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Tips For Taking Great Macro Photography

Aug 27, 2008
The term macro photography is a situation whereby you get up close and personal with your subject. True macro photography is working on approximately 1:1 ratios or closer. This produces an image that is true to the size or much larger than the subject being photographed. It is easy to get confused with this type of photography in terms of what is considered really macro. Normally macro photography ranges from life size 1:1 up to ten times enlargement 10:1, which is believed to be the exact definition of macro photography.

To take great macro photography, you will need to invest in the appropriate equipment. To just buy a lens and focus on close hoping for a good shot is not the way to do it. You will need to have a good camera, like a Canon or Nikon, and a good macro lens with a good zoom factor. A good camera to use is a Canon 1DS Mark III with a 110mm macro lens

Choosing a subject can be quite tricky. It can sometimes be difficult to get a good depth of field with macro photography, especially if you are shooting a part of an object in an abstract sense.

For example: if you are shooting part of a candlestick that is ornate, it's important to get the lighting right as well as having the vision to begin with. Often this can work out quite well whereby DOF is lacking allowing for high magnification and originality.

However, when shooting insects and such alike, magnification is important. Therefore, DOF is also reduced but makes up an integral part of the image.

Without being too technical, to increase your DOF you will need to set your camera on a higher F number-the F-stop. The highest is F8.0. When increased, the aperture of the lens becomes smaller prohibiting the amount of light that reaches the light sensor. To compensate for lighting, you must either use a flash; extend your shutter times or other sources of light. For still subjects, extended shutter times normally suffice, however, if your subject is on the move you will need to use a flash to prevent the image from blurring.

Using a tripod can also help, especially if you are waiting for you're subject to appear or you are shooting still. This will prevent movement, which can be detrimental when working in macro photography. You will also need a release on your tripod. This will also allow you to move your camera around while securely attached.

Macro photography can be a real art form if executed properly. Subjects/objects are explored that are normally difficult to see with the naked eye and your vision for what makes a good image is heightened. There is an abundance of subjects and objects to choose from, whether it's in your home or garden.

Firstly, you will need to think about what would make the subject/object interesting. Consider the texture, colour and shapes as well as a particular feature that would make a great shot. There are many ways to take a good macro image, and experimenting with angles that encompasses varied lighting can produce outstanding images. You can also build your own mini macro-studio in a simple box that is open at the top and at the front. You can drape it in any colour you like, for example; using black would marry well with objects of colour.

For your lighting you can simply clamp to reading lamps on the side, but make sure you use GE Reveal bulbs, these are not as harsh as normal light bulbs.

Macro photography is all about trial and error. You will bin most of your images until you get the hang of it. However, the results can be greatly rewarding, an art form that will allow you to explore your creative side that will be unique to you and you only.

Happy shooting.
About the Author
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who represents a number of UK businesses. For exclusive Macro Photography as Canvas Wall Art, he recommends Shapes of Virtu.
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