Affordable Macro Photography Equipment
There are plenty of amazing photographic and video techniques to delve into one you get acclimated with your cameras base functions. Such as:
Black & White, HDR ( High Dynamic Range), Tilt Shift, Time Lapse, Slow Motion, Macro, Astrophotography and more.
With each one having a vast new set of skills and accessories required to perfect it, it’s easy to spend a fair amount of cash before reaching some level of success. Today I want to talk about an affordable highly effective method to get you introduced to Macro Photography and Videography. Using the equipment you already have in your camera bag, you too can make amazing macro photography and video for under five dollars. First take a look at the type of results you will achieve in the video below I’ve made for Coin Enthusiasts, as well as Macro Photographers. Watch in HD.
What Do I Need?
How Does it Work?
Where Do I Buy One!?
You can get these on eBay all day long for around $5. Search “Reverse Ring Macro” or just click.
Making and Saving a Time Lapse Video:
Once you’ve taken a long series of photos with your camera and intervalometer, you’ll need to use your computer to turn it into a movie. Do not worry if you have hundreds and hundreds of photos it is very easy to do. Above is a video showing the process below I will outline step by step instructions. There are several ways to do this, I am only detailing the most likely way you will be doing it. *You must have Quicktime Player 7. Quicktime Player v10.0 will not work. If you don’t know which quicktime you have, open it, click Quicktime in the top tool bar, then About Quicktime Player. There you will see the version.
- Open Quicktime Player 7
- Choose “File”, “Open Image Sequence”
- Locate the folder containing your time lapse photos, click the first photo in the sequence only
- Click “Open”
- Choose your desired video frame rate from the drop down menu.
- Choose “File”, “Save As”
- Name your video and save it somewhere on your hard drive as “Self-contained movie”
Keep your camera folders organized while shooting it will save you a lot of time when you get back to the computer. Test your shots and as soon as you are ready to start your time lapse create a new folder. You can find on article on how to do this here: How to Prepare Camera Folders for Time Lapses
Most likely your video will be too large to play smoothly. This depends on your picture size. An 18 Mega Pixel photo will be roughly 5184 x 3456 pixels. HD Video is only 1920 x 1080, so you can see why your computer might have a hard time with playback. But don’t worry this is part of the process and only the first time you save your time lapse without any compressions yet. Keep this High Resolution original as your “control“. You can scale down copies of it when you edit at any time, even zoom up and pan around to some degree and still have full HD.
When shooting pictures for a time-lapse sequence, there’s a few quick steps you should always take before ever clicking the shutter. The simple process outlined below will keep each of your time-lapses isolated in its own folder. This will save you time later when you take the steps necessary in QuickTime 7 Pro to turn your sequence of photos into a beautiful time-lapse video. There are a lot of pictures but you will get through the following steps very very quickly.
- Getting started
- Creating a new folder
- Shooting in your new folder
- Multiple time-lapse folders
Step 1: Getting started
The first thing you need to do is check what’s already on your CF (memory card) card. So lets say you turn on your camera and have got a picture you took of some architecture. If you can start by formatting your memory card beforehand, great. If not, that’s okay too. Feel free to take as many pictures or video at this point, now would be a good time to practice your shots. In my example the memory card only contains the above shot, you may have dozens or hundreds of pictures and even videos. If you have not edited your camera folders before then everything will be in one folder and you can continue shooting as you please. Push the MENU button on your camera and then use the pictures below to navigate to your folder menu.
You should see that you have one folder, 100EOS7D. This is your default folder. The first three digits of this folder may vary, but as long as only one folder is listed then you’re ready to move on to the next step. If you have multiple folders listed already then reformat your memory card if possible. If you’d rather not format your card at this point you can continue with this tutorial anyway, keep in mind you will have a few extra folders which maybe confusing later on.
Step 2: Creating a new folder
When you’re ready to start taking pictures for a time-lapse sequence create a new folder. Scroll down to CREATE FOLDER and select it by pushing the SET button.
The recent spike in the popularity of DSLRs’ has brought on a whole new wave manufacturers providing a seemingly endless supply of new accessories. It can get quite confusing trying to figure out which accessories are right for your own arsenal. Here’s five interestingly awesome DSLR products that probably aren’t on your wish list; at least not yet..
This is the 24-105mm Lens Cup/ Mug. Originally given out to the photographers at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as a novelty gift, demand for this product has been so high that recently production was reissued. Even Nikon is getting in on the mugging with their 24-70mm version. When the lid is on the cups look almost identical to the actual lenses. There’s also a Canon 70-200 f/4 ( of course the aperture matters!) mug and probably more to come. A few months back you could only get these from the original recipients themselves and a few copy cats out of Hong Kong. Now they’re available all over the internet and I’ve even seen them at Samy’s Camera ( southern California).
A Sound Blimp or Blimp is basically a full body silencer for your DSLR. Blimps were invented a few decades back for use on film sets and television productions to neutralize any sound the camera shutter might make, enabling photographers to position themselves freely around the set without tainting any audio. The Blimp pictured above is home made, any they often are due to extremely high cost from the lack of manufactures. Modern Blimps are filled with soundproofing material and can be lined with led and covered with leather to ensure complete silence for more modern DSLRs that have louder shutters than their predecessors.
Photo Credit: Sarah Boland @ http://sarahbolandphotography.wordpress.com/
7D with Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8
From the snow to the desert, to the cool breezes of the oceanfront, the 7D has been through it all. Here is just a quick post of some video during a photo shoot of Jasmine Waltz on a California beach that turned out great. I hardly ever see anyone using a Sigma 120-300mm but it’s an excellent lens with an unbelievably smooth zoom and focal ring.