Up Close and Personal: Making Macro Work for You
Content and Images Contributed by: David Gremp
One of the great things about photography is that you can use it as an excuse to go anywhere and explore new horizons, or you can just go out in your own backyard and see it with fresh eyes. A perfect way to gain a new perspective on familiar turf is by using a macro lens, which allows you to study details and design elements that can go unnoticed until you zero in on them up close and make them your own.
Over the past year, I’ve discovered a gold mine of photo opportunities at my local auto-repair shop. I’ve been taking my cars there for over 20 years and recently realized that they have become a restoration destination for owners of classic cars from the 50s and 60s, which have always been my favorites.
After speaking with the owner of the shop to get permission to photograph these cars while they were awaiting repairs, I began capturing them with my Hasselblad and standard 80mm lens. But I soon discovered that I was unable to isolate certain sole features of these cars without being able to get in closer than my normal lens would allow, so I decided to check out a 120mm macro lens from Calumet’s rental department.
While I really didn’t take advantage of the true macro capabilities of this lens, its slightly telephoto focal length and close focusing allowed me to get tighter and cleaner compositions of some of the trademark trim and distinct details that make these classic cars so special and eye-catching half a century later.
For more details and important tips on shooting with a macro lens in your “backyard,” check out this informative video from Tamron:
If you’re up for the macro photography challenge, I’d recommend trying out the Tamron SP AF60mm f/2 Di II LD (IF) 1:1 Macro Lens and the Tamron SP 90MM F2.8 DI VC USD 1:1 Macro Lens. Each is available in a variety of mounts depending on your camera body needs. And, to help capture all of those details be sure to try out a macro flash ring. Try the Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite or the Nikon R1 Wireless Close-Up Speedlight Flash System depending on your system. Both will offer you flexible lighting while capturing close-ups wherever your creativity takes you.
And, if you’re not ready to commit to a Macro Lens just yet, be sure to check the rental availability of a variety of lenses at your local Calumet Photo Rental center.