As well as adding a beautiful splash of colour when taking grand, wide open landscape photographs, the Tasmanian fagus is a wonderful subject for macro photography. After a couple of days walking through the clouds and snow and hail beyond Marions Lookout, I spent my last morning at Dove Lake on the slopes of Mt Campbell with the macro lens. The first thing I always look for is those leaves that have switched completely to red. The orange and yellow is by far the most common and often it is just a few leaves at the end of some of the branches that go red. At first I couldn’t see much red at all, but upon closer inspection I was able to spot a few tiny branchlets in their fiery autumn finery.
Most of these shots were taken with an extremely shallow depth of field (ie between f2.8 to f5.6) meaning only a small part of the image is sharp and the background is a blurry haze of colour. Macro photography can be quite challenging in the great outdoors, as the slightest breeze can set your subject moving and ruin the shot. Ensuring a fast shutter speed by selecting a wide open aperture (and increasing the ISO if necessary) is essential to avoid your subject blurring through movement. Sheltering your subject from the breeze with your body or an umbrella is another good idea. In this case I used the umbrella not only for a wind block, but also to shade the fagus leaves from the harsh contrast caused by direct sunlight.
I run “Autumn in Tasmania” photography tours every April, and year round I run photography tours to Tasmania’s most beautiful locations. Contact me for more information or to book, and learn lots of tips like the ones described above!