Abstract Macro 02

Thought Behind the Shot: Macro Photos From My Backyard

Written by Tim on . Posted in Photos, Shooting

New macro photos on the loose! Look out!

Don’t worry, it’s okay… Nothing to fear. They won’t hurt your eyes. These are the first shots with my newly acquired  Nikon D7000 . Let’s just say the Nikon D7000 paired with the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro lens makes an awesome combo. I will be posting a review of the lens in the near future so be sure to subscribe to my newsletter for updates.

The weather has been terrible around here lately. But it’s like that every year when the switch from Autumn to Winter happens. Gray skies and wet, damp weather. But that doesn’t stop my from getting out of the house and entering my backyard to snap a few macro photos!

Thought Behind the Shot

Thought Behind the Shot: Macro Photos From My Backyard

SHOT WITH: Nikon D7000 and Tamron 90mm Macro lens at ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/20th of a second

Continuing with my  Thought Behind the Shot  series,  here’s a breakdown on how I took the macro photos shown above. The same technique was used in all instances of the photos.

Gear Used

What I saw was something that had more beauty after it had died, than before. What you see here was what used to be a simple weed. It’s appearance after it had died is fuzzy, so naturally it caught my interest.

I had to get up close and personal with these macro shots. I was  barely able to focus because I was so close. Speaking of focus, I used manual focus for this macro shot, making sure focus was set using the Nikon D7000′s handy focus indicator in the viewfinder.

I also used a wirelessly  triggered Nikon SB-800 flash off the camera to the left (hand-held) pointed directly at the bud in manual mode set 1/128 power. This gave the tiny bud some specular highlights and added some “pop”.


Lightroom 3 was the main editor with the final touches being applied in Photoshop CS5.

  • In lightroom 3 , I boosted Clarity to +11 first. Then under the “Camera Calibration” panel, I set the profile to Camera Landscape boost the saturation and contrast.
  • I then played around with the Tone Curve panel until the contrast was where I liked. Here are the settings.
  • Next up I set the Hue and Saturation sliders until the blues in the background were to my personal liking. Here are the settings.

Then I exported the photo into Photoshop CS5 where I did one of my favorite saturation techniques I learned from Scott Kelby’s Photoshop CS5 7-Point System .

  • First you have to set the image to  ”Lab Color”. Go to Image > Mode > Lab Color.
  • Then go to Image > Apply Image. A dialog box should pop up.
  • In the dialog box  pop-up, set the Blending to Soft Light and the Channel to either A or B. I’ve found that I personally use Channel B more often than A. B gives warmer, more saturated and extreme colors that I sometimes prefer. Opacity for the images shown here are around 50-100%.
  • When you’re done, click OK.

What Did I Learn?

That concludes this week’s Thought Behind the Shot series post. If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that I love macro photography . I also learned that the new D7000 and Tamron 90mm Macro lens make a great pair.

On top of those two things, though, I think the most important lesson I learned here was that I simply need to go out and shoot more often. That’s where I gain skill and find myself as a photographer.


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