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Camera House : Better Pictures 13
IN FOCUS Chris Jones has made a career out of exploring the small things in life. Growing up in the lush green surrounds of the Dorset countryside of rural UK, Chris Jones always had an interest in nature. “I was very interested in the nature all around me,” he says. That childhood interest has grown into an adult passion that has made Jones one of Australia’s most in-demand nature photographers, with his work gracing the covers of magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens and New Garden. When it comes to shooting macro images, Jones is one of our nation’s experts and in the coming weeks he will once again be charged with the task of judging the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens’ ‘Gardens in Focus’ photography competition – something he looks forward to each year. Hundreds of macro images from aspiring and professional photographers will pass before him for evaluation. Jones believes the key to achieving a spectacular macro shot lies in simplicity. “Macro photography is all about enlarging detail. Interesting macro shots are dependent on revealing this detail in the simplest possible way without distracting elements”. He says that the main challenge in macro photography is “to get the right balance of depth of field and shutter speed” adding, “with a subject with any movement it is important to get this right and patience is one of the main ingredients.” His best advice to the fledgling macro shooter is to “look at your subject and its environment very closely before taking a photograph” and “use a tripod for most subjects”. “If you have a moving subject like an insect, then make sure your shutter speed is fast enough to safely handhold your camera and freeze any motion. Learn how to hold your camera correctly!” As for his own photographic process, Jones says it varies from shoot to shoot. “ Weather is the main thing to consider while planning to do macro photography, as sunny, windy days make it almost impossible to control the subject. If I have to do an assignment that involves macro photography on a day like that, I will take a lot of equipment to help control the light and wind. It is much harder to get good results, so plan to shoot on overcast windless days where possible.” ■ 1Compose your image: Use the viewpoint that brings out the best in your subject while eliminating any distracting details in the background. 2 Depth of field: Set the appropriate aperture on your camera. The smaller the aperture (larger the f stop) the greater the depth of field. 3 Expose for the light: Expose your image correctly using the camera histogram or exposure warning system and carefully take a picture using the shutter release. 4 Point of focus: Be sure to check for sharpness once you have taken your picture. Use manual focusing, if you have it, or auto focus, remembering to use the right mode for static or moving subjects. Chris’ MaCro tips 21 PROFILE MACRO MAGIC 021_Bpics13_MACRO.indd 21 28/05/13 9:30 AM
Better Pictures 12
Better Pictures 14