It doesn't have to be a Macro lens

Updated: Nov 3, 2020

Here are some of the lenses I use on the left

Nikkor F2.8 105mm Macro - My staple lens

Nikon F2.0 D135 Defocus lens - this lens has the ability to focus in the front or the back of your subject. This lens is not a macro, the focal distance for this lens is approx. 3 feet. But the Bokeh is amazing and if you like to shoot shallow and create amazing softness...this is one awesome lens.

I also use a Teleconverter (Nikon)

Extension tubes

and I dabble with the Lens Baby (control freak) pictured above and I also have the Velvet56.

Now that I have shared some of the tools I use...I am going to throw you a curve ball with the image on the right.

The settings on this image are as follows

1/100th of sec, F6.3, ISO 160

Lens Nikon 80-400, focal length 400. Are you surprised it wasn't with a macro lens? Now, you're really not going to believe me because I couldn't believe it myself when I saw the image in my viewfinder.

This image was taken with camera set up on the tripod inside my dining room, through the window. The poppies were planted in a planter box just outside the window and the background is spirea planted on the hill. When I saw the image on the LCD screen, I was stunned! I could not believe the results and how the stems seemed to fade away into the background. I did not soften the background at all. I have worked very hard to get to where I am. I take pride in knowing I capture the images you see right in the camera. I don't do additional softening, actually on this image my camera at the time was the D700, which isn't as sharp as the camera I currently have the D750. Initially I notice a little difference in clarity when I started using the D750. Actually, I'm not sure if it was the clarity or the fact I could actually focus my images with the LCD screen, that was a game changer for me. Amazing what technology can do. Processing on this image was very minimal. I try to keep processing basic. I don't generally alter the colors of my image, but that does not mean I won't. I tend to enhance the actual color if I feel the image supports it. It's all up to what I feel the image can handle. It's your art and you're the artist, you can paint your image however you want.

I use Lightroom and Luminar 4 to process my images. I do like to get a little artsy and create a different feel occasionally, but honestly I really do prefer to create my mood in the camera.

Speaking of creating mood using processing....the image below is just that, the settings are as follows. 1/100th of a sec. F3.5 ISO 160, Lens Nikkor F2.8 105mm Macro. The picture on the left I processed with Lightroom and the picture on the right is the original. The original of this image did nothing for me. Perfect example of visualizing everything an image can be but the unaltered raw file is not even close. I knew I wanted to create a totally different feel. I wanted mystery and warmth. The original provided some mystery but no warmth. It is amazing how an image can change with a few adjustments.

I know I say this a lot, but it's because I really believe photography is more than settings on a camera. It's more than the perfect comp, the best macro lens or camera. Photography is about feeling and only you can provide that. The best camera or lens won't make the image better if you don't really feel it.

Have a great week. I hope you get out to practice and play and I'll see you again next week. Stay healthy and safe.

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