Macro photography allows you to capture images with minute detail. In this type of photography, every pattern and texture stands out and captures your attention immediately. While great macro pictures can be stunning to look at, they require some practice and skill. Below are some tips that photographers can use to help them achieve great macro photographs.
Owning some decent equipment will help you to capture great macro images. Here are a few suggestions:
- A macro lens that has a focal length of anywhere between 50mm to 200mm. The longer the focal length, the further away you can be from
- A sturdy, good-quality tripod to keep your camera and lens steady. Carbon fibre tripods are often sturdy but not as heavy as metal ones
- A remote or cable release to minimise camera movement. Camera shake can cause movement that can cause blurry images.
- A macro clamp, if you intend to shoot pictures of flowers and leaves. It will keep the subject steady and can be clamped on your tripod leg.
- A macro flash or LED ring light, to help you add light when hand-holding and shooting an narrow apertures (i.e. f16 or f22)
#2 Learn How to Focus
How you focus can alter the picture completely and highlight different elements of the subject. If you focus properly, you’ll be able to capture exquisite details and textures in your photograph. I try and use manual focus for all of my macro shots, especially when using a tripod. Manual focus can take a bit of practise but well worth the effort.
When hand-holding your camera, auto focus is recommended, especially for moving subjects.
#3 Depth of Field
This is one of the most important aspects of macro photography. You need to decide which parts of the subject you want to highlight and focus on. This would allow you to choose what you want to blur and what you want to bring into focus. For example, if you want to take a picture of bees hovering around a flower, you need to decide whether you want to focus on the bee or the flower.
By manipulating the depth of field, you can focus on the bee and make the flower, or any other background, relatively indistinct. The background will still be there and you’ll still see the entire picture, but the focus would be on the texture, colouring, and movement of the bee.
#4 The Importance of Aperture
Depending on what aperture you use, you can completely change the look of your macro photo. Smaller aperture settings will give you more depth of field while larger settings will give you smaller depth of field.
You can control aperture by choosing the Aperture Priority mode on your camera. The device will still adjust for exposure automatically in this mode. If you want control over exposure, use exposure compensation when using Aperture Priority. Alternatively, use manual mode for full control of your aperture and exposure.
Try to take multiple pictures from different angles during your photography session. Often it’s the angle you don’t expect that turns out to be the best composition.
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