With the rise of highly capable cameras and lenses, the genre of Macro photography is becoming more and more popular. It lets us capture larger-than-life-size images of smaller things and living beings, bringing them closer to us. But Macro photography is not easy. It takes years to master the skill. However, with the help of some guidelines and tips, you can start your macro photography journey right away. And in this article, we are going to discuss all those tips and tricks of macro photography.
Getting the Right Gears
One of the essential parts of macro shooting is the right kind of lens. And while choosing the lens for macro photography, you have to consider some factors. For example, one of the crucial things when selecting a macro lens is the magnification ratio. So it would help if you bought a lens with a magnification ratio of at least 1 by 1. And if you have the budget, you can also opt for higher-end macro lenses with incredible magnification capabilities, like the Laowa 100mm f-2.8, which offers 2 by 1 magnification.
However, if the price of higher magnification lenses scares you off, there is a workaround. You can use a Diopter with your lens. It is like a filter that you can use on your existing non-macro lenses and still get magnifications like a macro lens.
Now let’s talk about the focal length. Small Insects and animals are best captured when they are not disturbed. So the best approach here is to stay at a distance. So clearly, you need a lens with a longer focal length. A 90mm or longer focal length macro lens is most commonly used by many macro photographers out there.
Another thing to consider when shooting for macro photography is the camera. Though any camera will shoot small things, it is always beneficial if your camera is full-frame to capture more light. Additionally, a camera with high resolution will also be handy when you are working on the post.
You might think macro shooting won’t need any artificial light, as you would be shooting outside most of the time. It is particularly true when you are shooting comparatively larger subjects like a lizard.
But often, you might end up in situations where the amount of light is not sufficient. For example, maybe you want to shoot a plant or an insect, but the nearby trees are blocking the sunlight. Or you might be using fast shutter speed to compensate for shake.
In those situations, you might consider getting artificial light. Now there are many artificial lights for macro photography in the market. One of the most common types is a ring light which attaches to your lens. They are also budget-friendly options. However, they can produce a vast amount of light. So you can utilize a Close-Up speed light in that case.
Another crucial factor when using artificial light is the diffuser. In most cases, artificial lights result in harsh highlights and shadows. Using a diffuser softens the light, giving you a feel of natural light.
Choose Your Subjects
Another vital aspect of macro photography is the selection of subjects. One of the most manageable and most available objects for macro photography is flowers. One of the most commonly used macro photography tricks is to focus on the stem or the flower’s pollen, and the rest remain defocused. Though they have been used for ages, those images just never get old. Another helpful trick is to use water with plants. The reflections you will get from those droplets are priceless. But if you are into insects, timing is the most critical factor. Usually, you will get plenty of insects just before sunrise and right after sunset.
But one thing that many macro photographers do is- kill the insect and bring them into their studio or indoors to get a shoot according to their want. Now there are some issues here. First, they won’t get the same natural shape and liveliness as when the insect was alive and can’t capture its movements. It becomes just a static thing. And secondly, killing insects for no reason will harm our ecosystem.
So you are done capturing your subjects, and it is now time for some post-production. Say you are not happy with the magnification and want to zoom in a tiny bit. If the camera you shot with were a high-res one, a little zoom would not harm your image quality.
Another common thing you might have to do again and again in a post is stitching. Sometimes, the subject you encounter is quite long. So if you capture them in just one go, you might have to go back a few steps. But by doing this, you would lose the magnification. So in those situations, what you can do is to take a bunch of pictures of that object without stepping back. And then, stitching them in post-production will save your day.
Thus that was all about the tips and tricks of shooting macro photography. Nothing can beat macro photography if you love to capture things in vivid detail. Follow all the mentioned tips, and your macro photography will never go wrong. So did you find those tips helpful?