Macro photography is all about the close-up shots of very small subjects, which has grown to become a fascinating form of photography that, recently, many artists are leaning towards.
You don’t have to think big when it comes to macro photography, but rather shoot small – anything from insects to coin ridges can be your focus. Ideas for macro photography can be anything as far as the eye can see – or even not see.
If you’re a beginner with a growing passion for macro photography, here’s everything you need to know to perfect your technique.
1. Use a good macro photography lens
Most modern cameras offer a macro mode but they don’t go so far as to give you 1:1 magnification. So if you’re planning on shooting quality macro photography, you’re going to have to invest in a good macro lens for your camera.
However, if you’d like to dabble in the art without breaking open the bank, you can just use extension tubes to get started.
2. Choose the right subject
As with regular photography, even in macro photography, a photograph is only as good as the subject it captures. As a beginner, you can experiment with any small object, but take the time to learn to understand what looks good and what doesn’t.
As you grow in skill and experience, you’ll have to find subjects that put up more of a challenge but yet deliver aesthetically when shot. Even if your subject isn’t distinguishable in macro photography if it looks good to your audience that will still be an artistic win.
3. Understand your depth of field
The most challenging part of macro photography for beginners is balancing the sharpness and the depth of field. Using smaller apertures will increase your depth of field to ensure your subject is in focus – but it will affect the sharpness of your image.
The best solution to this is to take lots of shots and figure out what combination of aperture and depth of field produces the best output.
4. Experiment with backgrounds
Shooting an inanimate subject gives you control over the background so feel free to experiment with it. You’d be astounded by the variety of images you can get by switching backgrounds.
Just make sure that the background doesn’t clash with the subject you’re trying to capture.
5. Adjust your lighting
Since macro photography involves small apertures, beginners can use a ring flash to create a good light setting for their subject. Ring flashes offer lighting that isn’t as flat as pop-up flashes; in this way, your photograph will have a more natural look.
6. Try different angles
It’s common to start shooting in an angle that puts your lens parallel to the features of the subject you want to focus on. But the smallest of change in angles can have a huge effect on the final image. So don’t be afraid to try new angles; the final output can exceed your expectations.
7. Keep it clean
When it comes to macro photography, the camera sees everything. Everything from small specks of dust to partial fingerprints will be captured in the photograph. So unless you’re going for a hot mess effect, you might want to keep your shoot area neat and tidy.
Macro photography is quite an absorbing branch of photography that can turn into an obsession almost immediately. It offers an endless range of subjects, everywhere around you. So if you’re going to make the investment into a macro lens or two, start with getting the basics right and progress from there.
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