Below are some photographic tips and techniques, to help you achieve better macro images.
#1 Portable Diffuser
If you are out photographing fungi, for example, and the sun is shining bright, I strongly recommend using a portable hand-held diffuser. This is placed between the subject and the sun (therefore blocking out the harsh effect of the bright sun on your subject) and creates a nicer, more evenly-lit image.
When photographing subjects such as trumpet- shaped flowers (e.g. fuchsia, most roses, hibiscus etc), a hand-held reflector can be used to remove any shadows inside the flower. By holding the reflector in a way that reflects natural light onto the shaded part, it creates lovely, even lighting.
#3 How Do I Focus Closer?
I have been asked countless times by photographers “How Do I Get Closer Focus On Tiny Subjects”? The answer is quite simple – buy yourself a set of Extension Tubes. These tubes fit in between the camera and lens of an SLR and allow you to focus much closer than your minimum focus distance usually is. There is no glass in extension tubes, so you won’t lose any image quality. You will, however, lose light so a tripod or flash unit is needed in order to avoid blurry images.
#4 Using A Macro Clamp
A macro clamp is a device designed to hold moving plants still, especially outside on a windy day. One end of the clamp is attached to your tripod leg and the other to the stem of a moving plant, holding it still. I have had one for many years and highly recommend this product!
#5 Using The Aperture To Change Depth of Field
If you are planning to photograph a plant with a stamen that’s quite colourful, you might want the stamen to stand out. You can do this by using a shallow depth of field (such as f4 or f5.6). Alternatively, you might light to capture more of the flower, so using an aperture of f16 or f22 is recommended.
#6 Automatic or Manual Focus?
I personally prefer using manual focus for my macro subjects, unless its a moving subject such as a bee buzzing over a flower, where auto focus is much easier to use. When using a tripod, I suggest using manual focus, in conjunction with the camera’s Live View set`ting. This makes it so much easier to focus more accurately.
If you have a passion for wildlife, nature or travel photography and would love to go on a small-number, professional photography adventure, please get in touch with Michael Snedic at WildNature Photo Expeditions. You can call him on 0408 941 965 or fill in this Contact Form and he will get back to you ASAP.