Macro and Cheese!

1 Jan

Macro is one of the various modes on your typical pocket camera.  The symbol usually looks like a flower.  However, macro mode is not just for flowers anymore!

If you’re like many travelers, one of the great things about any journey is the opportunity to try delicious foods. While some dishes may linger on your palette for awhile, using your camera is a great way to capture the culinary magic forever. In addition, Holland America Line chefs love to create true feasts for the eyes, as well as the taste buds. Unfortunately, standard automatic mode on most pocket cameras often fails to produce a good result and the photo is usually a bit blurry.

Let’s look at an example of a photo taken in automatic mode:

Automatic Mode

Instead of automatic mode, you will almost always be better off trying the same picture using macro mode:

Macro Mode

Macro mode is most suitable when you are about an arm’s length away from your subject matter. Because you will be capturing detail, experiment with the angle and cropping of your pictures. Remember some of the best shots are creative "slice of life" (pun intended) compositions rather than straight forward shots. Of course, macro mode can be used to take beautiful shots of plants and flowers as well. In fact, consider trying macro mode for detail shots of virtually anything up close. Your pictures will have fantastic visual impact and liven up your slide shows or albums.

As previously mentioned, most cameras designate macro mode with an easy to find tulip flower symbol or check your quick-start guide for other possibilities. Once you are familiar with putting your camera in macro mode, try a few shots of the same subject with and without macro mode and check out the differences. Most cameras automatically turn off the flash in macro mode. However, there are times you may want to try turning it on. For example, if the background on outdoor flora shots is too blurry or distracting, forcing the flash can cause the background to turn black, making your subject matter pop.

The trickiest thing about macro mode (once you’ve mastered turning it on and off) is focus. The camera picks up the least bit of motion which can ruin a great shot. Counteract this by steadying your arms on the surface of the table or perhaps even setting your camera’s timer and using a tripod.

Some cameras also include a color temperature slide bar feature while in macro mode. Try warming up the colors when you take pictures of food. You may even have a specialized food macro mode on your camera, often designated by a knife and fork. Once again, check your manual and don’t be shy about trying different modes out. Remember, it’s a great idea to start becoming more familiar with your camera BEFORE your trip.

For more tips of how to get the best pictures during your next cruise, be sure to attend our Camera Basics session in the  in the Digital Workshop.

John Roberts – ms Rotterdam

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2 Responses to “Macro and Cheese!”

  1. rburton7 January 2, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    Sounds interesting – hope you are staying on the Rotterdam – if so will see you next week … we board the 10th and look forward to the classes on board.

  2. Roz January 5, 2013 at 4:07 am #

    Hi John! Thanks for your post on using the Macro setting. I’d forgotten about trying it and now I’ll be sure to practice before going on our next cruise. Glad to know you’re on the ms Rotterdam. Hope to run into you and attend more of your classes on our next or next HAL cruise. Aloha! Roz

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