7 Useful Macro Photography Tips
By Amy Wright | Dec 30, 2020
Macro photography refers to taking photographs of smaller subjects, at a very close range. We love this technique as it’s always fascinating to see those smaller details that you may not always notice in your day-to-day life. In terms of subjects — flowers, insects, foliage, and animals are always a great place to start. These types of photos always make for beautiful canvas prints. Here are some fantastic tips we found via Picture Correct.
Switch on macro mode
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many beginners have been frustrated by the salesman’s claims about macro, just because they don’t read the manual. This is usually represented by a small flower on the settings dial, but make sure you know where it is on your individual camera. This setting allows you to bring the camera lens closer to the subject.
Use a tripod
A tripod is essential for any form of close-up or macro photography. It will help limit any form of user induced vibration which will give a sharper image. Camera shake is more noticeable the closer you get to the subject. Getting the best photo should be your priority so a good tripod is key.
It’s not always necessary to use flash but because shadows are a macro photographers enemy, flash is recommended. Try shooting in bright light and using a reflector to fill the shadows. This can be the white back cover of your camera manual or a proper reflector from a camera store. It would be ideal if your camera gave you control of the flash, but if it doesn’t, use a piece of tracing paper and tape it over the flash to diffuse the harsh strobe light.
The ability to focus manually is a big bonus when shooting macro. Because you are working with such limited depth of focus you need to be able to determine what you want in focus. Allowing the camera to choose by autofocusing will interfere with where you want to focus. So set it on manual focus and focus on the part of the subject you want in sharp focus.
Setting your aperture manually is a big advantage as this allows you to control the depth of focus mentioned in point four. The technical term for this is depth of field and it determines how much of your image is in focus in front of the subject. Some cameras won’t allow changing the aperture once the setting has been changed to macro mode. If you can change the aperture you’ll probably use a large aperture in order to blur out the background which is very effective for close-ups.
Don’t forget the rules of good composition like the rule of thirds. Placing your subject and making it the focal point is essential to good macro photos. Often when people shoot close-up, composition goes out the window because they are so focused on the details.
The use of your camera’s self-timer is essential in limiting camera shake and vibration when pressing the shutter button. This is basically a delayed shutter release allowing vibrations to subside before the photo is taken. Check out your manual to see how it works on your particular brand of camera.