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“Next Steps” photography course – Macro

6 Mar 2019


Macro and creative Bokeh session – on Wednesday 16th January, we had an inside photoshoot – this time of year can be so tricky with bad weather, so we have decided to have three inside photoshoots in the spring term.

Each person set up their work space with a backdrop, light, camera + macro lens or other lens. Then camera on tripod with remote release. Compose the subject – we mostly used flowers but cut fruits, textural subjects such as mushrooms and garlic would also work. Now ensure you are working at the closest focusing distance for your lens. It won’t focus if you are too close. Now, depending on which Exposure Mode you are using, experiment with the exposure. We also used Live View for focusing – this is great as you can zoom right into your subject to ensure you are sharp.

As well as the images that were voted for by the group, I have included a couple of images that Julia Peaver took of a Hellebore with the Bokeh shapes of the aperture in the background. (This image is the header for this page). This is achieved by ensuring you have about 150cm between your subject and the fairy lights and then setting your camera up as close as possible to the subject and using a wide aperture – something like f/2.8, f/4 should work. It takes a little while to get it right, but you can create lovely effects. 

Richard Daley


The photograph was taken whilst I was playing with my new macro lens. I was in trigger happy mode, the bananas were in the bowl, so I just hand-held the camera and snapped at ISO800, f/2.8 at 1/20s using a Panasonic GX80 with a 30mm (35mm equivalent 60mm) f2.8 macro lens. I have also been experimenting with an App that allows me to control my camera from my phone. This is useful as you can see a larger version of the viewfinder and helps when taking macro shots.

Julia Peaver

Frosted teasel

It was a beautiful frosty, but foggy morning when I saw that these teasels had caught the frost. I find it is always a challenge to take photographs of frost and snow but using shallow depth of field I was able to blur the distracting fence behind the teasels. The camera settings were: Canon 60mm macro lens, ISO 800, f/3.5 at 1/250 second.


Sue Ball


This image was taken with the following settings: f/5.6, ISO 200, focal length 41mm and speed 1/4 sec.  I used these settings to achieve sharpness of the detail of the centre of the rose and the bokeh effect of the lights in the background.


Bernadette McCarthy

Pink Rose

This image was taken using a 100mm macro lens and the settings were: ISO200, f/13 and 1 second shutter speed.