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Tag: Robert O’Toole
11.14.2013

Macro Flash Photography: Create Natural Looking Macro Images

©2013 Robert O'Toole | Exposure mode: Manual mode | Shutter speed: 1/200th sec | Aperture: f8 | ISO 200 |  flash @ 1/40 output level | Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS macro lens

One of the most important rules for macro flash photography is balance. For natural looking macro images you have to balance the ambient light and flash output. When the flash and ambient light are balanced the use of flash will not even be apparent to the viewer.

The problem is that with flash output overpowering the natural light in background it will underexpose and go dark, in some cases like the image below, it can underexpose to the point that is appears black.

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10.10.2013

How to Control Extremely High Contrast Scenes

©2013 Robert O'Toole | Female crab spider on Cosmos. South Coast Botanical Gardens, RPV, California. Lens: Sigma 105mm f/2.8 OS macro lens | Nikon D800E | Shutter speed: 1/200 sec | Aperture:  f/8 | ISO 200. Monopod and Jobu tilt head. Nikon SB-R200 Wireless Speedlight in manual mode 1/5 power with diffuser.

Photographing in the field in contrasty harsh light is something every photographer has to deal with. This is a technique that I use for those difficult high contrast situations. For a more natural looking image you need to take control of the light to handle the light and dark tones in a high contrast image.

It is important to understand the problem with high contrast scenes. Exposing for the light tones will cause the darker tones to underexpose and exposing for the darks will result in blown out highlights.

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09.24.2013

Secrets to Success with the Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM

Brown bears at play, Alaska. Nikon D4, Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM, handheld, 1/1000th s, f8, at 500mm, ISO 3200, Dynamic-area AF, 51 point 3D. Hand-held. Image copyright 2013 Robert OToole Photography

The Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM is one of my favorite lenses of all time. My copy has been there by my side shooting in rain, snow, freezing low temps, scorching high temps and more delivering the sharp images I need month after month.

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09.10.2013

Macro Photography: How Sensor Format Affects Image Depth of Field

© 2013 Robert OToole Photography | Lens: Sigma Macro 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM |  Camera: NIKON D800E | ISO: 100 | Aperture: f8 | Shutter speed: 1/250 sec | single SB-R200 flash. This flower was framed in the viewfinder with a full frame sensor format body in FX (full frame) mode.

One of the biggest challenges with macro photography is working with a limited depth of field or DOF. When I am shooting macro I am always trying to make sure the subject and elements in the frame appear sharp by adjusting the aperture and making sure the important elements in image fall on the plane of focus by adjusting my angle of view. But there is another important element that has a huge effect on DOF that most people don’t even know about, how a different sensor format can and will effect the depth of field in your image. Moving to a smaller sensor format at the same apparent magnification will give you lots more DOF to work with in your macro images.

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07.10.2013

Macro Photography: Working Distances with the Macro 105mm F2.8, 150mm F2.8 and 180mm F2.8

Sigma 180mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro. Image copyright 2013 Robert OToole Photography

Judging by the number of questions I get from photographers concerning the working distances of macro lenses I think it is a good subject to talk about.

The working distance of a macro lens, not to be confused with minimum focus distance, is the distance between the front of your lens and the subject. This is different from the minimum focus distance which instead means the distance to the subject as measured from the focal plane mark on the camera body, not from the front of the lens. Working distance is a more important figure since it tells how much space you have between the front of your lens and your subject. Working distance generally increases with longer focal length lenses, shorter lenses usually have shorter working distances.

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11.26.2012

Spectacular wildlife in Pantanal, Brazil

Brazil’s Pantanal is one of earth’s most biologically rich areas and truly spectacular photography destination. Last month I took a scouting trip to the Pantanal for wildlife with with special emphasis on the jaguar. It was my first trip here and I have to say the photographic opportunities in the Pantanal were even better than I expected. Jaguar was the main target of the trip and I would have been happy just to see a single one but as it turns out we had the chance to photograph them each day and every day I was there. This is one of the best locations if not the best location on earth to photograph jaguar.

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10.15.2012
09.26.2012

Top Macro Photography Tips by Robert O’Toole

1. Shoot low for the best angle of view Shooting at your macro subject’s eye level gives you a much […]

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09.03.2012

Shades of Blue

For pure photographic opportunities Alaska is one of my favorite places on the globe. So spending time there each year […]

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07.18.2012

Bee photography with Sigma’s 150mm f/2.8 EX Macro OS lens

This week I had a chance to take out the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM APO Macro OS lens […]

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