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Going Macro

Going Macro

Going Macro


Who doesn’t like macro shots? Well, I’m a lover of them. One thing is loving them and another thing is trying to get them.

You often try to shot macro, but the more the you try, you finish asking yourself: why can’t my shots look more closer and with more detail?

The answer is quite simple: you don’t the correct equipment.


Going Macro Photography

For macro shot and for better photography, I always recommend a DSLR camera.

Next, get some macro extender tubes. Don’t forget the flash, in my case, I’ll go with the Canon Speedlite 580 EX II.

Why not use the twin flash? Well the 580 EX II is quite cheaper and rather more useful than a twin flash.

What about the lenses? I recommend you use a prime lens. In my case, I’ll use a 50mm. It’s lightweight, focuses super fast and it’s not expensive.

What about the extender tubes? I decided to get the combo that brings the 12mm, the 20mm and the 36mm tubes.

Going Macro Photography

Going Macro Photography

Now that all the equipment is ready, the time is now, to set your camera.

Shooting in manual mode, establish the white balance for the occasion.

Some moments will require the sunlight setting and some others, the auto white balance.

I rather go with the sunlight setting. The apertures will be set between f/9.0 to f/11.

The speed must be set at 1/250. Make sure you shoot in RAW format, JPEG format won’t work for macro shots.

So now comes a very interesting question: what can I shoot macro?


That’s a question you are going to have to answer yourself.

I’m an wildlife animal lover, so you can always start in your backyard. We can start by insects on plants, we can continue with lizards and try to end this assignment safe and sound, try to shoot a wasp without getting stung.

When shooting animals (or people), we always focus the eyes. Many DSLR have the area-of-interest focus points.

Only the points selected of the chosen area will be more in focus and the rest can create a nice and interesting bokeh.

Lots of planning will be needed but, be very careful and very observant. For some shots, that are not so close, the 12mm tube works. If you simply want to get closer, use the 20mm or the 36mm. Or simply combine them.

When using the extender tubes, you gotta get much closer. Sometimes it’ll happen, that the animals may get scared and simply run away. Don’t get frustrated, it’s a matter of time.

If you would like to read the rest of this article, please click here: How to improve your macro photography.

Going Macro

On Mount Everest, Surviving an Earthquake and an Avalanche

On Mount Everest, Surviving an Earthquake and an Avalanche

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 11.57.42 PM Roberto Schmidt, the chief photographer for South Asia for Agence France-Presse, was at the Mount Everest base camp in Nepal when an avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake hit. His dramatic images of the avalanche and its aftermath were published around the world. Mr. Schmidt, 49, recounted his experiences in a phone conversation with James Estrin, which has been edited.

Q. Why were you at the base camp?

A. We had planned to do a couple of stories at the base camp a year after the disastrous avalanche that killed 16 Sherpa guides. Ammu Kannampilly, a reporter who is the bureau chief for the A.F.P. office in Nepal, was with me and also doing video. It was a coincidence that I was there when the earthquake hit.
Q. What was that like?
A. Unexpected. We had just arrived and I had walked up a little ahead of my colleague Ammu, and we were staying in a tent camp that a trekking company had up there. I got to the main tent — a dining tent — maybe five meters long by two-and-a-half meters wide. I was just relaxing there after the hike up. The base camp is over 5,000 meters high, and for someone who is not used to it, that elevation can be pretty taxing. Ammu came in and was joking with me and then the ground started shaking.

The funny thing is I thought the tremor was caused by an avalanche. I had no idea that there was an avalanche starting to form and that it was caused by a massive earthquake with the epicenter just west of Kathmandu.

We walked out of the tent to see what was happening and then we heard this very loud, deep rumbling noise. Though I am far from an expert mountaineer, I knew something was coming. It was a very cloudy day so you couldn’t see anything when you looked up.

The noise got deeper and stronger and Ammu rushed into the tent to get her camera. I turned to my left and looked up and suddenly out of the clouds came this massive exploding avalanche of snow that looked like a cloud. I just had time to raise my camera and shoot three frames. As I looked through the viewfinder, I thought, “Man, I’m shooting too tight.” I then dove into the tent and shouted to Ammu, “Get down, get down, get down!” because this thing was right on top of us. I don’t remember hitting the ground or getting under the table.

There was a sudden wind and then just a crash like a wave. It was like when you’re in the ocean and you measure the waves wrong and a wave comes and crashes over you and you’re tumbling right-side down, right-side up. You have no idea what’s happening.

I came to rest on my back, but I think a table might have been near my legs protecting me. All I could hear was, “pat, pat, pat,” the snow accumulating on top of me. I was in a panic and thinking: “I don’t want to die. I’m going to be buried alive. I don’t want to die like this.”

To read the rest of the artical from Lens go here.

Golden Gate Bridge at night

Golden Gate Bridge at night

I have hundreds of images from my trip to California this summer, and though I have run through them and grabbed out some I like, I have not really had a chance to sort through them.  I just took too many, and after awhile, scenic photos start to melt together and look the same. 

Now that some time has passed, I can more appreciate the beautiful scenery.  One in particular is this one of the Golden Gate at night.  Slowly, but surely, I’ll share some more.

  golden gate bridge under full moon with fog over city

We were traveling south and happened to be passing San Francisco on the night of the “super moon”.  Though we arrived about 45 minutes after the moon was on the horizon and really looking “super”, it was still a beautiful sight to behold.  Every other photographer in the Bay Area must have agreed, since the windy road up the hill was packed with photographers vying for the best spot to capture this spectacle.


Since I was weary of traveling and anxious to be at our next destination, I would have passed this up, but thankfully my wonderful husband turned off  the highway despite my lack of interest.  He made me get out, with my tripod, to take the picture.   Bad photographer.  Good husband!  Anyway, here is the fruit of his encouragement. 



Tips for Photographing Your Family Vacation

Tips for Photographing Your Family Vacation

Tips for photographing your family vacation to preserve and provoke family memories.

My family and I just returned from an amazing two week camping journey up the coast of California.  Yes, we are a little crazy to take four girls, one being a ten month old baby, on a 3,200 mile journey, camping the whole way, but that would be another blog all together!


The point is, after all the hard work of making the memories, I want my little ones to have those memories documented for the rest of their lives.  Surely my littlest will have no recollection, but now she has these images to prove she was a part of it all.
I’ve had friends tell me that they are not sure what to photograph on vacation, or that they had their camera, but just didn’t take it out.  Sometimes we are wrapped up in the experience, and snapping a photo is the last thing we are thinking about.  You don’t have to walk around with a camera around your neck to successfully document your family fun, though I have been known to do that, but you do need to be prepared and intentional if you want to come home with photos that can tell and retell your story as the years pass.


Of course, there are several things to photograph while out and about – the world is full of beauty to be photographed, but I’m going to focus on tips that will help your family remember the good times spent vacationing.


-Keep your camera in a handy and accessible place.  If you are an i-phone user, you have no excuse!  If you prefer a SLR or other separate camera, keep it in a bag with you whenever you can.  This includes in the car.  You never know what you will pass, or see on one of your stops.  Or what you may see IN your car!

san francisco-family-bridge-vacation-4

-When out, whether exploring or relaxing, be sure to intentionally take your camera out at least one time and photograph your location, your family enjoying the location, and if you get a chance either pass the camera off – or have someone take a picture of you and your family in that location.  This only needs to take 5 or 10 minutes and does not need to be an ordeal.  A quick “hey, look over here” while your kids are playing on the beach is well worth it.
-Don’t wait for what you think is the perfect picturesque moment.  If you do, you will miss out.  Don’t think back to someone else’s photo that you’ve seen, waiting for your family to be in that magical moment.  Take the camera out and snap a few action shots of the kids playing, walking in the distance, sitting and reflecting, or interacting in some way.  Sometimes, it really seems more “magical” when you look back on the image than it did when you took it!


-If you are at a famous landmark, go ahead and be sure to have someone take the family shot in front of it!  Yes, it is cheesy and hundreds, probably thousands of other families may have the same photo, but this is your family and you made it to where you set out to go.  You are photographing to document your time together.  Cheesy family moments are awesome.   
-Learn the basics of your camera and lighting. This will make a huge difference.  So many times I’ve seen what could have been a great picture ruined because the background was super bright, and the people were almost too dark to see because there was no flash.  Or, if possible, turning another direction would have solved the problem.



Remember, this is the digital age.  You can trash the images that don’t work out without wasting anything but a few seconds.  Experiment and have fun.  Make picture taking part of your family vacation, it will be well worth it.
Hopefully these are helpful tips, and if you are one that has regretted not taking any or enough photographs while on vacation, next time you can be armed and ready. 
I hope these tips for photographing your family vacation to preserve and provoke family memories has helped you capture many wonderful images of your family.

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