Category: Macro

Shooting square: a lunchtime experiment…

It was just one of those afternoons where you look out the window and notice that rare, special thing… a drop of sunshine – I knew that on my lunch break I would have to take my trusty X-T1 with me for a stroll.

After admiring X-Photographer Doug Chinnery’s square format images, I thought it would be nice to just have-a-go! And as I’d never shot square format before, I knew I’d enjoy the challenge. So I set my camera to ratio 1:1 and then JPG & RAW (just in case). From that, I took a 2 minute drive to my local marina from the office here at Fuji HQ.

Once I was parked and on foot, I started shooting straight away whilst trying to get my mind into ‘square framing mode’ assuming there is such a thing! The first image I took ( that I liked 😉 ) was of a lock, I loved how symmetry immediately came into my mind when I put my eye to the viewfinder.

DSCF9743
X-T1 – f/5.6 – 1/140 – ISO200 – XF35mm

Here’s an example of me trying to get good framing in square format. I focused my attention to the winding path ahead and was deciding where I thought the path should cut off in my image.

DSCF9745
X-T1 – f/5.6 – 1/300 – ISO200 – XF35mm

When I took this shot below, I was again thinking about symmetry, trying to match the lines of the tree to hit the top left and bottom right hand corners of the frame.

DSCF9748
X-T1 – f/5.6 – 1/60 – ISO200 – XF35mm

This shot wasn’t a particularly amazing one, but it did contain what I was aiming for – a triangular composition. Maybe you can see it?..

DSCF9759
X-T1 – f/2.8 – 1/280 – ISO200 – XF35mm

I was walking along the waters edge when I saw this tiny little puddle with what looked like a mini diving board over the top of it. All it needed was tadpole or small insect having a swim to finish this image off nicely.

DSCF9751
X-T1 – f/2.8 – 1/1000 – ISO200 – XF35mm

This one was definitely my favourite shot of the afternoon, it was this little mound of mud and grass that to me at the right angle looked just like a small island – I’m thinking Cast Away..

DSCF9754
X-T1 – f/2.8 – 1/1100 – ISO200 – XF35mm

My final image was taken on the way back to the car. I came across I lovely little patch of daisys and using the tilting screen I could get right down low without getting my knees dirty – which is always a bonus!

DSCF9757
X-T1 – f/2 – 1/4000 – ISO200 – XF35mm

I had a great time shooting in this 1:1 format and found that for some of my close up work it would actually be really nice to continue using it. I loved working the symmetry into my images and corner to corner lines too. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go – you may just have a blast like I did!

Until then..

Happy snapping!

 

 

What to shoot now – spring into life

It won’t be long before the natural world starts showing signs of life, which will give photographers across the globe plenty of subjects to train their cameras on.

To start, look low to the ground where bulbs will soon start to break the surface of the soil. Getting down low is the key to success and those X-series cameras with an articulated rear LCD will come in handy to help you frame up shots without having to lie on the floor.

Don’t be afraid to crop in close on snowdrops and daffodils, selecting the macro mode to ensure you focus as close as possible. If you’re shooting on a sunny day, placing your camera flat on the ground and pointing the lens upwards will deliver a ‘worm’s eye view’ of the flowers, which works particularly well with yellow crocus, tulips and daffodils set against a deep blue sky. Consider using the Velvia Film Simulation mode to boost colours, or fit a polarising filter to really saturate primary hues.

Feeding time

If you don’t fancy scrabbling in the dirt, birds and wildlife get a little bolder in the springtime as they start searching for mates and building nests. Use a telephoto lens like the XF55-200mm or XC50-230mm to keep a safe distance and make sure you shoot against a clear, uncluttered background such as foliage or even the sky to be sure nothing distracts from the subject. With any wildlife subject you’ll need to be patient; the best shots will come to those who wait… or those who set up feeding stations in their gardens!

Window light portraits

The low sun at this time of year is perfect for people shots indoors. Carefully choose a window – you want sunlight to bathe your subject in, not to blind them. Position your subject nice and close, then switch your camera to aperture-priority mode, using a wide aperture to throw the background out of focus.

Window Light Portraits

A day in your life

If a 365 project is too daunting, perhaps you can manage 24 hours. Pick a typical day and document your life. It’s easy to do with the portable X cameras. Start with your breakfast and only put the camera down when you go to bed. Apply the usual rules though: think about your shots and compose carefully, don’t simply machine-gun it.

A day in your life

Striking silhouettes

Set aside the usual approach to exposing your subject and expose for the background to get a dark, striking silhouette of a person, tree or church – easily recognisable subjects work best. Switch to spot metering and take a reading from the bright background to ensure your subject is rendered as an outline.

Striking Silhouettes

Film fanatics

Emulate the look of yesteryear’s photos with one of the X-series Film Simulation modes. All the X-series cameras offer these magic modes; the X-Pro1 boasts a stunning selection of 10, including names you may remember from film boxes, such as Provia and Velvia. Find them in your camera’s Shooting menu or via the Q menu.

Film Fanatics

Carnival spirit

In countries around the world, Shrove Tuesday (4 March) is a day for celebration; in many, such as Germany and Italy, this means carnival, while in the UK, it’s the chance to flip pancakes. Whichever is happening near you, photograph it. For a carnival parade, try the Pop Color Advanced Filter (on the XQ1, X100S, X-M1, X20 and X10).

Carnival Spirit

Macro Photography Tips

An emphasis on detail, texture and pattern is what makes macro photography so
complex and unique. If done properly, macro photography can give you mind-blowing
results. In this article, let’s go through a few tips which will greatly improve your macro
photography skills and help you take dramatic and high impact shots.

Turn on macro mode: This may seem like a tip for dummies, however many beginners
forget or do not know because they’re too lazy to scan through the thick manual. Macro
mode is usually represented by a small flower on the setting dial. This lets you bring the
lens of the camera closer to the subject.

Use a tripod: Since macro photography is all about sharpness and clarity, you must use
a tripod to avoid any form of vibration that may occur. A tripod will greatly help you in
getting a sharper image.

Focus manually: When the subject is very close to the lens, the auto-focus would tend to
search backward and forward for something to focus on. It would save you a lot of time
to manually focus on the subject and would also be a lot more precise. For starters, shoot
stable objects like flowers where you can take all the time in the world to get your focus
spot on. In time and with practice, you can shoot insects and other wildlife.

Turn the flash on: A shadow can completely ruin your picture; so don’t forget to use
flash. However, you should idly shoot in brightly lit spaces. Use a reflector if you have to
fill the shadow. It would be perfect if you could adjust the intensity of the flash on your
camera, however if you cannot, tape a piece of tracing paper to the top of your flash to
adjust the brightness of the flash.

Aperture: Having the freedom to adjust your aperture settings is a big plus point as it
allows you to control the depth of field. Certain cameras do not allow you to change the
aperture setting once in macro mode. However, if they permit you to do so, you should
use a large aperture in order to blur out the background.

Macro photography is great fun and will keep you preoccupied for ages. You can
endlessly experiment with it on a variety of subjects. It will literally open up worlds
within worlds, so let those creative juices flow and let your camera go wild.

Originally posted by Fujifilm India http://www.fujifilmblog.in/macro-photography-tips/