What Is Macro Photography?
Macro photography is one of the most enjoyable types of photography around. Macro is so much more than close up photography. It defines a subject, brings life and depth to our photography composition. Importantly, macro gives us an opportunity to enjoy what’s in the world from a new perspective.
What is a macro photograph? Macro photography is defined as photograph that is large, comprehensive and all-encompassing. You can see many examples of macro photographs in photo books and online, in many places, including my photography website. (Just click on this link to learn more: Amy’s photography website.) Macro photography can include anything that has been expanded, and enlarged.
After writing extensively about macro photography in my ebooks, I decided to introduce it on this website. So now, let’s look at some ways you can create incredibly inspiring macro photographs. Let’s examine these powerful macro photography tips in detail.
Macro photography offers us a closer view of a subject with immense detail and definition. You will often see this in macro photos of birds and animals. The detail in the feathers seems to come to life, the streaks on their beak leap out at us and we are instantly drawn in to the features and characteristics of the bird. Not only are birds and animals fantastic subjects for macro photography, but so are many somewhat “uninteresting” subjects too. You can turn an ordinary household devices and objects into the surface of an alien planet, or a smooth and weird landscape of abstract dimensions. Many items such as knives and forks, pencils and pens, textures such as butter and cream, even fruit can be used as interesting macro photography subjects. With macro photography you are never, ever limited by any aspect of your imagination and creativity.
Macro Photography Lighting Tips
A very handy macro photography tip I can give you right now is to understand that you will always be working with less light. The closer you move in to a subject, the less light you have. As you move in, you limit the amount of light coming from other sources in the photo that would otherwise provide light for you.
You have not as much light on a tinier area than you do a bigger area. As macro photography enthusiasts we begin to look for ways to increase the light fall onto the area we are shooting. Often, by adjusting our F stop, we can increase the amount of light coming into the camera sensor. Keep in mind that when you do indeed open up your aperture (decrease the f stop number), you will change the look of your depth of field and sharpness of your image. You may want to bring in an extra light source if you notice that the lighting is not adequate.
Your photography composition is a very important aspect to macro. In this macro photography tutorial I’ll explain a little about why can’t rely on the “big close up” just being good on it’s own and why you need to apply your rule of thirds over your macro photos.
Composition is one of the key elements on your macro photography. As you are partaking in a style of photography with a large scale effect you will find yourself examining your texture, tone, shape and light on your macro subject. In order to have your details defined and sharp, it’s important to use a tripod, keep that camera rock steady and use a shutter release cable if necessary.
In order to get the detail, you’ll begin your search for a sharp macro photography lens. If you don’t want to spare the expense, I recommend trying a few basics at home first, to get into the feel of macro photography. You can put the camera on “flower” setting and shot through a magnifying glass to give you the close up effect. Keep in mind that the edges will distort somewhat, but it’s great fun to practice your macro shooting.
Try shooting some flowers first. Photograph portions of the flower that seem the most interesting. You’ll quickly discover that none of the slenderness and feminine softness of the flower is maintained, no softness is lost. The center of the flower looks like a carefully constructed, lumpy mountain range. The petals, with their soft lines, begin to look like delicate pathways to a greater land. The symmetry you can capture makes you realise everything in our world is carefully put together by forces we don’t understand. This deepens our appreciation for macro photography, and, the beautiful world around us.