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Spey in the South?!
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys-

I thought I would post this here since I had some questions after my last set of pictures.

I wrote an article on improving your amateur photography, and I don't begin by recommending a ton of pro gear.

http://www.itinerantangler.com/articles/pictures.htm

Zach
 

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Ghetto caster
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711 Posts
Zach-
Great stuff and wonderful pics. Would you be willing to explain the Macros function in more detail? I've got a Fuji Finepix 3800 digital and an older Olympus point and shoot that has both portrait and landscape settings. How can I make these functions work for me more often and what is the correct way to use the Macros function?

Thanks
Seth
 

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Spey in the South?!
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137 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Macro

Seth-

Sure. Macro refers to the ability of a lens to produce an image that is the same size on film as in real life. That means it has to make a pretty significant magnification versus a normal lens, and generally it means it needs to be tack-sharp.

On my Digital SLR, a 60mm Micro-Nikkor is required to take a true 1:1 ratio picture. That lens costs around $450 new. But my Fuji Finepix can achieve close to the same magnification and quality because the lens itself is much smaller. Being smaller, it is able to focus closer.

When you switch your camera on to its "macro" setting, the front element of the lens moves further away from the rear element. Just as moving a magnifying glass further from the page increases magnification, so moving the front element away from the rear element (the page) will increase its magnification. I don't understand the physics so that is as far as I go.

Your landscape setting is pre-selected for a very small aperture. Small apertures make a smaller "pinhole" for light to come through, and as a result of physics I also don't understand, that makes the image focus out further. Landscape setting sets the aperture very small indeed, so the camera will focus out to infinity, giving you infinite "depth of field" and leaving the image sharp all the way to the distant mountain range.

"Portrait" is the opposite. It selects for a very large aperture, which causes a very narrow depth of field. That means your subject, say a face, will be in focus, but the rest of the image will be out of focus.

Set your macro setting when shooting, say, bugs or flies. If your camera lacks a Macro setting, choose "portrait" instead and get as close as you can, then crop in (blow up the picture) with Picasa (a free program from Google) or Photoshop. For taking pictures of landscapes or very open spaces, use the landscape setting.

Zach
 

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Nicely done Zack.

I would add one more: Fill the entire frame with your subject.

This is the one thing I usually recommend as the easiest way to make photos look better. Too often folks don't zoom in (or walk in) close enough to fill the frame with the subject.

Your pictures all demonstrate this.

dave
 

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Spey in the South?!
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Discussion Starter #5
Hey DLoop-

Did you mean my pictures DO fill the frame properly or need to be zoomed in more? I looked over a few and I see a couple that could have been closer. I will pay closer attention in the future as to whether I am zooming in or not.

Zach
 

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I meant your pictures all demonstrate a nicely filled frame. Beautiful pics!
 

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Very nice.
I have a few to add that are not technical. One: take LOTS of pictures. Two: Look at lots of pictures and ask your self what works and doesn't work. Three: This is a tough one. Leave the fly rod in the car. Ouch! I know that this seems to defy logic, but if you really want to take good pictures, 100% focus is nescesary. Nice pun eh? Val Atkinson seems to be very good at taking pictures while fishing, but most folks would take better photos if they didn't have to leave the flash and tripod in the car because they couldn't carry a rod too. How many of us have missed a great picture because we chose to keep fishing?
 
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