Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tamron Macro Photography Workshop

The situation with depth-of-field is very unusual when shooting with a long (180mm) macro lens, even at very small apertures the focus will remain VERY shallow. Most of these shots were at f/22, and as you can see, there's certainly less than one inch of sharp focus. And, in most cases, it's significantly less. Focusing is critical, and a good tripod, like the Manfrotto Neo Tech makes life easier.

I had a great time last weekend near Philadelphia, teaching a Macro Workshop with my friends from Tamron.

We started off on Friday nite at New York Camera for the orientation session, where we had a technical discussion on the unique techniques used in macro flower shooting. The actual shooting session began on Saturday morning in Ottsville, at the Parkside Orchid Nursery, where the loaner lenses were divvied up among the attendees. And, what a cool place this is. They let us have free reign of their 14,000 square foot nursery / greenhouse set-up. Here in LA we can't hardly set-up a tripod without being attacked by over-zealous security guards. It's nice to be able to roam freely, and think about the artsy stuff.

These 2 identical images of this amazing, egg-shaped bloom were shot with one flash unit placed behind the orchid, to create a subtle glow. A second, soft light, was used directly above, and in really tight, just out of the frame. Both flash units were Metz 58's and the one to the rear was unmodified, on Manual power, at 1/64th power. The main, front light, had a LumiQuest Big Bounce attached, to increase the source size, and soften the light. This unit was manually set to 1/32nd power.

The image was shot in color, and converted, using NIK's Black and White Conversion, plug-in.

I've included a short video clip, so you get a feel of what the place looks like. You'll see all the lenses that were loaned out, as well as the big assortment of tripods provided by the guys (and Lydia) at Bogen. And, as usual, at all these Tamron weekend seminars Expo Disc had product to test....and tons of door prizes from all the sponsors, to wrap up the day. And to fill the group in on some Orchid Trivia, we had a really informative lecture from John, one of the owners, before the shooting began.

I've also included a few of the images I got on Saturday. They were all taken with Tamron's 180mm macro lens. Everything was lit with small, battery powered flash units, off camera, triggered by Skyports. And every one was lit with 2 lights....in very tight, at super low power.

The video below will show some of the behind-the-scenes activities at this 2 day seminar. If you'd like more info on these Tamron Weekends, give us a call, or check their website at www.Tamron.com

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