Why buy a macro lens?

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I have to admit, every time Mary says “let’s go to a garden,” I hesitate.  I gravitate toward the large one-shot grand landscape and find small subjects and flowers uninspiring.  Yet, each time we do this type of photography, I end up loving it.  Here’s why:

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Mary and I are fortunate to live near two very good and large gardens – the Huntington in San Marino, CA and the Descanso in La Canada Flintridge.  They are both just a few minutes from our house.  We love going to these two sites to make close-up photographs of flowers.

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I am using a Fujinon 60 mm f/2.4 on my Fujifilm X-T2 camera.  Macro lenses can shoot objects close-up and can achieve a 1:1 ratio (or greater) of the size of the object to the image.  Most of these photographs, I am inches away from the subject.  Even with a telephoto lens, you can not get this close to the subject and have the lens focus this close.

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I have made good photos of a “whole” flower with a telephoto, but you can not capture the small and delicate features of a flower without a macro lens.  They also are capable of great detail and good bokeh.

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Depth of field is always an issue with these types of photographs.  I choose what I want to be most in focus and then I try multiple apertures and see what looks best.  Also, any camera movement can throw off the composition and focus, so I always use a tripod for this type of photography.

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I do not think just any subject looks good for macro photography.  I am usually looking for good texture and good color.  I find that flowers that are too tight or too open are not good subjects.   Roses are a favorite.  Bright sunny days are no good and, obviously, windy days are a no-go.  The best days are cloudy, cool, and windless.  We like to go first thing in the morning and get water drops and dew on the flowers, too.

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Processing is fairly straight forward.  I do unusually vignette the photo to darken the background.  I also add structure and clarity to bring out the details in the flowers.

If you like how close-up photos look, get a macro lens and find a garden.  You will have hours of fun.

To see more of (and buy) our photographs, please go to www.pamphotography.com.

 

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