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'Photo Tricks'

Hello Tom and Grace,

My equipment is Canon T90 with Macro lenses, 90mm Tamron and 200mm
canon dedicated macro lenses. This type of lense have very good
optics and are not to be confused with zoom lenses that claim to have
’Macro’ facilities. The canon lense gives me 1 to 1 at about 2 feet
and the Tamron half actual size.

The system I have used which has been very successful in competition
is as follows.

To diffuse the light source I use a sheet or sheets of 'Pearl’
plastic sheeting about 4mm thick. This sheeting is slightly opaque
and is an excellent light diffuser.

I usually build a simple ‘cove’ using a large cardboard box arranging
it so that it looks like a room with no ceiling and one wall missing.
I drape a backdrop cloth of a suitable colour for the subject in the
box and on a good sunny day set this up outside and align it with the
sunlight for the best results with the sheet of plastic on top of the
’cove’. On occasions I will set up a reflector of some suitable type
in the back of the ‘cove’

I have also had good results by simply placing the large sheet of
plastic over a window that has good sunlight coming through it and
setting up the subject in the light thus cast.

On other occasions I have set the ‘cove’ up inside on a table and
have directed the light from ordinary equipoise lamps through the
plastic on top of the ‘cove’. If you use tungsten bulbs you will of
course have to use a blue filter on your lense.

Low light levels in the ‘cove’ are not a problem as you will be using
a tripod and you will have quite long exposure times if using small
apertures for maximum depth of field.

To avoid any possible camera shake I either use a cable release or
set the shutter release timer to 5 seconds.

Just remember to reset the timer after you finish or the next time
you take a hand held shot you are going to think there is something
wrong with the camera, turn it over to look at the back and take an
out of focus shot of your feet… been there done that !

Good luck, Keith Torckler, Cornwallis, New Zealand