Exploring macro

At a recent photo meetup I met a young man who was taking pictures of flowers on a tripod in broad daylight. I thought he was foolish. There was plenty of existing light for nice flower photos. I discovered I had something to learn. The kind sir, Justin Welsh, was gracious enough to explain that he had purchased extension tubes that allowed him to get closer into the flower. The tripod is because he is getting a great depth of field in a very tight area. And with that depth of field, his shutter speed was at 1/3 of a second or slower. Thus the tripod was a "must." 

He was kind enough to offer me the use of his extension tubes which are really a great deal for a budget conscious photographer. You can get 3 different sizes for about $60.  The tough part is focusing. You need to turn vibration reduction off and, I believe, you get best results by manually focusing.

I was so impressed, I cam home and ordered a set of my own. I got a 12mm, 20mm and 36mm with a Nikon mount. When they arrived, I was disappointed to see there was no glass in them. How could they possibly work? I took a few pictures and wrote to Justin that I was disappointed with my results.  He kindly responded that I should try with a variety of lenses. So I did. And I've been impressed with the results.  Here is one with my 24-70mm and the 36mm extension tube:
And here are a few a my birthday flowers that a dear friend gave me, utilizing my 105mm and both the 12mm and 20mm.  Pretty cool.



Justin also uses a remote shutter control which I also purchased but haven't figured out. He said I need to have the shutter mode set to remote and I haven't located that setting just yet. Please respond if you know where this is on a Nikon D700.

One other thing he stated was that he likes to use his 70-300mm lens zoomed in at 300mm doing macro at 5-7ft away from the subject. I only have a 70 - 200mm but that is going to be my next project, to see how that works for me.


I am pleased to report, wildflowers are still very prevalent in Austin. They started popping out in the beginning of March and, while they are quite a bit taller now, they are still colorful and exciting.  This is with my iphone but tonight I'm going back to this field with my trusty tripod, extension tubes and what I've learned from another generous photographer and see what I get.

Happy shooting, friends!

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