Dried Leaf Macro Photography Tips | Macro Photography Tutorial

Hi guys, I’m Ben from Adaptalux and I’m
back today to bring you another macro photography tutorial this time we’re
shooting leaves specifically dried leaves leaves in general very popular
macro photography subject dried ones are a little bit trickier to
shoot for for several reasons but we’re gonna find out how we get on in just a
second the leaves that I’ve got to shoot today
are a little bit different to your ever-popular leaf macro photography
shots in that they’re they’re completely dry I grabbed these in the autumn a
couple of months ago and they’ve been left out to dry on my bookshelf so we’ve
got four different leaves they’re all they’re all very similar but the slight
variation slight differences, but they’re going to be more challenging to
shoot than a normal leaf shot in that they’re very sort of dry crispy all
of the edges are and over so it’s going to be tricky to to focus on the entire
thing but there’s some interesting features on these leaves
like very pronounced veins on on the backside of the leaves
obviously the green colour is gone and we’re left with the browney autumn
color but there’s still some really interesting color variations in here
that we can take advantage of using the Adaptalux Studio lighting I’m also
going to be trying some experimental stuff as we like to do with the
colored lighting arms and we’ll see how we get on with that for our lighting
though we’re going a little bit different this time if you’ve seen our
other macro photography tutorials which I’ll link up on the screen now you’ll
notice that we usually or I prefer to use the Adaptalux Studio off camera
then set up a scene using our lighting that way today we’re going to be
shooting freehand with the lighting attached to the camera and I’ll show you a
little bit about that now in all of our packs we’ve always provided the means to
attach the Adaptalux control pod to the hot shoe of the camera we do that
using a cold shoe adapter that just slides onto the top there but recently
we’ve developed this new little gadget here which is an extension of that it’ll
give you a little bit more flexibility and control about how you mount your
pod onto your camera or other things for that matter because this is a GoPro
style attachment so you can unscrew this and
attach the Adaptalux adapter onto any GoPro compatible mounts or devices
on here we’ve just got a little cold shoe adapter which slides on to the
hot shoe of the camera and then the control pod simply screws it onto the
top of that as well and that means that you can get a little bit more height
over your your lenses image you can adjust this up or down and obviously you
can just plug in a lighting arm and manipulate that round to exactly where
your subject is sat in front of your lens so we’re gonna be doing exactly
that and using our leaves to to get some really cool shots free hand with our
leaves laid out on the table there’s nothing too special going on with this
set of considering that we’re going freehand now we don’t need to
worry about the backdrop so much we don’t need to worry about setting
everything up meticulously like we do in some of our other macro photography
scenarios and here we’re just going to lay out our subjects we’re going to plug
in some lighting arms into the control pod and then we’ll pick up the camera
and we’re going to go for it the aim of the game here is to experiment change
around your lighting move around the subject and going freehand really gives
you the ability to move all the way around your subject experiment with
different angles and see what you can get so that’s what I’m gonna do now I’m
going to set off and see what I can get out of the
these leaves change around some of our different colors our lighting arms and
use some diffusers and color filters as well to really try and bring out some
color and some focused in interest in these in these leaves so I’m gonna
get going I’m getting some really great shots so far but
I just wanted to stop for just a second to give you some tips about how to set
up your lighting for going freehand like this whether it’s going out on a photo
walk in the woods or at home like I’m doing here you’re gonna want to try and
get your lighting arms roughly in position before you start shooting
because holding the camera with one hand and manipulating the lighting arm
with the other hand is a little bit awkward and it can take some time to try
and get it exact this is a much faster way all I’ve done is set my my lens to a
single focal point so it’s it’s around here a set distance from the front of
the lens what that means is you can then move your your camera in and out in
order to focus rather than changing the focus ring and if you’ve got a set
distance from the front of the lens you know exactly where your subjects gonna
be so if we bring a subject into or roughly into focus here I can then see
that my lighting arms are quite far away and they could be moved a little bit
closer they can be balanced a little bit better as well so I’m gonna bring the
green lighting arm in nice and close and then the blue lighting arm as well and
you can see already that the pictures a lot brighter cause obviously the air the
lights are closer and there’s a better balance between the green and the blue
so what that means is that I can pick up my camera and start exploring around my
subject without having to worry too much about
what my lighting is doing it’s got a nice even balance between the green on
the right-hand side of the image and the blue on the left-hand side an image and
you can make minor adjustments you can do the same thing by adding color
filters and setting the balance with diffusers and and things like that it’s
just about setting things up as as close as possible before you start shooting
because manipulating the lighting arms around like this you can end up with
lighting arms in the picture which is not ideal and the balance of your colors
could be off so I like to set this up beforehand I’g gonna keep shooting for
a little while longer and then we’re gonna change things up a little bit I’m getting some really great shots shooting
with a setup like this and you can see that I’ve actually I’ve taken the the
pro mount here and pointed it downward so that the pod is angled downwards and
I can get the lighting arms down and underneath the leaves
underneath the subject and but I actually want to take that to the next
level I’m gonna keep shooting freehand with the camera so that I can keep that
freedom of moving around and and finding the shot but I’m going to pop the the
studio onto a stabilizer and make that static so that our lighting can actually
come from truly underneath from behind these leaves because I think that’s
gonna really accentuate some of the the veins that are standing out in these
leaves and give some really cool effects as the light shines through so I’m gonna
find out what that looks like and I’ll show you in a second so let me show you
what I’ve done here and I’ve got the the studio over here down on stabilizer
which keeps it nice and close to the ground
I’ve got two white lighting arms one with a green color filter on it one with
a pink color filter on it and just pointing slightly upward so that we can
actually rest a leaf right on top there and the light shines through the leaf
including in all of the little you can see his light little cracks and things
where the leaf is dried and the damaged and things like that
naturally it shines through really nicely through those little cracks and
provides a really interesting little highlight in in the shot without those
cracks though could get a better quality leaf it still shines through and create
some really interesting contrasts between the different parts of the leaf
where where things have decayed and things haven’t the veins they don’t let any light through at all so they come up with shadows and
it’s really interesting to experiment with this move around the leaf and try
and spot different areas that look particularly interesting obviously
change the leaves around move the leaves around shooting the back of the leaf I
find is more interesting as well but you might find that the front provides some
interesting contrast and colors as well now I’m going to keep going with
this for a little while and let’s see if I can get some really interesting shots
out of it so I hope you can see from some of the
shots that we’ve just got that moving the lighting really made the world of
difference between the two different styles of shot obviously shooting from
above here we can get contrasting colors as it moves off the ridges of
the of the veins on the leaves we can go freehand on the camera and
explore all of these curved over edges which is really cool but then moving the
lighting behind the leaf the light shines through and highlights all of the
detail in the leaf itself so all of the residual colors and differences as the
leaf is dried out obviously you’ve got lots of browns and greens still left in
there getting the right shot along those veins on the backside of the leaves
makes it look like a sort of a an aerial shot ups and valleys and things like that
really really interesting and I hope that works to demonstrate that the
lighting when you’re thinking about macro photography and macro photography
subjects is absolutely paramount because we’ve used the same lights we’ve used
the same camera the same subject but simply moving that lighting from one
position to another from on top of the subject to underneath the subject that
has made the world of difference and it’s really worth experimenting with
things like that just to see what it looks like if it doesn’t work it doesn’t
work but try it out and see what happens but that’s it for today that’s that’s me
experimenting with some leaves make sure to let us know in the comments what you
think and make sure to let us know what you guys do with with leaves and plants
and things like this and how you use your Adaptalux Studio lighting or any
other lighting I’d like to know what you guys can do
you can send your your pictures to [email protected] and we’ll
were more than happy to to get into hours worth of discussion about what you
like to do and what you like to see and especially in more videos like this
there’s more to come so make sure to subscribe and let us know of what you
would like to see us try out with Adaptalux lighting until then I’ll
see you next time

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