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Cannabis photography is an art. Early on, we understand the power and importance of that art, as it allowed us to share our various cultivars throughout the grow process. We didn’t have to convince you the intention and organic’s behind our cultivation, instead you could see it for yourself.
Giving you that ability to share in each plant’s horticultural journey was essential to how we defined our success. It’s why we’ve taken special care in working with the top cannabis macro photographers in the world, including Erik Christiansen, Kale Worden, Martin Henderson, and Curtis Taylor.
Green Bodhi met Curtis at our former dispensary, Calyxes, where he began his cannabis photography career doing budshots. In 2016, joined the team full-time and began documenting the grow process from seedling/clone to a fully grown ready-to-harvest plant. Over the years, Curtis became lauded within the cannabis community for his macro photography skills. Able to capture intricate and inimitable views of the trichome-laden plant, Curtis can literally help you see the plant in a way you never have before.
In this blog post, we wanted to share the equipment Curtis uses to achieve those images, in case you wanted to photograph cannabis in all its dimensional beauty, too.
Nikon D750: The most important part of any photographer’s setup is the camera body itself. Curtis prefers the very popular full frame Nikon D750. This 2014 Nikon launch is an FX format camera with a 24.3 megapixel sensor. Other features include an iso range of 100 – 12,800, a 3.2 inch tilting LCD screen, two SD card slots, and built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. At $1,299, this Nikon body offers wonderful quality without breaking the bank. Ease of use and image quality provided by the 24.3 megapixel sensor rank highly as to why Curtis love this camera body.
Venus Laowa 25mm 2.5 – 5x zoom macro lens: To capture the plant in all its grand complexity, Curtis utilizes a very specialized lens called the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5 – 5x ultra macro lens made by Venus Optics. This lens, released in 2018, is one of the first ultra macro lenses available for the Nikon F mount. The Laowa 25mm features a manual adjusted aperture range of f/2.8 – f/16, a fully manual focus, and a low dispersion element, which greatly reduces chromatic aberrations. Due to the narrow depth of field with this lens, Curtis recommends a stacking rail and a solid tripod that will help reduce vibrations during the stacking process.
Cognisys Stack Shot: As we mentioned, a good stacking rail is crucial in crafting macro photography due to the lens’ inherently narrow depth of field. That’s why Curtis relies on the Cognisys Stackshot, a programmable device that enables users to input the required number of steps or photos needed to create a fully in-focus image. This device is especially important given that the Laowa 25mm ultra macro has a manual fixed focus. Curtis’ images can contain anywhere from 40 – 300 images within one single stacked image. He combines the individual images using a stacking software called Zerene Stacker. The final product results in a sharp, fully focused macro photo.
You should know—the world of macro photography encompasses an expansive field with countless options for gear and setups. While our list of recommended products doesn’t include everything you’ll eventually need, think of it as primer to getting started. Please share with us your macro photography on Instagram @greenbodhi or contact us directly.