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Macro Therapy With Caroline Jensen: Shoot Your Prepositions

In our ongoing Macro Therapy series With Caroline Jensen, the Sony Artisan of Imagery has brought us her quick start guide for choosing your camera settings for macro photography, five essential quick tips for lighting your macro shots and three high-impact creative macro techniques you can do at home. In today's session, she explains what it means to "shoot your prepositions" with a macro lens and how to do it with some simple shooting exercises that you can do anywhere.

In our continuing Macro Therapy series with Caroline Jensen, the Sony Artisan shows how to "shoot your prepositions" in macro photography.

Prepositions indicate location. Think of prepositions to remind yourself how to shoot all angles of your subject. Try these: 

  • across
  • on top of
  • around
  • beyond
  • between
  • under
  • near
  • against
  • underneath
  • over
  • through

Try to shoot from at least 10 different positions! I usually use my Sony 90mm f/2.8 G Macro lens, but you can work with any macro lens you have, and if you don't have a true macro lens, try it with the closest-focusing lens in your bag.

Don’t Be A Bee

It is easy to act like a bee on a mission when we shoot with a macro lens. Bees flit from flower to flower, often in a frenzy of energy. We too, can flit from flower to flower, as we immediately determine that this flower or plant is not right. I want to encourage you to hang with a spot that catches your eye for at least five minutes. Time yourself, if you have to! The prepositions activity is more than a cute way to remember to shoot from different angles; it is also a way to guide you through a shooting situation that seems hopeless. I often find the first image I take in a series is the one I want to keep. Occasionally, I have to work hard for the image and the keeper is the last one I make.

1. Find your subject. Commit to stay with it for at least five minutes!

2. Observe your subject for at least one minute before shooting. Consider how this subject can fit in with your style of imagery.

3. Shoot as many angles and distances from your subject as you can. Change your focal length if you are shooting with a zoom lens and change your aperture to adjust the depth of field.

Here are six images from the same spot in a botanical garden. I sat down on a short wall and observed what was right in front of me. I decided I wanted to focus on the shapes of the petals and the way they curled around the center of the blossoms. The images were shot in a sequence over ten minutes of observation. I attempted to shoot from every angle I could, but found the overcast sky negated backlit imagery. In this case, top down and 45 degree angles worked best.

Alpha-Universe-Caroline-Jensen-Six-Images-Same.jpg

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