Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicago botanic garden orchid show

 The Chicago Botanic Garden Orchid show was a lot of fun. Make sure you bring a Macro lens when going on one.

Went to the botanic gardens on the 2nd Saturday of October. We were just planning on walking around. It was raining most of the day so we were just planning to walk into the greenhouse when we saw that an Orchid show was going on. We definitely had to check that out. 

 It's always fun taking shots of flowers if you have the proper equipment with you. 

When I was packing my bag for the photo walk, I know I had to pack my 100mm macro lens. Going into a garden without a macro lens is like walking into war with a knife. I just had to bring it with me. Knowing that we are mostly going to be indoors, I had to bring my macro ring flash with me too. Times like this my Canon mr-14ex comes in handy. I rarely do use it, but when I do need it it's perfect for what I use it for.

 The Macro ring light usually gives you a very dark background when you set your aperture at f16 and above...which is ideal for macro shots.

The 100mm and the macro ring light are a perfect combination. I wish I had a longer macro lens but this will do for now. The thing that sucks about the 100mm macro and the mr-14ex ring light is that you have to remove any filters from the 100mm for the flash to snap into place, but that's just a minor gripe. I'd lose the uv filter anytime so I can put the ring light on.

 Be careful when you are too close to your subject with a ring light. Some parts can overexpose.

For Macro shots with flash, make sure you set your speed high and your aperture narrow. I usually set mine at f16 up when shooting macro. This will give the depth of field that is necessary to make your shots as sharp as possible. When shooting this close, your depth of field becomes paper thin. Also, I prefer to shoot in manual focus mode. A tripod will also help.

 Post processing to darken the background also helps a lot.

 A tripod helps in making sure your shots are in focus. If you have steady hands you don't need it.

 Depth of field is really shallow on macro shots.

The choice for macro lens is very important. I usually stay away from macro lenses that are shorter than 50mm. Right now I have a 100mm macro which I might upgrade sometime to a longer one. The longer macro lens you have the farther away you can be from your subject.  This is very helpful when photographing bugs.

 Manual focus helps out a lot.

I prefer a long lens for macro shooting. This will keep you further from your subjects.

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