photographing small feathers.

Discussion in 'Macro' started by david_simon, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. My 2 budgies are shedding feathers like crazy . The colour variation in such a small feather is neat and I want to take some macros with my Nikon 55Mm macro and the PK-13 extension tube. The feathers are about 1/4-1/2 inch in width and height. Any suggestion as to how to place them and light them? I have an SB800 and a SB 24 I could use.
     
  2. Feathers are amazing structures with fine details. You have a nice opportunity at hand to explore and experiment.

    Often feathers have a shiny surface that can reflect direct light in a harsh way. Think about using indirect light.....bounce it off a light colored surface (wall or reflector), or set up in a room with soft indirect ambient light. Some folks might suggest a light box and that is a good idea for certain effects. Use back lighting to highlight edges and other structures Use a tripod. Live view is your friend. If it doesn't look good on the little screen it probably won't be satisfying on the big one.

    How to place your feathers may be a challenge, so don't get locked into any one idea. Try making a nice pile and see where that leads. Use alligator clips or small clothes pins to hold the feathers erect and see where that goes. A fine mist of water will work wonders.....add food dye to the water and you can really have fun. Watch for reflections in the droplets and make sure they are pleasing. Take your time and frame your shots carefully. Ask yourself what you're looking for. Do you want something in the abstract realm, or something artistic? Freeze some in ice cubes.......seriously, let go and have fun.

    One nice thing about feathers is that they don't go bad. They will collect dust, so it's best to not let them just lay around. I think the key is to have a good time and really play with your subject.
     

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