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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
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.