Macro Photography for Beginners

Due to the advancement of technology, people are now able to shoot macro images without actually needing any special equipment.

Back in the good old days, seemingly an eternity ago, you would need special equipment to get the type of photographs you do with macro photography now.

With macro photography, you’re able to capture great detail of things that you otherwise may not have.

Things like smaller objects or bugs can be seen with great clarity thanks to macro photography.

It’s something that allows you to see the smaller world on a much bigger scale. Possibly things that the naked eye wouldn’t be able to see.

Macro Photography for Beginners

Taking macro pictures isn’t as easy as getting super close to something and taking a picture.

There’s a lot more to it than just that.

You can’t just simply take a 16-35mm lens, get close to a subject and assume you’re going to get a good macro photo.

Because of that, people that have never done it before may struggle with it slightly.

Capturing something that you wouldn’t be able to see with the naked eye is always an experience that’s great for anybody.

It opens your eyes to things you may not have known were there before.

We sometimes see things and don’t take the time to actually look at it. There’s a difference between seeing something and actually looking at it.

When you look at something, you’re taking the time to observe and soak in as much detail as possible.

This is what macro photography allows you to do with little strain.

What is Macro Photography?

It’s a little hard to be a macro photographer if you aren’t sure what it is.

Simply put, macro photography is close-up photography of small objects. This is why you’re able to capture great details of things that you otherwise wouldn’t really be able to see much detail on.

Although macro photography typically refers to smaller objects, it doesn’t always mean that you have to take pictures of small objects.

You could very easily take a macro photo of something like a shirt to capture even more details of it. As long as you’re magnifying your subject, you’ll be fine with it.

There are other technical definitions of macro photography that give more details about the exact nature of what macro photography is.

However, there are plenty of photographers out there that will call something a macro photograph if it’s a close-up of the subject or something seems magnified.

Taking Macro Photos

When it comes to macro photos, there are solid guidelines that you can follow to allow yourself the best chance at capturing the best possible photo.

There isn’t a rule book that you should follow to get a great picture every single time. However, there are some tips that you can follow that will put you on the right path towards a great macro photo.

With photography, everything is going to be pretty fluid. This is why it’s not an exact science.

There are tons of different methods that you can follow to get the picture you want. That’s how most art forms are anyway.

Photography is an art form and it’s something that can’t be restricted by rules.

Macro Tips for Beginners

As mentioned earlier, you aren’t going to be able to just pick up your camera, get super close to a subject, take a picture and assume it’s going to be a good macro photo.

Unfortunately photography doesn’t work like that.

However, you can be on the right path to a great photo if you follow some tips. This doesn’t mean that you have to follow the tips, it’s just something that can lead you on the right path so you aren’t stuck struggling for long periods of time.

Depth of Field is Important

Having different depths of field all depends on the aperture you’re using.

Your aperture can be different for all kinds of photography.

When it comes to macro photography, your depth of field depends on you. Some people will recommend having a higher aperture and others will recommend a smaller aperture.

It all depends on what you want to get out of your photo.

Setting your camera to a larger aperture will create a smaller depth of field, which means that you will have a better bokeh. Bokeh is essentially the blur that’s created in your photograph.

Your subject will be in focus but the background will be blurred.

Setting your camera to a smaller aperture will create a larger depth of field. This means that more things in the picture will be in focus.

So, the aperture setting you want depends on the type of photo you’re looking to have. However, more of the better macro pictures that you see tend to have a higher aperture so more of the focus is on the subject and the bacground is more blurred than anything.

Longer Focal Length for Living Things

Lenses that have a longer focal length will help you when it comes to shooting living things.

This is because you are able to zoom into your subject without having to actually get closer to the subject.

Shooting living creatures can be difficult, especially in the wild because things in the wild tend to not like when humans get close to them. They are more than likely going to move.

When they move, this only makes it more difficult to get the kind of photo that you want.

So, lenses with a longer focal length are going to allow you to get the photos you want without having to interfere with the living creatures environment.

Use Assistive Accessories

Sometimes we don’t have the luxury of having a lens that has a longer focal length. Lenses aren’t cheap.

There are things that you’re able to actually attach to your camera and lens that will help with your macro photography.

There are things, similar to magnifying glasses that can be attached to your lens that will help you get a better macro photograph.

You can also get lens adapters that can allow you to better aperture control.

Customize Background

When you’re shooting an inanimate object, you should look to manipulate the background.

You’re more than likely able to control the inanimate object so you should try to put it in front of a custom background.

You can use a backdrop that will allow you to really control what colors you’re placing in your photo.

Why would you not take full advantage of making everything the way you want it if you can?

You might as well do what you can to help you achieve the best possible shot that you can.

It seems like a no brainer to manipulate the background when you can. This way you will actually get the shot you want and you won’t have to be spending more time in post processing to get a picture you think looks decent.

Plan Point of Focus

Before you even set up your shot, it’s best to make sure you know exactly what your focus point should be. What do you want to be in focus when you take the picture?

What’s the subject of your photo?

This is what should be in focus.

You could very easily go into a picture trying to wing it and then end up not having a good focal point because you aren’t exactly sure what it should be.

This just means that you’re going to waste more of your own time trying to figure out the shot.

When you plan a little bit ahead, you’re going to have a much easier time getting the photo you want.

Whether it be small subjects or a larger subject, you should always plan out what your focal point will be.

Good Lighting

Good lighting is everything when it comes to macro photography.

When you are taking a picture that isn’t on the macro scale, you can get away with a little bit worse lighting. However, when it comes to macro photography, your lighting needs to be a major focus.

Lighting should always be a focus, but in macro photography, poor lighting will completely ruin your photo.

Using the proper lighting is going to make your life so much easier.

It’s recommended that with macro photography, when possible, use a ring light. This is going to allow the subject to be properly lit so you don’t have to mess around with your camera settings as much as you would without the light.

You could also use the Aputure LS C120d because you can control how powerful the light is.

Use a Macro Lens

A lot of cameras come with a macro mode that will allow you to take macro shots a lot easier.

However, having a macro lens is going to make your life a ton easier.

There are macro lenses out there for any camera body.

They are dedicated to being used for only macro photography. This means that if you’re trying to use them for anything else, you probably won’t get very good results.

Macro lenses have high magnification so as soon as you put it on your camera, you’re going to be able to see why its only purpose is macro photography.

Be Patient

Being patient is something that you really need to do with macro photography.

For example, when you’re shooting live subjects, things may not be going your way. The subject may constantly be moving so it’s harder to get the shot you want, even if you aren’t doing anything to mess with the subject.

Having patience is something that you can use for any type of photography you do.

You need to understand that photography isn’t something that is easy and everyday is going to be a day where you have the same luck.

Every day you use your camera is going to be a new adventure.

Macro Photography

Macro photography is something that can be beautiful.

Having this skill set will only make you a better photographer. You never know when you’re going to want a close-up of something that you’re walking past.

Expanding your skills to something like macro photography isn’t an easy task but keep in mind the tips above and you will be on the right path to becoming a great photographer.