Monday, June 13, 2016



I love to do close-up photography.  If you get close enough you bring a new dimension out to people that they have never seen before.  The pollen on a bees legs, the eyes of a bug, the beauty of a small flower, the wings of a dragonfly.  These are things that we take for granted in our everyday life, because they are usually just too small to see.  Macro or close-up photography is a wonderful art that I hope every photographer really gets into.  I am taking this time to show you how easy it is to get into macro photography, and also a few great pictures from the gallery for you to enjoy that will show you what you can do with macro photography.  So, enjoy, and learn (all in the same breath):

3 of the best tips for macro

Phillipa Grafton

Find out how to get started in macro photography with these three essential tricks
Macro photography can be a hard genre to master, but getting to grips with the basics can provide you with a great starting point. Take a lookat the essentials below and start capturing incredible close-ups today!

3 of the best... tips for macro
1. Use a macro lens A specialist macro lens is a worthwhile investment as it will enable you to shoot your subject up close to capture details.

3 of the best... tips for macro
2. Support your camera A tripod is essential for steadying your camera, to ensure that your shots appear sharp and camera-shake free.

3 of the best... tips for macro3. Stay in focus All macro lenses offer a limited focal point. Use the narrowest aperture to make sure as much of your subject appears sharp as possible.

When it comes to macro photography, a lot has already been said. But a real hands-on approach is absolutely invaluable. Especially when it comes to understanding how to prepare, approach, and shoot macro photos. That’s exactly what Doug McKinlay has to offer to discerning macro photographers:

“It’s extreme close-up photography, usually of small subjects when that subject is greater to or larger than real life.”

There are many different approaches to macro photography. Some of the alternate approaches involve using reversing rings, extension tubes, and close-up filters. The best and the most professional approach is to use a dedicated macro lens. In this case, McKinlay is using a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM macro auto-focusing lens.

Macro photography can be done either hand-held or using a tripod. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Hand-held shooting gives the most flexibility. You can move quickly between shots, and there’s no setting up for each.

On the flip side, if you’re shooting on an overcast day it’s going to impair your depth of field on a lens which is already kind of limited in that respect. Shooting with a tripod doesn’t limit your creativity in this sense, but it kind of limits you in every other aspect. Mobility becomes a bit of a problem.

It may sound counter-productive but wait until you read the rest. Most tripods come with a reversible center column. Reversing the center column allows you to set up your camera closer to your subject as well as get a much better angle. But it’s a bit tricky to actually get it to work.

shooting macro photography
Inverse the central column of your tripod to get a better shooting angle.

DSLR cameras come with a very useful option: live view. This is one of those times when live view is extremely useful. Turn it on and you can check for composition and fine tune focusing. Ensure that your camera is set to manual focusing.

On an overcast day, the light is anything but saturated. To get a bit of color in your photos, you need to add a bit of light. There are two ways of doing this. The first option is to use a flash attached to the camera via a cable or fired by a PocketWizard. The second option is to use a reflector. McKinlay recommends using both so you can get more control over your images.

lighting for your macro photography shots
Add a bit of light for richer colors.

He also recommends using a polarizing filter to deepen the color tones.
Another thing to watch out for is the white balance setting. A lot of photographers prefer to leave their white balance setting on Auto. McKinlay recommends changing it around from time to time for the sake of experimentation.

Focusing stacking in macro photography
Focus stacking is a very clever way to get a larger depth of field.

Thanks to Picture Correct and Rajib Mukherjee for the great article about macro photography.
And the beginning of the blog by Phillipa Grafton was courtesy of Digital Photography magazine.

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