Photo-Shoot : DIY Macro Photography

Last week I had to go into hospital for a Hernia Repair operation, so this means I am off work for a bit to recover from the surgery. Over the weekend my Dad came up to look after me whilst my wife took the kids up to their grans. On the Sunday when I was feeling a little more mobile I fancied doing a little photography exercise to kill the time whilst resting.

With my Dad we decided to do some macro photography of an old compass / sextant navigation tool that my uncle left me after he died. The object is quite small and I thought it would look good photographed up-against a white background. I currently don’t own a light tent or anything like that so decided to improvise.

Macro Photography of an Old Navigational Compass using a White Background and Natural Light.

Macro Photography of an Old Navigational Compass using a White Background and Natural Light.

I created a makeshift studio setting out of a couple of boxes and some white paper taped to the boxes. I also don’t own any decent studio lights or flashes so I needed to make good use of natural light. Luckily in the morning when we started shooting the sky was bright but cloudy so this gave a nice diffused light.

I used my 14-44mm lens on the Lumix GF5. The camera was mounted on a tripod so I could do some longer exposures.

Macro Photography of an Old Navigational Compass using a White Background and Natural Light.

Macro Photography of an Old Navigational Compass using a White Background and Natural Light. (Lumix GF5 42mm f22 1.25sec ISO160)

The light changed a fair amount in the morning from diffused light to strong sun light. We generally had to wait for the clouds to cover the sun again as the direct light was a little too string and cast some very strong shadows.

Macro_Navigation_2Macro Photography of an Old Navigational Compass using a White Background and Natural Light.

Macro Photography of an Old Navigational Compass using a White Background and Natural Light. (Lumix GF5 42mm f22 1.25sec ISO160)

To reduce any camera shake I turned off the image stabilizer on the lens as this can cause some jittering when mounted on the tripod. I also set the shutter release to a 2 second timer to allow the tripod and camera time to settle down after pressing the shutter release.

Macro Photography of an Old Navigational Compass using a White Background and Natural Light.

Macro Photography of an Old Navigational Compass using a White Background and Natural Light. (Lumix GF5 42mm f22 1.25sec ISO160)

Considering this was a very spur of the moment experiment, I am very pleased with the results. It goes to show that you don’t necessarily need to spend lots of money on equipment like photographic backgrounds, Lights etc. to get some decent results. This has got me interested in macro work though and I may invest in a light test and some lights as winter project to do with my daughter.

The images where all processed in Lightroom where I mainly just increased the vibrancy of the colours. I didn’t really need to do much else with them.

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