The OMNI is a wonderful way to add layers of interest to your macro photography. I love that because you aren't reliant on a model's time. When shooting nature photography, you can really slow down and experiment with the OMNI wands. These tools can add incredible visual interest to your images, even those of mundane subjects. The OMNI also can give you effects in the camera that you would normally need to achieve in post-processing. I also love that the OMNI can help "hide" or obscure an ugly or distracting background. Here are my top five tips for using the Universal Expansion pack for your macro photography images.
"It's hard to predict the exact effect you will achieve with these tools until you try them - to me, that is part of the fun! Even a slight change in angle or position can totally change the look of your image."
1. Trial and error!
It's hard to predict the exact effect you will achieve with these tools until you try them - to me, that is part of the fun! Even a slight change in angle or position can totally change the look of your image. Take your time, experiment with the tools, and watch how your image changes as you move the OMNI. Don't get frustrated! These tools simply require some trial and error. The effect you achieve will depend so much on your light and your surroundings and how they are being reflected.
2. I prefer to shoot outside.
This is just my personal preference, but I prefer to use this pack outdoors due to the reflections. This allows me to get fun reflections of nature (sky, leaves, and other flowers) instead of reflections of my window or boring walls inside my house. This is not to say you cannot get interesting images inside! But to truly see these tools shine, at least try them outside.
3. You can mount or hand hold - try both and experiment.
You can either mount the tool on your OMNI ring on your camera or simply hold it with your hand. The advantage to mounting is that now you have both hands free to support your camera. The advantage of hand-holding is that it's a little faster to change your position and angle. I use both methods, just depending on how I'm feeling and what the situation calls for.
4. Move yourself instead of your focus ring (especially if hand-holding the OMNI).
This is how I shoot any macro photography, but it is especially useful when using the OMNI. Instead of moving my focus ring to focus while I'm shooting, I focus my camera as close as possible, moving closer or further from my subject to nail focus. It's complicated to turn a focus ring and hold a mirror and a camera all at once, so this tip is really a game-changer!
5. Be mindful of light.
As I mentioned earlier, these accessories really shine when using a strong light. You also don't want to block your light, so be mindful of the angle and position of your mirror. Think about how your light and your OMNI can work together to create an interesting image.
I hope these tips are helpful! This expansion pack allows for so much creative freedom - the possibilities are really endless. So don't be afraid to experiment and try new things!
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Tiffany Kelly is a photographer living near Atlanta, GA, with her husband and two daughters. In addition to photographing families and children, her specialty is fine art macro photography. She is inspired by the tiny and beautiful details in nature and finds macro photography meditative. Enjoys teaches macro photography classes online at Click Photo School and in person.