guest post: a how to guide to macro tea photography with brandon of wrong fu cha

Brandon’s website, Wrong Fu Cha, is just amazing, especially for someone like me who has a serious love for photography, and tea.  Not only are his photos of tea rooms, and tea tastings just beautiful (& have me lusting after some new teaware!) but there is just so much information tea there too.

I’ll be sharing some more of his fantastic tea photography over the coming weeks, but in the meantime he kindly offered up this guest post, a bit of insight on how to get the best macro, super-close-up photos of your tea, teaware and settings.

Thanks also, to the guys at Chan Teas for pointing me in the direction of Wrong Fu Cha. Brandon’s website and involvement is  indeed one of the many reasons why I also think that the tea community rocks.  You can find Brandon on Twitter as @wrongfucha.


guest post: macro tea photography with brandon hale.

No, I haven’t become a Key­ne­sian — we’re talk­ing about pho­tog­ra­phy here.

If QE2 has you feel­ing really rich this hol­i­day sea­son, you can skip this post and buy one of these.

My min­i­mum focal length is big­ger than yours.

But if you are using an SLR cam­era with a prime lens, you may be as frus­trated as I am with the min­i­mum focal length. This means that the lens can­not focus on an object that is too close (I believe with my 50mm f/1.4 prime it is about 9 inches.)

This makes it impos­si­ble to fill the frame with smaller objects like, say, your really cool tea stuff.

There are two solu­tions to this (besides max­ing out your credit card on a uni-tasker macro lens) that I have been avoid­ing for a long time.

The first is exten­sion tubes. I don’t want to talk about them. I think they may be the guys behind puppy mills. If you really want one, make sure that they can con­trol the aper­ture of your Canon lens (this can only be done electronically.)


The sec­ond are close up fil­ters. These are the sex­ier cousin of the mag­ni­fy­ing glass — like Daphne to your Velma.

By mag­ni­fy­ing your sub­ject, you can fill the frame and get great detail on small objects with­out mov­ing the lens too close. Just like a real macro lens, your focus range will become much smaller.

With higher mag­ni­fi­ca­tion, you will have to work for awhile to find the tiny ‘sweet spot’ where you can achieve clear focus. I avoided these because it sounds cheesy and I didn’t think $10 fil­ters could com­pare to a 1,000USD L series lens.

It turns out, they work pretty well for the money. If your lens just isn’t keep­ing up with today’s macro-economic scene, give close-up fil­ters a try.

All of these shots are taken with a very large soft­box ($30 on Ama­zon, plus the 150 Watt clip on light I stuck inside), and a tripod.

3 Responses to “guest post: a how to guide to macro tea photography with brandon of wrong fu cha”
  1. Austin Yoder says:

    This is a great post, and shares some awesome information. I’ve become more and more interested in photography over the past several months, but still don’t know a lot of the more technical information, or info about gear. Thanks for the intro to the close-up filters, Brandon! Will be picking some of those up real soon.

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  1. […] These beautiful tea photos are from Brandon’s website, Wrong Fu Cha.  You can also read Brandon’s guest post, a How To Guide to Macro Tea Photography here. […]

  2. […] guest post: a how to guide to macro tea photography with brandon of wrong fu cha […]

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