Today the troops went to the shooting range…the range being a wall behind a table. The target was an object(s) placed on the table, and the artillery were all kinds of tripods, supporting all kinds of cameras. The bullets, though, were all macro lenses.
The first half of the day we discussed more about camera functions…when to shoot JPEG and when to shoot raw, how to read our histograms, and a lengthy discussion on shallow, mid-range, and full depth of field (all about areas of focus and where to set the f/stop to attain either a soft or sharp focus producing either an abstract image or one that’s more lifelike.
We touched on a rather interesting marketing thought while discussing the creation of art. The art of photography differs somewhat from other forms of art. People have to to connect with art…with a photo in our case…and in the marketplace, unless they are photographers or artists, people tend to connect better with photos that are more in focus and hence less abstract. We view the world in focus (some of us anyway!), and that’s what we expect to see when we view a photo. It’s hard for many of us to connect with an abstract photo. We don’t always ‘get’ the concept of an abstract photo and will tend to blame the photographer as an unskilled poser of some sort. For the macro photographer, on the other hand, an abstract photo is ethereal and artistic…something to be desired…so we have to find some balance if we plan to sell our photos. We can’t please everyone all of the time, true, but we can’t please ourselves all of the time either if our goal is to sell photographs.
We talked of flower portraits (say ‘cheese!’)…finding the right subject & the right angle and getting the background as far into the background as possible, and there was a concluding discussion on elements of design (lighting, subject compositions, and finding character in nature).
We ended the verbal part of instruction today with the hypothetical stocking of a basic prop kit, something that might contain shells, feathers, leaves, butterflies (dead ones!), acorns & pine cones, slab agates, and anything else one might fancy. Then at last it was off to the shooting range for two hours.
Here’s what I shot today…the only decent images out of 45, and even these needed some work (Honestly? A lot of work!). The bumble bees I happened to shoot while fooling around the day before boot camp. Click on each image for an expanded view.
Just beginning in the world of macro photography is a frustrating place to be! But tomorrow I expect to fare better. Sir, yes, Sir!