Macro Photography Tips
Macro photography is an interesting kind of photography that’s not as technical as it seems. It is probably the most intriguing form of photography as it captures things that can’t be seen easily with the naked human eye. Macro photography is one of the few forms of photograph that cannot be practised extensively on mobile phones. Although there are mobile phone macro lenses that can take decent macro photographs, they are limited compared to macro lenses used on DSLRs.
However, like other forms or niche of photography, anyone with the basic knowledge can get into it as long as you love it and you are ready to improve your skills. So if you think you are up for it, take your time to go through this article and see 7 great tips to help you improve your macro photography
Macro lenses, as they are called have focal lengths range of 50mm to 200mm. You should note that some zoom lenses can achieve up to half life-size magnification. Although most can retain high quality at that level of magnification, it is better, to begin with a macro lens at 1:1. Generally, a 50 – 60mm lens should work effectively. However, if you are shooting subjects like butterflies you will need at least a 100mm lens to compensate for distance between you and your subject.
Choosing appropriate lenses is sufficient to begin shooting macro subjects. However, with some additions, you can amplify the quality of your shots. For starters, you can use an extension to increase the camera’s focus on the subject. Another great addition is a set of close up filters, they are like magnifying glasses. Close-up filters are comparatively inexpensive and great for macro-photography. You can get them in either set of +1, +2 or +4 dioptre magnification.
One more accessory to use is the ‘third hand’. It is a macro photography device that assists you to position subjects where you want them. It has the ability to give you unlimited positions of backgrounds.
There are some camera inputs that you can tune to shoot great pictures of macro-level subjects. Aperture is the most important. Small apertures like f/16 or f/22 are ideal for optimizing the depth of field. You can decide to pass the limits and open up to full aperture like f/2.8 or f/4. Although, you will be sacrificing a lot of image sharpness at this level. One more thing you can do is to blend the flash with ambient light. You can get interesting results by adding a simple blip of flash to static subjects.
Although it is possible to crop things out of pictures using editing software, it is much better to fine-tune the pattern composition as you shoot. Pay close attention to close-up pattern and details; also make sure the frame is entirely filled with them so that there are no gaps at edges. It is also important that you take into account the point of focus when taking shots at a macro level. Every photographer has an idea of how much the results can change with just a small change in the point of focus.
You can make use of your rear LCD facility to minimize the number of corner intrusions in your scene before taking your shot. It helps you eliminate unwanted objects in the scene so that your composition is focused on your subject just as you want it. You should note that constantly reviewing your LCD panel before taking every shot drains your camera battery faster than normal, so carry a spare one along when going out to shoot.
When you start to look for tiny subjects to shoot, don’t look too far. For example, you can shoot raindrops on leaves or objects after a rainfall. You’ll be amazed at how interesting your results will turn out to be. You can get a close-up shot of a raindrop on an object and you’ll notice how the raindrops act as a miniature zoom lens. However, taking frame-filling shots of small but mobile subjects like butterflies can prove difficult. You can try stalking them when it starts to get dark, as they get less active during the night.
Make sure to experiment with different backgrounds. This can make your macro subjects look different. One trick is to print out backgrounds on A3/A4 papers and place them behind your subjects to give them a fun look.
Macro-photography is an interesting kind of photography that can help you explore the lengths of your creativity. Once you get a grasp on the basics, you’ll see that it is just like every other kind of photography. The best way to explore the tiny objects that you can shoot is by getting a good camera and going outside to photograph nature on a macro-level. Leaves, tree barks and insects among many other objects of nature come alive through great macro lenses. There is so much for you to discover in the world of small things, as long as you follow these tips.