Enjoy Macro Photography

Macro Photography is fun way to shoot photos and can be done in your own backyard. Wikipedia defines Macro Photography as extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects, in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size. What I like about macro photography is that the simplest subject can take on a certain prominence when amplified. You will often be pleasantly surprised by the myriad of interesting details found in objects shot at close proximity. Whether it’s a fruit blossom, a bee, or a rose petal, there are a plethora of interesting subjects to photograph up close.

Bee on Eyeball Flower 400
Photo by J. Libertini

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind with macro photography:

  • 1. Switch to Manual Focus
When you are in autofocus mode you may notice your camera attempting to focus backwards and forwards to focus. To obtain a more precise and quicker focus, I recommend switching to manual mode.

  • 2. Light
You will want to shoot in the early morning or late afternoon to capture the best natural light. Often in the morning, a drop of dew will be on a flower, which can add to the image. Additionally, an off-camera fill-in-flash can ad to an image.

  • 3. Keep it Steady
Camera shake is especially noticeable in macro photography. I recommend using a tripod and a remote release to fire the shutter button so you don’t touch the camera. Also it is helpful to use quicker shutter speeds and make sure your image stabilization is on.

  • 4. Depth of Field
Use apertures to control the depth of field. Select a small aperture like f/16 or even f/22.

  • 5. Composition
Make it interesting by experimenting shooting at different angels. Also, have the subject fill 75% of the area. And don’t forget to be mindful of the background. Remove anything that can be distracting.

  • 6. Patience
From experience, I find it is best to wait and be patient for curious insects to settle in a place rather than chasing them around. Insects are curious by nature and they will often come to you if you are in the right setting.