This week we’re taking a break from the big picture and focusing on all the little details around us that go unnoticed. Keep reading to learn more about the tips and tricks you need to capture great Macro images. Explore a whole new realm of photographic possibilities and focus on capturing small subjects!
Choose Your Subject
Macro subjects are everywhere! Whether your photographing indoors or outdoors, there are plenty of Macro subjects all around you. For outdoor macro photography, you can utilize flowers, leaves, water droplets, and insects, just to name a few! Indoor macro subjects can include jewelry, potted plants, cut flowers, food, and so much more! Anything small with different details or textures makes for a great macro subject.
Choose the Right Equipment
While it’s always beneficial to have the right gear for the job, macro photography is one type of photography where the right gear can help you achieve amazing results.
There are lenses specifically designed for macro photography that help you get up close with your subject. These lenses are great for focusing at very close distances while maintaining details, textures, and other visual elements that really elevate your macro photography.
Our Macro photography lens recommendations are…
|Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
|Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Lens
|Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS Lens
|FUJIFILM XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro Lens
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 DG DN Macro Art Lens
Panasonic Lumix S 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM Lens is also a great option for Macro photography though it’s not a true macro lens. This lens, unlike most macro lenses which feature a 1:1 magnification, has a 1:2 magnification. Even still, you can get really close to what you would achieve with a 1:1 macro lens!
If macro lenses aren’t in the budget, don’t stress! You can achieve macro-style photography if your camera has a macro mode or invest in cheaper alternatives such as extension tubes or close-up filters which can turn your normal lenses into macro lenses! The Promaster Macro Extension Tubes help you turn your normal lenses into macro lenses. Get increased magnification by attaching one of these tubes between your lens and your camera!
Depth of Field
Depth of field is very important when it comes to macro photography. Increasing depth of field at such close range ensures that as much of your subject is in focus as possible. You can achieve this by using a narrow aperture or a higher f-stop. This can also be a fun element to experiment with as you test different apertures and find the desired balance between sharpness and background blur.
Ensuring your photos are sharp and focused is an integral part to awesome macro photos. We suggest using manual focus instead of autofocus. Manual focus gives you better control over your images where auto-focus can struggle with close-up subjects.
Focus stacking is also a great approach to get around depth of field limitations. When using focus stacking, take multiple images of the same scene with slightly different focus points. Then load these images into an editing software and combine them into a composite, resulting in one image where the entire scene is in focus.
Pay Attention to Composition
In macro photography, the background can make or break your composition. When finding your scene, make sure that the background complements your subject instead of distracting from it. The rule of thirds and leading lines are also helpful in making your images visually appealing and engaging.
Consider Lighting Conditions
Natural light is the name of the game when it comes to macro photography. Capitalize on early morning or late afternoon lighting for a soft, diffused look. You can also utilize reflectors and diffusers to help soften harsh sunlight or reduce shadows.
The ProMaster - RL100 LED Macro Ring Light is a great tool for making sure your subjects are well-lit. This ring light attaches right to your camera so you can illuminate your subject easily! Also from Promaster, their 12" Silver-Gold Reflector is another great tool. Not only does this help you adjust natural light to achieve the look you want, it’s also compact which is great for small subjects. Additionally, it makes for a great improvised background!
|ProMaster - RL100 LED Macro Ring Light
Stabilize Your Setup
If you are worried about visual shake in your photos consider using a remote shutter release or your camera’s self-timer.
A great tool for keeping your camera steady is a Promaster’s Macro Focusing Rail. This helps you keep your camera steady and focused with an X/Y design that allows you to smoothly move your camera forward and backward or side to side! This tool can really help you focus in and make small positional adjustments without losing details!
If you’re leaning more towards a simple set up, handheld photos are still possible. Make sure to keep your breathing steady and try to take your photo in between breaths.
Explore Different Perspectives
Macro photography is all about seeing the small details all around us up close. Get up close and personal with your subject and surroundings. Experiment with new angles and viewpoints to find the most visually interesting scene. Find what makes common place subjects like jewelry, food, or flowers interesting and capture it in your scene.
Patience is Key
When photographing live subjects, such as insects, you may have to wait for the perfect moment. Be patient and as still as possible. This allows your subject to become accustomed to your presence which can result in natural looking shots.
Experiment with Post-Processing
Macro photography presents a great opportunity for experimentation when post-processing your images. While it’s important to get your images as sharp as possible when you take them, editing softwares can help you enhance the sharpness and details in your image after the fact. Plus, you can also make adjustments to contrast, saturation, and colors to make your photos as vibrant as possible.
Practice Makes Perfect!
Macro photography can be challenging but worthwhile! Take the time to practice and experiment with different skills and techniques and you’ll be on your way to beautiful macro photography in no time!