I finally took some time to setup my tripod and lightbox, and take out my closeup filters to play around a little this week. Only spent about an hour with two models, but it was just a trial run to see how things work.
Overall, I am quite pleased with what can be accomplished with fairly minimal fuss. This little guy is a knick-knack I pulled from one of our bookshelves. He actually is about five inches tall. With the lightbox and the white background, and the tripod, I was able to get up nice and close to achieve this shot. I used my camera’s Live View function to show the image on the LCD screen, set my lens to manual focus, and used the 5x focus zoom option to make sure the owl’s eye was nice and sharp. Then, I took the shot.
I tried a few other options, including stacking up the filters, and a fairly small dragon figurine (about 2 inches tall). One thing I found out was that, despite the white background, certain settings need to be adjusted to keep the background white in the photos. In the dragon pictures, the white background became grey. First thing to try next time is to set a custom white balance on the camera so that it doesn’t try to calculate the white balance for every shot, especially when the background is white.
The lightbox has two double-sided backgrounds: 1 blue/green, and 1 white/grey. Gotta try green-screening something. 😀
The closeup filters do really limit how much of an object is actually in focus at any given point. Which means I now have a clear exercise for the practice of focus-stacking, which involves taking multiple exposures, adjusting the focus from the back to the front of the object incrementally and then merging the images together into one totally focused image. See Don Komarechka’s website for some awesome examples of snowflake photos using the focus stacking technique: http://www.donkom.ca/category/snowflakes/