Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pop Quiz Solutions

Thank you for playing along with yesterday's Pop Quiz. And just so you know I'm not an "expert," I did have to look this up as well. My bottom line is simply that whatever you use to take the photograph you want to capture is fine...no matter what the correct term for the technique.

That being said, a close-up photograph is one in which the subject fills the frame. All macro photography is close-up photography, though not all close-up is macro. A close-up photo can be taken with any lens.
These three photos from yesterday's collage are all close-up photographs, taken with my standard lens, which is a Canon 17-85mm. This is not my favorite lens, but it allows me a range of distance and has an image stabilization feature which allows me to hand-hold it instead of using a tripod, for most photographs.

I can get in fairly close with the built-in "macro" setting, but because it's not a dedicated macro lens, the photos aren't considered "macro." That's the missing piece of information you didn't receive yesterday...but then I would have been giving you too much information!

These images (and the other Monarch caterpillar) are true macro images, all shot with my Canon 100mm macro lens, camera mounted on a tripod. The definition of macro photography also includes the magnification factor: 1:1 or life-size image. This allows you to show detail which you wouldn't be able to get in any other way. I could not take these exact images with my other lens, even on the "macro" setting. You are capturing the finest detail possible. To get closer than I did in these photos, I would need a macro with a further reach, or screw on magnification lenses, or a bellows system. But I'm happy with what I have (which my husband may not believe).

So I covered close-up and macro...but now for micro. First, it's a brand issue, believe it or not. Canon lenses are "macro" and Nikon are "micro." But the lenses do the same thing in the same way, so there's no difference in the results. That's one reason the terminology gets confusing.

The other micro images you may hear about/see are those taken using a microscope - and you are getting a greater-than-lifesize image. This makes total sense. I hear this is a great photographic challenge, but I'm not investing in a microscope right now. Maybe someday......

Are you feeling educated now? It was a great refresher for me as well. I'm already thinking about another quiz. Was this one stressful? I hope not! Thanks for playing.

Is it a picture-taking day?


georgia b. said...

very informative! thanks!

i am very impressed with your macro shots, and love them all together like you have them.

off to take the pop quiz. i have so much blog catching up to do.

Char said...

thanks for the lesson :)

Sandy K. said...

You're welcome. Maybe I should leave the quizzes up for longer? I shall do that next time.

joyce said...

I didn't know that you couldn't take "proper" macro pics with just the camera's macro setting. Or that you'd need a tripod. Sounds like too much work for me...but I do love the way they look!

Sandy K. said...

Hi Joyce - remember, whatever you take it doesn't matter what it's called:). The tripod is to guarantee you'll get a sharp image. It all depends on what you're shooting, how little it is, how close you're trying to get, etc. A close-up is a close-up...just have fun.

Slices of Beauty... said...

Loving the beautiful lesson, thank you.

Jen said...

Excellent lesson. :)

Ida said...

Hey there Sandy! Thanks for visiting and for your comment!These shots are amazing.

Be safe!


ols1 said...

Thanks for the lesson - I love macro photos - really liked the caterpillar :)

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Oh Sandy, thanks for explainig. I never new the difference. I've got the exact same lens for my canon (17-85) but I've also got the 50mm one. I'm saving for the macro one because I adore the pics you can take with them. So how welcome this info was for me. Hugs XXX

Jen said...

Hey wait, did I get them all right then? I guessed micro for some, but if micro and macro are the same here...and close up is macro...did I get 100%?

Interesting, I shoot Nikon, so I don't make macro pictures, I make micro?


Still, a fabulous lesson, and I have been thinking quite a bit about it.


Sandy K. said...

Thank you for all your comments - I'll leave the "quiz" up longer before posting the answers next time. It's that teacher-immediate feedback thing. Jen - you were very close. The dutch shoes and Goats Beard flower were close-up, but not macro as I didn't use the macro lens. And yes, as a Nikon shooter you shoot micro:). You're right - confusing. But it's the result that's important, right?