Macro photography is ultra close-up photography, typically of living things such as insects, where the size of the object in the photo is considerably larger than life-size.
There are many different macro photography techniques, and some are used more frequently than others.
For example, many digital photographers prefer the flash lighting technique (which is basically a flash on the camera to illuminate your subject); however, with the macro version, you must use flash with the macro lens too.
This means that the flash has to be of a higher power to produce the light required for the macro shot.
Macro photography is a fascinating art that can become addictive as a photographer.
There are great subjects everywhere, there is no limit to the artistic possibilities, and everyone who owns a digital camera already has the equipment required to get started. Read this article for more macro photography tips.
Get your focus right
The most important part of macro photography is to get the focus right, – this is where many amateur photographers hit and miss.
Focus is simply about being center-weighted on the subject and maintain accuracy, or you can use the focal points tool in your camera to point at the important part of the image, then just ignore everything else.
Of course, for a rookie macro photographer, this isn’t always possible, but most people can achieve this with practice. If you can’t do it with your camera, then try taking a photo with a smartphone of a pet in a good background; you’ll get better results.
Focus on the depth of the field
The second most important part of macro photography is focusing on the depth of field because the less the depth of field the better.
If you’re focused on insects or a smaller subject, then you have plenty of room to take the photo without underexposure.
The key is to make sure that you’re focusing at the right points: for example, to take a picture of an anthill, make sure you’re focusing between the ant’s back legs, or the front legs, whichever is closer to the middle ground.
You don’t want to pick a subject that is too far away, because that will make the image look underexposed and flat for a macro shot. The depth of field should be just deep enough to be clearly seen in the photo.
Typically, the rule of thumb is that the narrower aperture you use, the better the depth of field. However, if you’re trying to create a shallow depth of field using apertures, then you must open the aperture as wider as the camera allows.
Remember, the closer you can get your lens to the subject without having to increase the aperture, the better the photo. In most cases, the larger your aperture, the less depth of field you will have.
Keep your camera stable while shooting
Utilize a tripod with a remote shutter release, or set your shots so that your camera is as stable as possible since it is vital to take a perfect shot.
The blurring consequences of the smallest movements are exaggerated in high magnification and incredibly close selection, so maintaining your camera as stable as possible is essential to getting the very best shots.
If you are not using a remote shutter release, try shooting the out-breath for your least jiggle.
Utilize a slower shutter speed
Learning how to take pictures with a slower shutter speed is one of the most important macro photography tips you can follow.
As a photographer, you need to make sure that everything is under control at all times – especially with your photography.
If you want to get the best out of your photographs, you have to make sure that all the factors that affect lighting are taken into consideration.
For example, taking pictures of moving objects requires you to be able to focus properly and have the timing right.
You also need to make sure that all the other settings such as flash settings, white balance, and aperture are all in accordance with what you are trying to achieve in your photographs.
When taking macro photography, you must also use a slower shutter speed. This will help to avoid blurring or having pictures with an irregular subject.
When looking through the viewfinder, you should always aim for a central mass of the subject, but make sure you also cover the whole frame because you’ll never know when you’ll have good natural light to take the perfect picture.
Your camera will tell you the distance from the center and the width of the frame, so keep those numbers handy.
Get better results by fine-tuning your compositions
Do not rely on post-processing to make your best image — produce the best shot from your camera. If you are focusing on a specimen within the subject, move the field around until the pattern fills the whole frame, without the openings.
If you are shooting a small item, place it so that there is even space around it on either side.
Play around with your point of attention; occasionally the most subtle change will give your image a whole different appearance and make a totally different effect.
Experiment with various angles around your subject
Generally speaking, starting shooting at an angle that places the face of your lens parallel to your subject’s most important information is a good idea; this will maximize the focus area of your subject and make it easier to get sharp details of more of your subject.
But bear in mind that minor changes in macro photography have important consequences, so even slightly changing the angle you’re shooting from will give you a completely different shot.
Make use of the flash. A lot.
Since macro photography needs smaller light-restricting apertures, flash can be vital, especially when shooting outdoors without additional lighting.
Usually, any flash can work, but by using a diffuser, the light will be given a less intense, more natural look. You can use commercial flash diffusers, but you can simply use any transparent white material you can put between your flash and the subject.
Choose the right lens
There are all different kinds of macro lenses. Most commonly, there are long and short, but there are also longer and shorter ones as well.
The longer ones are typically for shots that require the camera to remain still longer than the shorter ones, while the shorter ones are better for quickly changing subjects.
A good tip to use is to get a camera with a larger viewfinder. The viewfinder on these lenses should be able to cover more than just the focal length.
Because these are taken up close to the object, they should have a minimum focus distance of at least one foot, which is about one-eighth of an inch. Anything shorter than that is simply too small.
The focus should allow for the entire area of the camera sensor to be covered by the lens.
You will want to look for one of the SLR versions of these lenses. These are digital single-lens reflexes, which means that they operate electronically.
This is a great feature because it will allow you to control the amount of light that goes into the lens, which will affect the image and depth of field.
Some SLRs have mechanical guides that are used to help with focusing, which is important for macro shots. This is an important feature to check for when looking for a lens.
Add extension tubes to make a standard zoom focus closer
Extension tubes for macro photography are perfect tools for you if you want to do this kind of photography. You can ask for advice from experts or people who have already mastered the art of macro photography.
With their help, you can be sure that you will get the best results with your lenses. They can show you all the types of lenses that are suitable for macro photography. So, make sure to ask for their help so you will be able to do macro photography with ease.
One thing that you should know about these extension tubes for macro photography is that the thicker the tube is, the wider the angle of view will be when you use it.
You may use a wide-angle lens if you would like to get an extreme kind of effect. It will be very interesting to take pictures of flowers because of their beautiful colors.
However, doing so with a normal lens will ruin your photographs because it will be difficult for you to concentrate on the flowers. When you use a longer lens, you will also notice that your field of vision will be much larger.
Use a dioptre with the lens for closure focus
Using Dioptre for Macro Photography is a fun way to add special effects. Many digital cameras have the option to adjust the size of photos by using a slider bar on the top LCD screen.
I use this feature quite often because it gives me great control over how big or small the shot should be. I can adjust the slider bar in proportion to the subject I want to photograph.
A good photographer knows how to use the sliders and controls on their camera so I don’t have much of a learning curve when it comes to taking great macro photographs.
When using macro photography, it’s easy to grab a subject for a tighter image. However, it’s important not to do this. Clarity and distance work hand in macro photography.
You want to be able to get as much detail as possible without introducing additional blur. If you have to close down the depth of field, it might be best to just reduce the size of the main subject.