Enter APOY 2016 Round 5: Little Wonder - Macro photography

APOY 2016 logo 350

 

APOY 2016 Round 5: Little Wonder – Macro (flowers, insects and arachnids)

***Please visit the APOY 2016 home page to find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions, the APOY ENTRY EMAIL ADDRESS and the disclaimers that must be copied and past into an email entry.

Entries for Round 5: Little Wonder – Macro must be received midnight (UK time) on 31 July 2016 

Macro photography offers you the opportunity to explore the hidden elements of nature that would otherwise remain hidden from the naked eye. Subjects such as plants are a beautiful canvas of colour, shape and texture, and getting in close can reveal how all these disparate elements function together to form beautiful subjects. And flowers are, of course, an endless goldmine for photographers. We’re in the warmer months of the year now, meaning that your garden and local park are awash with beds of vivid colour.

This photograph by Amy Whitewick is a lovely example of an image that makes use of subject, environment, lighting and action, to provide a stunning macro shot

This photograph by Amy Whitewick is a lovely example of an image that makes use of subject, environment, lighting and action, to provide a stunning macro shot

However, we don’t just want you to focus on plants and flowers – we also want to see your macro images of the insects and arachnids that you often find buzzing and crawling around your garden and local green spaces. Insects – whether they be wasps, ladybirds, bees or beetles – make truly fascinating subjects for photography, and we often forget just how incredible (and what great photo subjects) they are.

Remember that all your images must focus on plants and their flowers, insects and arachnids, so all other subjects will not be considered. Good luck!

This month’s prize

Win a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Macro EM-140 DG and a Sigma EM-140 DG Macro flash

The winner of APOY round five will receive a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens and EM-140 DG Macro flash worth a total of £1,029.98.

The 105mm f/2.8 is a large-aperture medium telephoto macro lens that incorporates the latest optical design technology and offers advanced performance for close-up photography. A Special Low Dispersion (SLD) lens and one high refractive index SLD lens provide excellent correction for all types of aberration and distortion.

Sigma 105mm f:2.8 EX DG OS HSM, EM-140 DG Macro flash

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Macro EM-140 DG and a Sigma EM-140 DG Macro flash

A floating focusing system moves two different lens groups in the optical path to different positions. This system compensates for astigmatic aberration and spherical aberration and provides high optical performance from infinity to 1:1 Macro.

The Sigma EM-140 DG Electronic Macro Ring Flash can be used on the lens or off-camera. It is ideal for photographing subjects in fine detail, and is extremely effective for close-up subjects.

The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Macro EM-140 DG and a Sigma EM-140 DG Macro flash are worth £1,029.98.

A few tips to set you on your way to shooting macro nature pictures

Getting Started

little wonder - macro

Getting started. Photo by Graham Borthwick

If you’re using flash, it’s a good idea to test its intensity and fine-tune the exposure. You’ll need a tripod if you’re photographing moving insects or flowers blowing in a breeze, and perhaps a cable release. If you are using natural light, you may find you need to wait until the day is bright enough.

Colour and Light

little wonder - macro

Colour and Light. Photo by Barbara Corvino

Now that the days are long, you can make the most of the extra daylight. Early morning and evening are ideal times for macro photography, as the soft diffused light is an ideal way to bring out colour and detail. Insects will also be much less active at these times, making them easier to photograph.

Focusing

little wonder- macro

Focusing. Photo by Richard Craze

You may be better off using manual focusing rather than autofocus to minimise the chance of coming away with a lot of out-of-focus images. Depth of field becomes narrower the closer the subject is to the camera, so focusing becomes critical. Choose your focus point carefully, as a slight shift will make a real difference to your image.

Black & White

little wonder - macro

Black and White. Photo by Aaron Bennett

It could be that you choose to convert your image to black & white. The absence of colour will allow the shape, form and texture of your subject to take centre stage. If you do want to do this, choose a subject with interesting shapes and textures, and try to imagine how these will look when they are stripped of colour.

For more top tips on Macro photography read Colin Varndell’s article.

***Please visit the APOY 2016 home page to find all the rules for entry, terms and conditions, the APOY ENTRY EMAIL ADDRESS and the disclaimers that must be copied and past into an email entry.

Entries must be received midnight (UK time) on  31 July 2016

 

APOY 2015

 

APOY 2016 – Little Wonder – Macro Photography