Macro photography is often misunderstood by photography beginners. It is easy to get confused with the name macro because it has nothing to do with how close you are to the subject. When people hear about macro photography, they think that you need expensive equipment and filters. But when you learn what macro photography is, you will see that they are wrong. Let’s know how to do macro photography.
Macro photography is about taking pictures of small things that are normally not visible to the human eye. When people take pictures of small objects, they usually use macro lenses or close-up filters. But you don’t need them for great results because there are many other options. Here are some steps how to do macro photography:
1) Use a camera that allows you to change the lens.
2) The best focusing distance for macro photography is approximately 1:10 ratio of the object’s size. With a 50mm macro lens, this means 5cm from the subject, with 100mm – 10cm, and with a 200mm – 20cm. For small objects, you will need to be even closer.
3) Use a tripod because macro shots are usually very detailed and heavy for the camera’s processor. Which means blurry photos if you don’t have a good tripod.
4) In most cases, the aperture is not that important – unless you want to take focus stacking photos – so just use your camera’s aperture priority mode or manual mode to control the aperture.
5) Use a small diaphragm aperture to get more depth of field. But not too small because you will get less light in the camera’s sensor.
6) You can start with ISO 50-100 or even lower if you have enough light. It is better to use low ISO when possible because it gives you less noise in your photos.
7) When it comes to the shutter speed, you need to use at least 1/100 of a second or more because if you use higher speeds. You will get blurry photos. If there is not enough light and your camera’s aperture priority mode is limited. Then you can use ISO priority mode on the same settings and increase the shutter speed.
8) When doing macro photography, most people use mirror lockup or a cable. Release to prevent camera shake, which is great when you’re using longer focal lengths.
9) A useful tip is to use an external flash for macro photos. Because they give you the power to shoot further away and get fewer shadows.
10) If you want to get even more interesting macro shots, then focus stacking is a technique you should learn how to do because it gives you the ability to take pictures with great depth of field. Which means sharpness from close objects’ infinity. This technique also allows you to shoot up to 3-4 stops at higher ISO speeds.
11) It is also important to use the right lens for macro photography. Because it can significantly change the quality of your photos. Standard lenses are usually the best choice because they have small barrel distortion. And low vignetting, while wide-angle lenses should be avoided for this type of photography.
You can do macro photography with your smartphone camera and get surprisingly good results. Some smartphones have more general modes, which allow you to achieve great macro shots by simply zooming in. You can take pictures of small plants or bugs on flowers, or you can shoot cool close-up portraits.
Doing macro photography is not that difficult when you focus on the right things like using a tripod, small-diaphragm aperture, and low ISO. Macro photos help us see our surroundings in more detail and teach us about the beauty of tiny things we don’t usually notice.
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