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January 11, 2013

Working on Ring Shots

A couple of years ago, Katelyn James mentioned working on improving her ring shots on her blog and how as photographers (and probably most professions), we will never be able to master everything and we’ll ALWAYS be learning. There’s a humility that has to come with this job if we want to continue to grow and improve.  Even the people I follow who are amazing at what they do continue to attend workshops and classes – sometimes the same ones I do! – and it’s encouraging to know that I’m in the same industry with people like that!

Well, what Katelyn said on her blog that day stuck with me.  I love what I do and I think I’ve improved in many areas, but there’s always something to work on.  And at this point in time, it’s my ring shots!  I don’t own a macro lens (those babies are ‘spensive!), but a local photog friend told me about these macro filters a couple of years ago that were only TWELVE DOLLARS!  Really!  Well, I just checked on Amazon (you can get them here) and they’re now $11, so y’all will get a deal!  This particular set fits my 50mm lens and it’s perfect for me and the way I shoot.  There are different kinds for different lenses, so if you order them, be sure to order the right size for the lens you’ll be using for macro shots.

It’s been a couple of years since I purchased these filters and while I used them from time to time, it wasn’t easy to practice because unless I was with a couple, I didn’t have a ring to work with!  But now?  Now I have two of my own :-)  On a wedding day, I usually only have about 5 minutes to devote to the rings, which isn’t a lot of time.  And this past year, I’m sure I spent way too much time with them.  But, I feel like I’ve been sloooowwwly improving. I generally use the 10x filter for ring shots so I can get really up close and personal!  But the shot below where the rings are in a line, the 10x was a little too close, so I used the +4 and it was perfect.

 

But like I said, I want and need to practice more… so yesterday afternoon seemed like the perfect chance to practice (you know, when it was sunny and 65 degrees in JANUARY!).

I think this one’s my favorite… gosh, Ben did SUCH a good job picking this beauty out!!  Love my ring :-)

I love shooting with my aperture pretty wide open (usually at 2.0 or 2.2), but for these, to get most of the stone in focus, I was shooting at f10 or f11.

I shoot with a Nikon D800 and even though it was still light outside, it was during the golden hour of the day, so the sun was already tucked behind the clouds.  This meant that I kept having to crank up my ISO in order to let enough light into the camera so that I could shoot at f10 (the lower apertures numbers that I like to shoot at let in more light).  So, with this shot below, my ISO was at 1250 (almost zero noise!! I love it!), my aperture was f10, and my shutter speed was 1/250 of a second.

As I’ve said with so many things before, I’m not the most technical person in the world and a lot of my photography knowledge has either come from attending workshops, reading other blogs, scouring the internet, or just trial and error.  From all of those things, I’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t work… for me… so hopefully you’ll be able to get out there and practice and find what works for you!

Happy Friday, everyone!

  1. […] been able to call my camera bag home yet, so I was excited to see Sabrina’s recent post about the Vivitar macro lens filters that fit over the 50mm f1.4.  I figured, for $11, it was worth […]

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