I wanted to do this one entirely as a video, but the video clips that I had to work with ended up being too short (or, I guess you could say, I was once again too long-winded) to match up audio and video. So it’s both, a podcast covering the main details and a video to illustrate what I was talking about. I’ll get better at this soon. Maybe.
So let’s start with the audio.
Walkabout podcast – Macro video, part one
It works better if you don’t skip ahead to the video below. And hey, at least this isn’t another towering wall of text, right? I’m trying to accommodate the social-media-bred attention span.
The post where I introduce the LED light, which we’ll see again anytime now.
A look at the rig, as it stands now. I fully expect to be changing this, perhaps quite a bit, as I go. I’ll keep you updated.
By the way, it took no time at all to realize that an external microphone was pretty much a necessity. because the onboard mic is not very impressive and very sensitive to wind noise. It also helps isolate sounds from the lens. Doing audio recording with a separate recorder probably isn’t a bad idea either, just be sure to start each clip with something that’s both visible and audible to synchronize the two together – I’m not saying that you have to use a movie clapper, but you get the general idea. A starter pistol probably works just fine…
There’s two key components to this particular layout. The main support is a Stroboframe flashbracket, used sideways so the arm rises behind the camera instead of alongside it; this allows the camera to be held at either an upward or downward angle just by shifting grip a little. They make an inexpensive DSLR stabilizer much like this, and I have one, but it’s a little too small to accommodate the camera with a battery grip on the bottom. The second useful bit is that V-shaped arm attached to the camera hotshoe, which provides three separate shoe mounts for accessories like the microphone, an LED light source, and of course that monitor (modified to take a mini-ballhead, which makes it much more versatile.) Not only is this a fairly complete rig, self-contained and easy to handle, but it’s remarkably inexpensive. You can always throw a lot of money at such things, but it’s rarely necessary, and a little searching and ingenuity can save you a bundle.
So, obviously, I still have a lot of work to do in achieving steady results at macro magnifications, and I’ll probably be trying out a lot of different options. I’ll keep you abreast of what seems to be working best, and naturally, if you have any suggestions or solutions, drop a comment, or contact me directly if you prefer. As long as it isn’t something like, “Just give it up, Al.” Even if it seems warranted…