in the button, that’s it. That’s great. Sian: So if you didn’t use the self timer, what else could you do? Paul: Okay, well what you could do is use something that I’ve got in my back pocket, which is one of this off camera trigger mechanisms. It just plugs in to the side of the camera and it allows you to get a distance from the camera and just press the trigger. The other options we’ve got with doing macro photography is obviously different lighting set ups. Sian: Yeah. Paul: At the moment, we’ve been using the ambient light, but we can, you know, get a bit more creative with the light if we used flash. Now obviously, I don’t really wanna use the flash on the camera, unless I can’t help it, because the lens might get in the way, if you got bigger lenses on. So this is where we get various different things. You can buy these ring flash systems, which are fairly, fairly cheap. I mean you can pay a lot of money for them, but this is fairly cheap one. And that just screws to the front of the lens. Sian: Right. Paul: And light your subject. The other way of doing it is to get an off camera cord and actually be able to set up your flash in various different angles. So with this off camera cord, you can trigger the camera and have the flash where ever you want it really. Bounce it off reflectors and all sort of things, so it gives you a lot more possibilities. Sian: And more creative lighting. Paul: Yeah, definitely. Sian: Yeah. Paul: I think now though, it’s time that we went outside and try some stuff in the real world. Sian: Oh yeah, let’s get out in to the sunshine. Brilliant. Paul: Excellent. Sian: Let’s go. And when Paul said we’ll be going outside and get down to grass roots, I didn’t know he meant literally. Paul: Alright guys, because it is so bright, we’ve ditch the tripod, we don’t need a tripod anymore, we can do it handheld, that shutter speed is gonna be high enough to allow us to have a smaller aperture. So we increase our depth of field, which is great for macro work. But also, the shutter speed’s high enough even with a higher aperture setting, we’re on F8 now. So we can get about sort of 250 shutter speed out of this light. So what we’re gonna do is again, obviously for framing it’s ideal to have this live view setting, because obviously sometimes you can't get that low, so, I’m gonna use my live view. Work out my focus point, which is about there, just zooming to check my focus. And then take the shot. Now again, I’m not using the, yeah, the timer setting this time, because again, we haven’t got our, you know, we’re using it handheld and the shutter speed’s high enough, so you don’t need the timer setting. And that’s what, and that’s the effect we’re getting, looks pretty good, and obviously… Leslie: Oh yeah. Paul: You know, you can, you can adjust your exposure and stuff, we’re using aperture priority, so normally on the cameras you can set that if you think, if you want it to under expose slightly, you want it to over expose, you can set that within the camera. I reckon you guys should have a go now and you take in turns, just have a little go. Leslie: Right. Paul: So line up the shot. Okay, it’s just finding the focus isn’t it. Looks right. It’s brilliant. It’s perfect. Leslie: Yeah, it’s quite well. Paul: That’s really good, yeah. Do you wanna have a go Terry? I’ll move across over. Okay. That’s’ great. I mean at the end of the day, you can bring in reflectors if you got light in one angle, you can always bring in your reflector. You can change, you know, you can change a lot of things around about how you take the image. But it’s so easy to just experiment, especially with the digital cameras these days. Sian: Well that’s all for part two, in part three we’re back with Leslie and Terry, while Paul talks through some of their images.