Basic Macro Photography Tips

Photo editing software can be used to digitally mimic many special effects that were formerly done with lenses and filters but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use some great “home brew” optical tricks with your digicam! Unlike expensive software plug-ins, some of these effects use common household items or perhaps parts found in an old gadget bag. They can even push the envelope on even modest beginner digital cameras!  This is easy to do and I’ll show you how. Nothing will void your warranty. Then, when friends ask what special effects software you used, you can just sit back and smile.

Got an entry level digicam?  No problem! Many beginner cameras offer little in the way of extra features. They frequently lack flash control other than on and off. You can overcome these limitations with a bit of ingenuity and little or no cash!

If your flash is washing out pictures taken at close range, try covering the front of the flash with a bit of lens cleaning tissue or some other kind of translucent paper. This trick can also be used to with fill flash when shooting in mixed light or shade. You can adjust the flash output by folding the paper to add additional layers!  For a more permanent solution, cut up an old white plastic laundry soap container. Depending on the shape of the jug and your camera, you should be able to cut off a strip of plastic that will slide over the flash window.

A bit of careful cutting and some judiciously applied gaffer’s tape can even produce a diffuser collar that slips around the camera’s flash when needed. Again, you may need to do a bit of trial and error to find out the appropriate thickness of plastic needed for your shots. Small bits of hook and loop fastening material (found in fabric stores) can be used to keep the plastic bits in place.

You can see a few more of my flower photographs in my FLOWERS gallery on my SmugMug page.

Author: Joe Farace

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