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#CreatorConversations: Best Lenses, Software & Tips For New Macro Shooters From Our AMA With Caroline Jensen

#CreatorConversations is an AMA (Ask Me Anything) series hosted by @sonyalpha on Instagram. As part of the series, we were joined by macro photography artist and Sony Artisan Caroline Jensen (@carolinej). See some of the highlights below as she shares her passion for macro photography, and check out her macro quick start guide here. Visit the Instagram post for the full AMA and make sure you’re following @sonyalpha and #CreatorConversations to stay connected.

"Macro photography is more than just making pretty pictures, it is an act of recognition and appreciation for the ordinary beauty we often miss." – Caroline Jensen #CreatorConversations

"What is your favorite macro lens?" – @wanderinglensphotos

Caroline: “I love the Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G, but also use the Sony 135mm f/1.8 G Master. The latter is not a true macro lens, but I can still fill the frame with my small subjects.”

"What advice would you give to people getting into macro? I have the 90mm lens and have been having a blast with abstract flower shots but it feels like I’m missing something." – @wolfmercuryphotography

Caroline: "I suggest really slowing down and spending time with anything that catches your eye. Familiarity makes better images! I like to sit with a mushroom or flower for a few minutes before I shoot. Moving too fast from one thing to another makes it hard to process how to go about shooting each subject. I also like to shoot on the wide focus setting and let the camera choose the focus. This frees me to enjoy the scene while I am studying it. Make sure you have a pretty fast shutter speed! The shallow nature of the depth of field can be deceiving. I try to shoot with a minimum of 1/800th to start, even with a mushroom. Don't be afraid to crank the ISO! I also recommend wide focus to start. That will give you a better chance of something being sharp. Then, you can go to the computer and evaluate the images on a bigger screen.”

"What starter lenses do you recommend?" – @lg_lightroom

Caroline: “"I think that the Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro G is the best move I made. It is super easy to use and SO sharp. The Sony 50mm f/2.8 is also wonderful at a lower price."

"How do you choose new subjects? What are some of the qualities you look for in finding something new to shoot? Do you shoot with end projects in mind?" – @josiahwalkerphoto

Caroline: “I always shoot with very little planning. I like to shoot what is available, so most of these were taken either on a walk in my neighborhood or in my own yard. My mission is to find beauty in the ordinary, so I shoot a lot of dead leaves in winter. I do look for subjects that fit in the frame though. I find figuring out how to photograph large flowers difficult. The mushrooms in the first image were only a couple inches tall.”

"Do you use any additional lighting or reflectors when creating your images?" – @james.s.patterson

Caroline: “I do carry a Lume cube with me to light small scenes! I do pull out my Westcott fj400 lights if I am working in my backyard. I travel light though! An ice light or video light is great too! The flare you see in many of these is from a small light.”

"What program do you use to edit your photos?" – @prashanthi_baddam

Caroline: “I use Lightroom, Luminar, Topaz Studios and iColorama.”

"How do you export your images from Lightroom for Instagram? They look so crisp, no pixelation whatsoever." – @jraudulis

Caroline: “I just sharpen for screen!”

"Do you use filters at all?" – @caliguitarlife

Caroline: “Occasionally! I like to use an ND filter when it is sunny.”

See the full AMA here.


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