Macro Afternoon

Today was perfect. Nobody home. High, even cloud cover. Flowers in bloom all over the garden. Time for a little macro photography. Macro photography always amazes me whenever I look at someone else's work but, rarely sparks any true inspiration in me. It's more of a curiosity ... a passing fancy ... a great way to while away the afternoon.

The nicest thing about this opportunity is that I can take some time with the subject. Think about the shot. Play with the exposure. I don't have to worry about fleeting moments or shifting light. It's strictly for me and the subject ... as long as necessary.

  • Equipment:

  • Nikon D70s

  • Nikkor AF 28-105mm f/3.5 - 4.5 D

  • Bogen Manfrotto 3001N Tripod

  • Bogen Manfrotto 3030 Head

The Nikkor AF 28-105mm f/3.5 - 4.5 D lens has a macro setting that I've found I'm fond of in this kind of setting. Usually, I'm far too impatient and forego the macro setting when it's hand-held. This has been a very good lens over the years, a little slow focusing and aperture but, then again, I'm not shooting for Sports Illustrated.

  • Camera Settings:

  • Focus: manual

  • Exposure Mode: manual

  • Meter: 3D Color Matrix

  • ISO: 200

  • Exposure Compensation: none

I need to digress for a minute and address a workflow issue that has been on my mind for a little while. I often exclude the practice of a pre-shoot routine when considering my workflow. That's a bad thing. I realize just how important it is but, it's really changed since I stopped shooting film.

Old way ... figure out what I'm going to shoot, go to my stash or purchase the film needed, make sure everything is in working order, put together my set up, load the camera and start shooting.

Here's the big change. When I would go to my stash of film I was making conscious decisions concerning the ASA/ISO as well as the White Balance (what filters might I need). Pop the film in the camera which sets the ISO automatically and then, the difference between natural and incandescent light was generally understood if not strictly paid attention.

Now ... I need to be aware that ISO and white balance are within my control and I'm responsible to make more than a decision about them. I have to set them myself! This is the part I need to rework into my pre-shoot workflow. Luckily, for this shoot, I had left my white balance set to "Cloudy" from a previous shoot but, don't always check it. I did remember to set the ISO so, I am making some progress. In case you're curious we'll talk more specifically about what I'm discovering of white balance in a later post.

Sample of the Afternoon Fruits

  • Exposure: 1/30 sec @ f/16

  • Focal Length: 105mm

  • ISO: 200

  • Exposure: 1/6 sec @ f/13

  • Focal Length: 105mm

  • ISO: 200

  • Exposure: 1/15 sec @ f/11

  • Focal Length: 90mm

  • ISO: 200

  • Exposure: 1/25 sec @ f/6.3

  • Focal Length: 90mm

  • ISO: 200

All the images I shot were in RAW format and none received any post-capture processing beyond cropping, Lightroom's interpretation of NEF and Lightroom's JPG rendering engine. Note: Nikon's version of RAW is NEF (Nikon Electronic Image Format).

i shoot nikon

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