Some few busy weeks ago I promised a series of macro posts on the practical business of getting larger than life images and began with a detailed review of lighting. Things get in the way – such as writing a detailed and lengthy feature on ‘Macro’ that will appear in due course in Digital Photographer magazine.
Part of the brief for that was to recruit some fellow ‘macro men’ – a great excuse for using some of the images of an innovative and gifted photographer Luis Manuel Iglesias Nuñez, a fellow experimenter who sets himself challenges. There is a link to Luis’ website on the blog where you can witness the wide range of work that Luis does and some of it is particularly relevant to one of the methods (coupled lenses) I want to cover for getting ‘larger than life’ images.
Luis sent me an image a few weeks ago of a jumping spider ( below)– a remarkable shot considering that with the magnification of about 8X it is incredibly difficult to focus: the way Luis puts it makes it sounds easy…let’s just say it’s a challenge.
“For this image I used four extension tubes, which gave 93mm extension with a 100mm macro lens and, in front of it (coupled), a reversed 24mm lens. The result gave a magnification of about 8x. Certainly, under these conditions the aim must to remain absolutely static. To achieve this the spider (found in the wall of my house) was kept in a container overnight at the garden – next morning, after a cool night, spider activity was reduced. I knew that the distance from the target to the front of the lens was about four centimeters, so with my camera ready, I just moved it with smooth movements until the subject appeared in the viewfinder and, the hardest job, entered the area of focus area. We have to consider that diaphragm in both lenses was f4 or f5 to prevent vignetting, so the focusing was critical.”
Luis contacted both Niall and I some years ago when he was compiling a gallery of the work of other photographers as part of his book FOTOGRAFÍA DE APROXIMACIÓN EN LA NATURALEZA (Close-up Photography in Nature)
Luis is a passionate naturalist with a number of books to his credit… “patience is indispensable for the macro photographer, leading to levels approaching stupidity. Through it, the results will come, but on the other hand, if you cant find them, you can get frustrated…. There must come a time that if things don’t go as we wish, simply we must move forward, even learning from those moments that will make you enjoy the results when you reach them in the future.”
“Be careful not to be to ambitious and learn to enjoy each moment. Being in communion with nature is the greatest gift a man can have, therefore, be friendly with its creatures, even with the smallest ones”