Archive for the ‘Macro How To Books’ Category

I spent all day on the phone contacting hotels for the fall Macro Boot Camps in different cities..  It takes a lot of time finding hotels that have the right room size and then to negotiate the price down to what my budget is. I’m close to closing deals in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Grand Rapids, MI, and the Reston area, Virgina, Milwaukee.  Already have Denver and Ann Arbor set.  I hope to post the new locations and dates by the end of the week.  Happy to say all the spring boot camp sold out, expect Buffalo in May which only has a few spots left, but will fill.

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Beech leaves during the cold northern winters have a great transparent look, and seem to stay on the trees till spring.  I picked these off the tree the other day with this shot in mind.  I used my light table that’s for viewing slides (which has no use any more)  for the light provided under this arrangement.  You can do all kinds of different setups and it makes for some pretty cool images.  The leaves are curled when they come off the tree so place them in a book with a lot of weight on top to dry and flatten them, then your ready to go. You can use other leaves that will work just as well with the light table.  Have Fun.

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For the macro photographer working with natural light,  here is a tip and products to help improve your photos.

Here are two simple and inexpensive products that I carry with me in the field for controlling  light.

LiteDiscs 12″ Translucent  (diffuser)

 

 

 

Plamp (made by Wimberly)

 

The great advantage that macro photographers have over nature photographers who shoot landscape and wildlife is we can control the light hitting our subject. Landscape and wildlife photographers have to deal with what ever mother nature throws down on their subjects  (harsh sunlight, heavy overcast skies) without any ability to control it.  Because of the small size of our subjects and a little help from these two items above, we take control.

The image on the left was shot on a cloudy day and as you can see the light from over head has washed out the color on the top of the flower.  My friend Jack Graham shows how to position the diffuser over top of a flower shadeing it from the harsh overhead light.  On the Right you see the color of the flower is restored with the shading of the diffuser.

 Using a diffuser makes a big difference in the color of the flower, and if you have ever wondered why your flowers look washed out on the top, this is why, and how you can make this simple fix.

Here is another example of controling harsh overhead light with the diffuser.

Without diffuser                                                             With Diffuser

So what do we use the Plamp for? For holding the Diffuser.

 Buy all three of these products at Outdoor Photo Gear in a kit price.

http://www.outdoorphotogear.com/store/mike-moats-macro-light-control-kit.html

 

“I am honored to be guest blogging on the MCP Actions Blog.   MCP Actions offers resources for both professional and amateur photographers. Jodi, the owner of MCP Actions, offers online group workshops and one on one Photoshop trainings classes to photographers internationally, on topics like curves, color enhancement, color correction, and time savers like speed editing classes.

Jodi also has created a wide array of tools called Photoshop actions that are designed to enrich your photos and save you time. Press play, adjust opacity of a few layers, customize the looks, and your photos will look better in seconds. Her actions do everything from pulling out hidden details and color in your photographs to converting to rich vintage and black and whites. She even has unique collage and storyboard actions that get your images ready to present on the web and in print too.

In addition, MCP Actions has an active blog educating photographers across the globe about photography, post-processing and business.”

See my two posts here at MCP Actions Blog

“Capture Great Photographs of Fall Leaves”
“Five Important Benefits Of Macro Photography In Nature”

For those of you who live in the Louisville, Kentucky area, I will be in town to do a presentation called,

“The Four Seasons Of Macro Photography”

It will be sponsored by “Outdoor Photo Gear”

To see more information and RSVP go “Here”

Limited Seating

Finding the right angle that will produce simple clean non distracting macro backgrounds is simple.  It’s just a matter of taking your time and studying the various angles till you find the background that compliments the main subject. 

  The backgrounds in macro are as important as the main subjects.

This is a nice group of hanging oak leaves, and I need to find a simple background to compliment the leaves. In this first angle you see a heavy black vertical line from a tree trunk that has no value to the image, and this dark area pulls your eye away from the leaves. I have two different tones in the grass. You see the shaded area in the lower section and a lighter tone in the upper area.  You see the dark horizon line is adding another tone and is also on an angle rather than level. So I see a lot of problems with this position.

In the second image I’ve changed the camera angle which eliminated the dark tree trunk.  I still have two tones in the grass, and the little bit of dark horizon in the upper right corner.  You also see a little bit of leaf creeping into the frame in the upper left corner.  Better then the last image but still needs improvement.

I could see from the first two views that I was getting to many different tones and wasn’t satisfied with the background yet.  What I did next was raise the camera up and angle the view downward so I would only see the shaded area in the grass behind the leaves.  This would give me a nice consistent cleaner background. There were many possibilities for the background of this subject and I had to take the time to study every option.

I’m excited to be heading to Carlsbad, California (north of San Diego) on Feb 4,5,6, 2011  for my Macro Boot Camp, and in just two weeks since posting the workshop it is almost half filled.  One special addition to the Macro Boot Camp is Laurie Shupp of Nik Software, who will be there to do a presentation of the Nik software programs, which I use for all my image processing.  Laurie is not only an expert with the Nik programs, but an accomplished nature photographer as well.  I’ve attached some info about Laurie’s association with Nik and her Photography.
Laurie Shupp
Like so many of her contemporaries, Laurie is passionate about photography and her work with animals and nature. “Photography brings me up close and personal to nature and to that quiet place that I crave in my normally busy world. It is a very spiritual experience that I hope to be able to convey in my images.” Laurie’s educational background is a BA with an emphasis in Graphic Design. She has over 20 years of experience working for numerous software companies in Art Asset Management, Education, Product Management and Technical Support.

 
With over 5 years working as the Operational Manager at Nik Software overseeing Customer Service and Technical Support, she was recently promoted to the Education department as the Education Project Manager. She helps to coordinate and implement many of the training programs offered at Nik Software and works closely with many professional photographers. She also teaches some of Nik Software’s Educational Webinars specializing in Wildlife and Landscape photography as well as demoing at Tradeshows and as been a Photo Leader at several workshops.

 
Recently Laurie was an Honored Photographer for the Windland Smith Rice International Awards (Natures Best Photography magazine) as well as other photography awards. Many of her images have been published and are often used for training and demonstration purposes.
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To see more info about  Nik Software programs Nik Software

Macro Boot Camps www.MikeMoatsBooks.com