So, do you really need a Macro Lens??
Most photographers will recommend shooting small details like the wedding rings with a macro lens and whilst I do agree that the macro is the best tool for the job, I have to admit that I don’t actually own one myself!!
I strongly believe in using what you have and making it work. I did consider adding a macro lens to my kit, but in the 6+ years I have been a wedding photographer I have never really needed one. Why bother adding extra weight to my camera bag and the added expense for a lens I might only use for ONE single shot during the entire day?? I like to travel as light as possible on wedding days, so I decided to make the lenses I already own work for me to achieve this shot.
I tend to favour my Canon 24-70mm f2.8 or more recently, the Sigma 35mm 1.4 to capture the wedding rings. These two lenses can both focus pretty close to the subject, which is what you need for this method to work well.
Here are my 3 top tips for nailing ring shots without a macro lens…
TIP 1 : GOOD LIGHT
Make sure you have plenty of natural light. I always set this shot up near a window on a fairly plain backdrop. You don’t want anything in the background to distract from the rings, but you need plenty of even natural light to keep your ISO as low as possible & the shutter speed high.
TIP 2 : APERTURE
I usually like to shoot wide open, but for this type of shot I set my aperture to between f2.0 – f5. I am looking for the focus on the diamond to be tack sharp and the background to have a nice softness.
TIP 3 : CROPPING
The crop tool is your friend!! When I am editing I will crop into the image to eliminate any distractions. I like to position the rings using the rule of thirds, which draws your eye to the focal point – in this case the diamond.
You can see in the example below that I had a good source of even, natural light falling onto the windowsill. This also provided a nice clean backdrop will little distraction. I really liked the ivy growing at the window and I always love adding organic elements into my photography, so I positioned the rings on an ivy leaf to create some interest and contrast to the composition, which also helped the rings stand out from the white background.
Here is the unedited, SOOC (straight out of camera) shot…
Here is the final edit after cropping and straightening the image. My settings – ISO 400, f2.0, SS 1/8000. Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART Lens.
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If you are considering purchasing a 35mm lens, then you may find this article helpful.
If you found this helpful & would love to see more photography hints + tips posts then please comment below to let me know!!