Macro photography can be both awesome and frustrating.
Being able to take images close up, opens up a whole new interesting world of imaging, but if you are new to taking macro photography it can be frustrating.
So, the intent with the blog is to make your adventure in to this new tiny world less frustrating by giving you insight to understanding how to your adjust the setting on your camera for macro photography and what accessories will not only make your close up images sharper and but make the process easier.
When I first started doing macro photography, I was frustrated because I could not get the depth of field or area of focus that I wanted to get. Depth of field is the distance between the closest and farthest points in the photo that appear sharp.
What I did not realize is that the closer you get or the greater the magnification, the less depth of field you will have. Working at an aperture of F8 was not giving me he DOF
If you want to maximize the focus distance, stop the lens down to f/16 or smaller.
Because DOF when working with macro is measured in millimeters, it is so very important that when you focus you make sure that you have your focus point where you want critical focus. Many photographers find that putting the camera in manual focus is easier and using your body to move forward and back to achieve focus. Even the smallest movement can make your subject out of focus so using a macro focusing rail like the Promaster MR1 will make this easier and more precise.
When using available light, to get the aperture you want your shutter speed may drop to low, causing camera shake to ruin your image. It is important to have a sturdy tripod like the .
The other benefit to a tripod like this is that the column can either go sideways and be used like a simple focus and it can be adjusted to get the camera in low and unique angles.
If you are working outside in the wind and your subject is moving you need more light to get a faster shutter speed to freeze the movement. Working with a Macro ring light, like the Sigma EM-140 or even an affordable LED light like the Promaster LED80VT, can give you the extra light that you need.
Another handy tool is the Promaster 12" reflector disc-$14.95. These small disc can either be used to bounce light onto your subject or you can get the disc as a diffuser to lower the contrast when the sun is too bright.
Finally, what lens should you use??? While the affordable option is to use closeup filters, for the sharpest image use a dedicated macro lens. Even though a lens is called macro lens or as Nikon calls it Micro, you can still use it for regular photography, in fact a 90mm macro lens makes a great portrait lens.
So what focal length lens should you get? That will be dependent on what your subject will be. If you plan on photographing bumble bees, snakes or something that you just do not want to get close to, using a longer focal length like a 180mm would be preferable because it gives you a greater working distance. For most
other macro photography my go to lens is around 90mm to 105mm. Most manufacturers have a lens that is perfect for macro photography. If you stop by our store, bring your camera and we can get you set up with the perfect lens.
Another tip, think outside of the box, when photographing close up, everything become interesting, rust, bubbles... just get in close and see how the image transforms. The great thing about macro photography is even if the weather is bad outside you still have a world of photo opportunities indoor.
Also, play with different backgrounds. Your background can make your image pop.
Macro equipment list:
1. Cable release
3. Focusing rail
4. Macro lens
5. Lighting: LED or ringflash
6. Promaster 12" photo reflector or diffuser disc. PR3815,
Options: Extension tubes, closeup filters
I challenge you to stop what you are doing, look around you. Look really close and see how interesting the everyday items can be. Then challenge us by sharing those images on our Helix Camera Facebook page.
Here is my quick attempt at macro at my desk. I am sure you all can guess what this is.
If you found this article helpful, let us know and better yet, if you know of someone that would enjoy it, please share.
Now get shooting!