Macro photography can be thought of simply as extreme close-ups. Sometimes special equipment is needed to get in really close, as with the shot above. This is the balance wheel and hair spring of an antique pocket watch. The shot was taken with a digital interchangeable lens camera and vintage bellows mounted on a small tripod, using a vintage 50mm, f1.4 lens, from the old 35mm SLR days, and a LED ringflash, mounted around the lens, in constant light mode. If different makes or sizes of equipment are used, as was the case here, adaptor rings are needed to connect the pieces together. Aperture, shutter speed and focus are all set manually.
The second image uses the same set up but this time with a 135mm f2.8 telephoto lens attached to the bellows, which allows you to get further away from the subject: useful when photographing insects or flowers. You can see the reflection of the ringflash in the endstone.
If you already have a digital interchangeable lens camera the set up accessories described above are all available second-hand or at reasonable prices on eBay.
The main challenges in Macro are lighting, focus and depth of field. There is the added difficulty of subject movement if you are attempting to shoot live insects etc.
Our session on Friday 4th November will be a practical Macro workshop where you can look at and try out equipment and maybe get some shots for our Winter Competition