I could really use some help taking macros of my work with a nikon 4500. I have read the manual several times and asked on a few photo forums, and have still not gotten the desired results. The center of my piece seems to be in focus while the edges are not. I am using a cloud dome, and setting the camera in close up mode. <snip> I also have questions as to what I should be setting my picture size at within the fine pic setting and how I should be saving, for any possible future publication.
[my reply] I wanted to respond especially to the question about
preparing digital photos for publication, because based on the
submissions we’ve gotten there seems to be a lot of confusion out
The standard resolution for print is 300 dpi – 266 dpi in some
cases, but let’s say 300 to make it even. “Dpi” stands for “dots per
inch,” a dot being the same as a pixel on a digital camera. So if
you’re shooting something at an image size of 600 pixels by 400
pixels, it’ll print at three inches by two inches on paper.
If you’re submitting something for publication, the safest thing to
do is set your camera for its maximum size and quality settings. Yes,
it’s a memory hog, but a large size gives layout artists more to work
with. If the artist wants to use it smaller, it’s easy enough to
shrink; if they want to enlarge the image, they’re limited by the
resolution. Just think, the larger the image you send, the larger it
can appear in print.
I’d recommend not compressing your pictures unless absolutely
necessary, because compression tends to eliminate fine detail from
the picture, which will also show up in print.
Format won’t be a problem for anyone working with modern publishing
software. The .jpg and .tif formats are the most common, but a
program like Photoshop can open almost anything.
Regarding your other question, about taking macro photos – the
problem may simply be that you’re getting too close for your macro to
handle. Even if you’re within the camera’s focus range, that doesn’t
guarantee that you’ll get enough depth of field to keep the whole gem
in focus, especially if you’re getting as close as you describe. Try
backing off a bit. If you have your camera on the maximum
size/quality setting, you’ll be able to crop the excess background
out and still have a good-size picture.
Hope this helps. Feel free to e-mail me privately if you have any
Morgan Beard Editor-in-Chief Colored Stone