…and your first impulse is? Make photographs of flowers!
Fair enough. Flowers are pretty, colorful, and chock-full of photographic opportunity. They’re also a macro subject that’s much more forgiving than bugs; provided it isn’t windy, they’ll stay perfectly still for as long as you need them to be. The problem is, coming from your kit or prime lenses that have a limited close-focus distance, you’re used to only making straight-on, centered photographs like this:
Technically speaking, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this photograph. There’s a lot of cool detail on both the anthers and petals from the thin depth of focus and droplets from a rainstorm. Exposure is accurate, and the white balance is correct by metering from a gray card.
Other than that, this photograph is kind of plain. Aside from the thin field-of-focus, there’s no sense of depth or perspective, composition is awkwardly centered, and some of the background leaves are pretty distracting. This photograph isn’t making use of what a macro lens can do. In fact, this shot was purposely taken at about the same close-focus distance that most 100mm lenses end up at. As such, just about anyone can make this photograph with just about any lens. I’d be willing to bet a shockingly similar photograph to the one above is somewhere out there on the internet.
You bought a macro lens, didn’t you? Why not take advantage of its closer-focusing capabilities? Continue Reading