“Discover the world through photography…”
...this is the advice we would normally give, to grab your PENTAX and to go and explore the great outdoors. Due to the current situation this makes it rather difficult, as the advice is for everyone to stay at home during lockdown.
However the extra time may give the opportunity to brush up on your photography skills. It might be that you can sort through your archive of old photos, a task that you’ve been meaning to get around to for quite a while.
Or maybe you can focus more on your editing skills to pimp up your Instagram. Another option is to look in more detail at what’s a bit closer to home. It could be jewelry, pets, plants, coins or many things around the house may often provide some unexpected surprises when you take a closer look at them.
Most things can be rather unspectacular at first glance and it’s only when you look at them with a magnifying glass, or through the viewfinder of your camera with a macro lens that they spring to life.
There are a few options we offer when considering the world of macro photography. For example we have the: DFA 50 mm F2,8 macro and the DFA 100 mm F2,8 macro. With the 50 mm macro lens you can shoot from a minimum distance of only 20 cm. Using this lens means you’ll need to get a lot closer to the subject when shooting macro, but with its compact size and focal length also makes it an ideal portrait lens. One of the key strengths of the 100mm lens lies with its ability to shoot the subject from a distance. Insects, such as dragonflies for example, can be easily startled and so shooting them from a ‘safe’ distance without being disturbed is ideal. It’s important to consider the camera settings such as time and aperture depending on the subject and also the camera setup. Firstly we recommend using a sturdy tripod and a remote shutter release or self-timer in order to avoid camera shake.
For lighting you can use natural light or lamps from around the house. By using several lights you can create some interesting shadows. Our cameras have an automatic white balance but we recommend to pay attention to make sure you use the correct setting. Selecting the correct white balance in the menu will mean that colour reproduction will be more accurate.
Not only does your PENTAX have different settings for different types of light, but you can also correct every colour value in the camera menu right down to the very last detail. The more precisely do this when converting old photos to digital for example, the less deviations will be visible.
Old pictures particularly often have a certain color cast. Using a gray border around the image will help you work out the correct color cast during processing.
The approach is slightly different if you want to take pictures of flowers. The smallest details jump out when there are no distractions in the background.
With a large aperture you have shallow depth of field, which is essential for creating these types of images. The further you reduce the number of stops, the greater the depth of field.
If you’re more used to shooting auto, try switching to an aperture-priority mode (Av) which will allow you to have more control over the depth of field and will help you achieve the effect you’re going for. If you want to take photos of insects, it is advisable to switch to the time and aperture priority mode (TAv) which will rely on the ISO automatic setting of your camera. This will allow you to set the aperture to have control over the depth of field and time value for fast moving subjects.
With a little practice and imagination, your home environment will offer you a wealth of interesting subjects to shoot. So why not go exploring a little closer to home!