close up lenses in photography and using tissue paper over your flash gun to soften the glare

Close up lenses

Some of you asked about the close up lenses I talked about using - here they are above. A search on ebay for close up lenses in the photography section will find them - you just need to choose the ones that fit your camera. They were on offer from £13 to £18 when I looked (roughly double that for dollars). That's for a set of 4 at different magnifications - and you can stack them to increase the magnification.

They have a very shallow depth of field (the part of the image that's in focus) - but I love that for close ups, throwing the background into an out of focus blur of colour shows up the detail of your focal point well.

They can't compete with the proper macro lenses that you can buy for SLR's - but they can be great fun, allowing you to really close in on small areas.

I used them here and here

If your camera has screw threads for UV filters etc then you can use these.

Softening flash

Another useful photographic trick is to use paper tissues to soften the flash - I hate the harshness of flash and in close ups it can bleach colour like this:

forgetting to put the camera to the macro setting didn't help matters!

With tissue over the flash the result is very different:

the colours are vivid and true.

How many layers you need is a matter for experiment.

Incidentally this is the cover of Casey's book in the FPP sketchbook exchange, with a little addition from Glen in the form of the dinosaurs she's made from the loose watercolour shapes on the back cover :>)



dinahmow said…
Thanks for this info, Vivien. And I see you, too, have a Fuji. When we bought ours, Peter also bought a UV filter and that "lives" over the proper lens. Good thing to have in place when surf spray or rain is flying about!Especially in the salty tropics!
I remember using crumpled cellophane over the lens of my ancient camera for some indoor work, but haven't really thought of trying tissue. Do you mean like acid-free art tissue or Kleenex?
Oops! Just re-read and see you say paper tissues.
vivien said…
I love my Fuji :>) and I too have a UV filter permanently in place - cheap enough to replace if it gets damaged or scratched.

I like the idea of the cellophane - I'll have to have a go experimenting with that - thanks for the tip :>)

and yes, I simply meant Kleenex over the flash gun - I keep an elastic band in the camera bag to keep it in place.
Lindsay said…
Very fancy camera Vivien! Thanks for all the information and the dramatic demo with and without tissue.

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