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Macro photography tips

 9th Dec 2009

Taking ultra-close photos can be extremely challenging but it’s well worth the effort ­- these macro photography tips should help.

Macro photography is usually associated with specialist macro lenses. If you have one then great, but if you don’t there’s no need to feel left out.

You can also shoot macro with almost any consumer zoom lens (as I do in some of our Photography Videos). In fact they’re often better than a more expensive f1.8 pro lens because they have a closer focussing distance.

I’ll let you into a secret here -­ I don’t own a macro lens and shoot my macro photography with a zoom.

Ring flash units are made for macro and give a lovely even all-round light. But you can use a flash gun to great effect, provided it’s got a diffuser and you use it off the camera.

Check out the following macro photography tips…

  • Shoot at eye level for added interest, it’s worth getting right down among the undergrowth for the best angles.
  • Include something in the shot which gives the viewer a sense of scale -­ just how small are those mushrooms?Macro photography tips
  • Use as small an aperture as possible, at least F8 or more, for maximum depth of field.
  • Small apertures heighten the risk of camera shake which will blur your pictures so always use a tripod or rest your camera on a bean bag.
  • Soften the flash by diffusing it, bouncing it or pointing the flash gun in a different direction ­- otherwise some shots can look artificial.
  • Shade is the best light for outdoor macro photography and a window facing away from the sun is great for shooting indoors -­ particularly on rainy days when you don’t want to get wet!
  • Try reversing your lens with an adaptor to shoot macro (this is known as the “poor man’s macro”).
  • Be patient. If photographing insects, observe their behaviour to ascertain when they’re most likely to settle. It’s also worth remembering that even stationary subjects such as flowers are susceptible to wind movement so be prepared to wait for the perfect shot ­- or do them indoors.

Macro photography tips - golf clubAnd finally, think outside the box. Macro photography tips don’t have to be all about bugs and flowers.

Getting in close opens a whole new world of creative possibility. How about the keypad of your calculator, the studs on a football boot ­- or even a game of golf?

Check out our Free Macro Photography videos

For more free photography tips plus information on digital photography courses or one-to-one training days, contact us now.