Find Beauty In The Little Things

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I’ve been trying to do more macro photography lately, but I am somewhat limited by not having an actual macro lens because they can be a little pricey. Perhaps I should invest in some extension tubes. However with a bit of effort it is still possible to get some decent macro shots with even some pretty basic lenses.

In this case we have a lot of ferns springing up at this time of year and while from a distance an all green plant isn’t particularly interesting, up close ferns are fascinating with all their little details. So that makes them the perfect subject for a macro photo.

Lacking a dedicated macro lens, I used my Panasonic 25mm, f1.7 lens which is a great multi-purpose lens and works well in this scenario because you can dial the depth of field low and blur out the backgrounds to focus only on the item close to the lens.

While it’s definitely easier to do macro photography on plants, since they don’t actively move away from you, they do still move and with such a narrow depth of field all it takes is the slightest breeze or twitch of your hand to move everything out of focus. With that in mind I have found that the most important thing to do is use a fast shutterspeed to remove any movement. Having a tripod can definitely help reduce shake, but it won’t stop the wind.

Image Straight From Camera

For post-processing on this one I kept it pretty simple. There’s only one focus element so my goal was to eliminate any distractions and I did that first by cropping out a lot of the empty space and then with an old favorite of mine, using a radial filter to subtly darken and reduce saturation of the background. After that it was jut a matter of tweaking the color profile an setting the contrast to my satisfaction.

I think if you compare the before an after images it makes a compelling case for the importance of spending some time editing your images.


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