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Photography Question 
Theresa L. Witt

Red Blurring a Problem

I have a nikon D50. When I take macro photos of anything red, especially flowers, they tend to blur and the detail is lost. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

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4/1/2006 10:47:54 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  I'll lay odds that, first, you're shooting these subjects in direct sunlight or with on camera flash. And, second, that you may be slightly overexposing these kinds of shots.
The solutions are pretty basic. As to the direct sunlight problem, all you need to do is arrange some kind of overhead translucent tent over whatever you're shooting, especially flowers, plants, fruits, veggies, etc. How translucent is up to you. I can tell you from my own experience of shooting fruits, veggies and flowers for commercial growers, that even when the sun is indirect, I'll still use a light panel that knocks down brightness by at least two f-stops. One objective in photography, as you probably know, is to control the light reaching the subject and also the quantity through the lens. If you have a bright backlighting situation, tent that side too with a light panel. These kinds of panels are available at places like, not very expensive, have modular, lightweight portable frames that just snap together, and some have wind flaps so the rig won't blow away. Now if you find yourself shooting with a light tent and your sunlight fades onto the horizon, you can always use a bit of fill flash, through the tent, to illuminate your subject. To do that, you either need to put the light on a small stand adjacent to where you need it, or have someone (even you) hold it while you shoot.
Another thing to use for sure is a tripod or some kind of very sturdy camera support and a cable release. It doesn't matter what speed you're shooting at. This will give you more control over your exposures to prevent any kind of camera shake.
As to exposure, I recommend that you buy and learn how to use a gray card to give accurate exposures AND perhaps even consider buying a separate light meter that will give you incident and reflected readings. There are tricks you can use with your D50 that will get you more accurate exposures, and for that, I'll defer to your camera's manual.
In the alternative, just bracket your exposures a lot, AND since you're shooting digitally, try dinking around with the pixel values and anything else that controls image quality with your camera.
Take it light.

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4/2/2006 12:32:50 PM

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