What Is Macro Photography ?
Macro photography involves photographing very small objects with absolute focus. Macro photography can give new and amazing perspectives on the objects that we see in our day -to-day life. Macro photography comes in very handy when capturing insects, flowers and other wonders of nature. It also serves as a very useful technique in the field of forensics in order to document blood stains, bruises, attack wounds, etc. Things to keep in mind while taking macro photographs:
Shallow depth of field:
Macro mode normally involves very high magnifications. Usually images with such high magnifications will have a shallow depth of field. So one should take at most care in determining where the depth of field should fall in his picture. So before going for the shot one must determine which part of the frame should have the sharpest focus. This cannot be achieved by auto focus, as which part of the frame should have the sharpest focus. This cannot be achieved by auto focus, as sometimes the evaluation might go wrong. So it is very important to handle macro shots with manual focus to get a very good focus on the picture. This is a key factor to achieve mind blowing macro shots.
Use a dedicated macro lens:
Even though compact and some point and shoot cameras come with a “macro mode” in them, it is always advisable to use a dedicated macro lens for shooting macro shots. A standard macro lens is always optimized to provide its best performance at a magnification of 1 :1. There are higher end macro lenses like the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.88 which is capable of achieving magnifications of up to 5:1. Some widely used macro lenses are:
1. 50-60mm lens that is used for product photography and small objects.
2. 90-1 05mm lens that is used for photographing insects, flowers etc.
3. 150-200mm lens that is used for insects and other such smaller animals
In some cases, extension tubes or a tele converters can also be used to convert a standard lens into a decently performing macro lens.
Lighting:Lighting is one of the most important factors one should consider in macro photography . Since the camera gets real close to the object while taking macro shots, it’s possible that the light on the object might get cut off. So, if the object is facing the light and if y ou’re placing the camera in front of it, then the resulting shadow will result in low light. This can be rectified by using ring flashes.
Use tripods and Remote switch for stable shots:Even in the case of macro shots, the use of a tripod and a remote switch or a shutter release device is recommended as it gives you stable shots without any shake.
Optimal Macro Aperture:Since macro photography has a shallow depth of field, it is always advisable to have the aperture values from f/1 1 -f/1 6 which will result in images with good depth of field and resolution. Since compact and point and shoot cameras use a lower stop values from f/3.0-f/8.0 you can’t get sharp images like you do with a DSLR.
Background:In macro photography, the background will usually go out of focus due to the depth of field produced by a macro lens. So it is advisable to choose a background that not only makes complements the color and tone of the foreground object but also makes the object stand out. This article is merely a beginner’s guide on what macro photography is all about and what are some of the things one should keep in mind while going for macro shots. But you can learn more only when you are out in the field clicking. Try out different settings in your camera and find out that one exlusive setting that goes best with macro shots.
So load up your camera and have fun!!!