Beauty can be found all around us, but sometimes it takes an exceptionally observant person to find the grandeur in the tiniest objects and beings. Capturing the intricate details of these subjects, indiscernible to the unaided eye, requires an outstanding camera. Read on to see how the D500 helps one macro photographer capture amazing images from a unique perspective. (Photo and report by Hina Khalid)
Nikon D500/ AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED/ FL: 105mm (equivalent to 157mm in FX/35mm format) / Manual exposure (f/10, 1/250 sec)/ ISO 100/ WB: Manual/ Speedlight used
For this dreamy faraway look in the rain I had to continuously spray my model with water, which caused her to blink her eyes every time. This would have required a little bit of time and patience with most cameras, but the D500 is built to focus and shoot very quickly. Capable of continuous shooting as fast as 10 fps, coupled with a superfast and accurate autofocus system, the D500 made capturing this image a piece of cake.
Nikon D500/ AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED/ FL: 105mm (equivalent to 157mm in FX/35mm format) / Manual exposure (f/8, 1/30 sec)/ ISO 640/ WB: Manual
In this image, I had to figure out just the right recipe of settings to highlight the intricate veins in the leaf skeletons against the calming pastel bokeh tones. The versatile AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens with VR image stabilization and the D500’s 153-point AF system made it possible for me to shoot this hand-held without compromising on the sharpness as I moved closer to the subject to enhance the harsh lines against the soft background.
Nikon D500/ AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED/ FL: 105mm (equivalent to 157mm in FX/35mm format) / Manual exposure (f/20, 1/250 sec)/ ISO 125/ WB: Manual/ Speedlight used
Spiders are my favourite, and the trickiest, subjects of macro photography. Although I love to capture their elaborate patterns, the tiny ones are fast, easily disturbed, and always moving about. This particular spider was perched at the rustic metal door at a very difficult angle so I switched to the D500’s Live View mode, and by using the tilt touchscreen display it was easy to compose the shot at the top angle I wanted, without disturbing the spider. I highlighted the spider by bouncing the external flash off the ceiling.
Nikon D500/ AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED/ FL: 105mm (equivalent to 157mm in FX/35mm format) / Manual exposure (f/16, 1/250 sec)/ ISO 200/ WB: Manual/ Speedlight used
While sipping a glass of ice cold water one morning I noticed that the melting ice cubes created surreal kaleidoscope-like patterns of drops and thin ice. I grabbed my D500 with my trusted AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, set it to continuous high-speed release mode and placed the ice cube against a blue background. I illuminated it with a smartphone torch, and as I pointed my speedlight up at the ceiling, I quickly took a couple of shots as the ice was quickly melting.
The D500 is a powerhouse of features. It has an incredible autofocus system and fast continuous shooting speeds of up to 10 fps, the combination of which enable me to capture the required image in a flash, truly two features that work wonders for a wheelchair-bound photographer like myself, as the strain of shooting at certain angles for an extended period of time causes cramps and slight tremors in my hands. This could make a picture blurry or the subject out of focus, but the D500 response time is excellent! I can take a series of shots and always get to pick the best one. Also, its weather-proof body, polished handling, amazing dynamic range and impressive low light capabilities enable me to produce top-quality images in varying environments.
I always try to present pictures in a way that they tell a story by themselves, a difficult task to achieve because of the extreme close-ups with macro photography. Capturing the intricacy of what is not visible to the naked eye. Depicting beauty beyond what is visible and discernible. Finding the grandeur in the tiniest of objects and beings rather than the gigantic ones.
And so it demands practice and patience. It needs focus and dedication. Sometimes, even when you are doing everything right, the final image is nothing like what you had envisioned. Perhaps it needs a different composition, maybe another angle, or possibly change the distance. You will try and fail. You will try again and fail better. It can be really frustrating. Your neck hurts, your hands are cramped, and you are just about ready to give up—this image is not meant to be. But then you tell yourself “maybe one last try”. And then the magic happens. Another click of the shutter and the image manifests itself exactly how you had imagined, and sometimes, maybe even better.
The D500 is a companion that never misses a mark in fast-paced photography and always delivers top-notch results—the rest is up to the creativity of the photographer. It is an overall professional and outstanding Nikon DSLR, loaded with top-of-the-line qualities, and my instrument of choice. A choice I will never regret making.
An accountant by qualification, a graphic designer and 3D visualizer by training, owner of an online brand, and a disabled rights activist at heart. At the age of twelve Hina was paralyzed waist below becoming wheelchair-bound, and the world was too quick to point out to her how her wings were clipped. She did not to allow this negativity to ripple through her life and learned to fly with her broken wings. Not a stranger to struggles, she seeks to build an inclusive and diverse community that caters to the needs of the disabled and allows them to live a sustainable life independently.