A Beginner's Guide to Macro Photography

8/04/2020 10:12 am

Macro photography involves capturing a close-up, larger-than-life-size picture of a subject in order to emphasise details which we may otherwise overlook. The subjects of Macro photography are often very small, such as insects, leaves or flowers.

 

If you have ever seen a photo of an insect where you can see all of the segments of its eye and the hairs on its legs - you have witnessed Macro photography in action!


What good is Macro photography?

 

Believe it or not, macro photography is used for a variety of media, from nature documentaries to advertising. It is even found in abstract artwork, such as is found on an office wall - the kind you that you stare and squint at, trying to make out to no avail.

Macro Photography tips

How do I get started?

Macro Photography tips

 

First things first, Macro photography is not as simple as pointing your camera at a small object and hoping for the best, but with a bit of know-how you can start giving it a go today. 


Firstly, what sort of camera do you have? Most compact cameras and even smartphones will have a macro setting, which is often indicated by a picture of a flower -  you can use this setting to capture your first macro shots. The amount of detail really depends on the quality of your camera – you shouldn’t necessarily expect fabulous results from a basic point and shoot camera, but this is a great place to start.

 

DSLR and Mirrorless camera users will also notice an automatic macro setting, however, you will get much better results with a dedicated macro lens, such as the Nikon 40mm or the Canon 60mm.

Unlike standard lenses, macro lenses are designed to focus at close distances, and in most cases they provide a life-size representation of smaller objects, this is referred to as ‘magnification ratio’. The focal length of macro lenses differ, but many find a longer lens of around 100mm is great for getting close-up shots of subjects you don’t wish to disturb such as insects. 

Macro Photography tips

Tips for the best macro photography

Macro Photography tips
  • When composing your image, pay attention to your background. If it is too cluttered or eye-catching, it will take your viewer’s attention away from your subject.
  • Shooting with a shallow depth of field will emphasise the focal point of your image with greater power. For best results, go for a Macro lens with a fast maximum aperture. ie. f2.8 or faster.
  • If possible, always set your camera up on a tripod for macro photography. Not only will it help you reduce camera shake, but when shooting with shallow depths of field where less of the image is in focus, even the slightest movement can shift your focal point.
  • Consider bypassing the speedy autofocus of your digital camera, and opting for manual focus instead. The AF function does its best to find a focal point, but only you truly know what area of the image you want in focus - so why not take matters into your own hands?

Choosing the right gear for Macro photography

Macro photography is a photographic skill that requires an equal mix of practise, patience, and the right camera gear. It is also something that you can work on from the comfort of your own home or backyard.

If you need help choosing the right gear for Macro photography, check out our online store, or contact your local Ted’s today.


2 Comments

A round of applause for your blog article.Really thank you! Will read on...
Comment by Scottie Mcconnell - 12/07/2015 9:12 pm
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Comment by curt nardecchia - 24/09/2015 8:30 am
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