Mock Studio: Practice in Macro Photography

Continuing on with my studio practice, I decided to try my hand again at macro photography.

Equipment:
– Pentax K-5 Digital SLR Camera Body
– Pentax D-FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro WR lens
– Kenko Pz-Af 1.5x Teleplus SHQ tele-converter
– Custom Brackets flash bracket with a Sigma EF-530 DG Super flash, the Sigma acted as the trigger for the other flash units.
– 2x Yongnuo YN460-II flash on Flashpoint light stands
– Slik Pro 700DX AMT-Alloy Tripod Legs with a Smith Victor BH2 Metal Alloy Ball Head

Here is a quick video of the setup in action (sorry for the *pop* *pop* sound, it seems that the 25fps videos have an issue when directly uploaded to youtube):

My artistic goal for the session was to create top-down images of texture and detail. Things we see everyday, but when viewed up-close they are very different than how we usually perceive them. Intricate networks of connection and amazing textures abound…

Here was my first subject, stale matcha (finely-milled Japanese green tea) showing up on the LCD screen:

Using live-view is very, VERY useful in macro photography. I can zoom in 2x, 4x, or more to ever so gently gain proper focus on the subject. With such limited depth of field and such tiny movements necessary, don’t bother trying to use auto-focus.

My first shot of the day, this was actually hand-held with only the two slave flashes providing significant light:

This is the gold area of a “Goldtoe” sock:

Allergy medication (I like the vibrant textured nature of the pill upon close inspection in macro mode):

A sock with the center section shown at 100% magnification:

What recycled napkins really look like:

A belt buckle that looks amazing up close:

There are just too many photos to show in one post without blowing up my site’s index page download time! Anyways, moving forward, I want to eventually get some extension tubes to increase magnification and drop the teleconverter from the equation. Overall, I’m happy with the results, but again… I could benefit from more diffuse light as some of the highlights are blown. I think I’ll be doing more macro photography in the future.

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