Macro photography gives you the opportunity to explore a hidden world right before your eyes. It is beautiful, strange and fascinating to see things close and to capture it with your camera.
A world of opportunity.
I find macro or close-up photography fascinating. It gives me year around opportunities to take great photos. Flowers in Spring. Insects in Summer. Snowflakes in Winter. The possibilities are endless. And once you get started it can be quite addicting to find the next subject. Usually it’s something that I have right in front of me, that looks quite different close-up.
Things to consider.
Macro photography will test your photographic skills, like focus, composition and lighting. If you have questions on composition you can read my blog post about it here: https://anikamcfarland.com/how-to-use-composition-in-art-and-photography-in-10-simple-steps/
In close-up photography the larger you magnify your subject the more apparent are also the flaws. And I don’t mean the flaws of the subject as more flaws of your photograph in the sense of focus, light and composition.
Depth of Field.
The depth of field is very shallow in macro photography. That means that only a small portion of whatever you are taking photos of will be in focus. This portion is critical for the quality of your photograph.
Since the depth of field is so shallow auto focus will quickly move over the subject and will make it hard to get it in focus. The better approach is here to use manual focus.
Due to the fact that you are so close to your photographic object every movement of the camera is also magnified. In order to combat this you can use a tripod or steady your camera on a sturdy subject. Mirror lock-up will prevent the camera’s shutter from shaking the sensor. Also, using a cable release or remote switch can overcome the movement from pressing down the release button.
Natural light works great for outdoor macro photography. The downfall will be the movement of the subject, like flowers or leaves in the wind. Indoors a light box works great.
Digital SLR cameras allow you to set your aperture manually. A good trade between depth of field and resolution is found with an f/11 – f/16.
The best way to find your settings for your macro photography is to experiment. It largely depends on your camera and also the equipment you use to achieve this.
You can get my guide for the equipment for macro photography for beginners here: