It has been long since someone had presented a original idea at YPS and Hayath Mohammed did just that. While we traditionally think in terms of using tripod, macro rails and other equipment to get a closer look at the Macro subjects, Hayath did the exact opposite. He took pictures handheld and still could get as close to the subject as possible and produced stunningly sharp images.
Here is his approach as presented by him at YPS on July 1st.
Let us start with the challenges faced in taking macro pictures:
a) Depth of field – Depth of field is one of the foremost challenges in making a Macro picture. As magnifications reach close to 1:1 the depth of field becomes wafer thin. This means that you have to shoot in smaller apertures.
b) Smaller aperture means reduction of shutter speed. This could be challenging as most Macro subjects are not still. The solution lies in raising ISO.
c) And higher ISO comes with a price in terms of increased noise and the subjects do not give us that much of time to make the choices.
Why don’t we find a solution by changing what is taken as given, the amount of light. If we can increase the amount of light, we could still be able to shoot at higher speeds in smaller apertures and lower ISO.
The lighting solution for Macro subjects is not very easy. Single light coming from the camera flash many times, make the subject look unnatural. We should find a way to deliver softer light on the subject that is brighter than the ambient light.
For this, Hayath turns to Briyani, or rather Briyani boxes. He has created a home made reflector arrangement using a large external flash and Briyani box as reflector to deliver high amount of light on the subject that would let him shoot the subject handheld at smaller apertures.
The pictures displayed by him showed excellent use of the technique. It was an enjoyable evening with lots of learning to think about and practice.