1. What equipment to do you use? What camera?
I use a Nikon D750 the Nikon 105mm macro lens, Kenko Extension Tubes, Teleconverter, Diopters and a Gitzo “Explorer” Tripod with an Acratech Ball Head, reflectors
2. Technical Advice?
I shoot shallow and I will use as many tools at once as I can. I love to experiment with extension tubes or different lenses. I don’t limit myself because it’s not a macro lens, any lens you can add extension tubes too will allow you to get closer. Basically any lens I have that will shoot at 2.8 or better I use. I also constantly focus in and out to see what comes into view. I’ve taken some really amazing images by doing that. I also always use a tripod and the head I upgraded too last year allows me flexibility. I think that is one of my most important upgrades. I was inhibited by the head I had before, I felt as though I could not move in the direction I wanted to move into without changing the tripod. It was frustrating, so when I found a ball head I thought would give me the flexibility I wanted I jumped at it. I have to say it has provided a lot more range than the head I had before but at times it’s still limiting. I think the only way to avoid that is to shoot hand held and that is almost impossible for macro.
3. Creative Advice?
Don’t let your mind be your limit. Step outside the box and experiment with the tools you have. Try things even if you don’t think they will work and then work on them even more to see if you can make it work. I don’t give in. If I have an image in my mind I will continue to practice until I can either get what I’m envisioning or I prove to myself I can’t do it. I’ve taken hundreds of images that I deleted because I could not get the composition I wanted or I could not get the background the way I wanted. But I exhausted every effort before I gave in. Some photographers look for the background of their image before they find their subject, but I do it just the opposite. I alway find my subject before I find the background. I think you have to decide what will work best for you, it’s not easy either way. You may see an amazing background but not have a subject for it or you may have your subject but not have a background. If I’m shooting in the winter I create my own background, I do this by using the other flowers in the arrangement or plant. I will also use fabric, pictures, or stained glass to create my background.
4. Post Processing – Favorite techniques?
I’m all over the place for post processing. I use some actions or I manually process my images. It just depends on the image and what my desired affect is.
5. Post Processing – Software used?
I primarily use Lightroom and Photoshop
6. Technical challenges?
Flexibility with a tripod. Macro photography is a lot different then Landscape photography. When I am shooting macro I am constantly moving the camera on the tripod trying to find my composition. Maybe I shoot differently than other macro photographers but I’m twisting and turning the camera while I’m looking through the viewfinder. So to find a ballhead that will hold the weight of all the tools I have added to the camera and give me the flexibility that I desire is tough.
7. Creative Challenges?
Constantly trying to keep it fresh and not becoming stagnate
8. Artistic signature that conveys your style?
Creating soft focused images that blend colors to create dreamy uncomplicated and peaceful images that makes others smile.
9. Favorite Subject?
10. Favorite Location?
Any garden or my backyard
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