Three Forks, Montana

Have a Very Macro (er, Merry) Christmas

December 12, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

During these days when we are spending so little time traveling and exploring, and so much time at home, it's hard to be motivated to take photos. But here's an idea. If you collect hand-made Christmas ornaments, they become nice subjects for macro photography. 

These were taken over a year ago, with the Olympus E-M1 and either the Panasonic 40-140mm zoom F3.5-5.6 or the Olympus 60m F2.8 macro lens. About half of the photos with each.  I see that those taken with the 14-140 (which has good close up capabilities as you can see) were taken wide open at the range of 40mm (F4.7) to 125mm (F5.5) depending on the size of the ornament. Those taken with the 60mm were at F2.8 or F4.

The ornaments were placed on our wooden coffee table, sometimes covered with fabric. Our Christmas tree, with lights turned on, is in the background, sufficiently distanced to provide some blur. 

I set the camera on a tripod and attached a flash to the hot shoe.  The flash was bounced off the ceiling and wall to the left of the ornaments. I don't remember exact exposure settings, but usually I will reduce camera exposure by one stop. One stop reduction results in reducing the light by half.  This of course would darken the photo if the flash were turned off. I then set the flash on manual mode, and use whatever fraction of full power (1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, ... 1/250) is needed to bring up the exposure and get it right. In this way I am balancing ambient light and flash light by about 50/50.


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