AmSnaps - Digital Photography Basics For Amateur Snappers

Three Macro Photography Tips And Tricks To Allow You To See A New World Up Close And Personal

You need some good macro photography tips when you want to explore the world in greater detail.

Once you start picking up a bit of photography skill, it isn't long before you have that nagging desire to look at things up close and personal.

You want to see what that fly across the room looks like up close. You want to see your baby's big blue eye in great detail. That flower is very beautiful from afar, but you know it will be simply stunning if you focus in tight on the fuzzy yellow center.

So, what equipment do you need to get these up-close shots? What techniques work best? The following macro photography tips are designed to help you get a clue as a beginning macro photography student.

Invest in a 1:1 Quality Lens

Many photographers are using lenses with a magnification ratio of 1:4, which is adequate to get a life-like view of your subject in a 6x4 printed photo. This may be a good starting point if you already have a 1:4 lens, but to truly see the beauty of macro photography you should invest in a lens with a magnification ratio of at least 1:2 or 1:1.

A lens with a magnification ratio of 1:2 will give you prints that are half the size of your actual subject. A 1:1 lens is best as it will give you even better life-sized images of your subject.

The closer you can get to 1:1 the more lifelike your images will be and the more rewarding your macro photographs will be.

You need a very still subject to get great macro photography shots

Most of the subjects that you really want to see up close will be moving objects. This may be a beautiful flower that blows lightly in the breeze or a fly chasing around your living room.

These things may intrigue you, but in order to get great macro photography shots you need somehow contain them and get them as still as possible. The sway of a flower in the breeze is beautiful, but in still photography all it will give you is a blur or off-focus photo.

There are ways to make most natural things hold still just long enough to get off a good shot, but you may have to be creative. You will also need a fast flash, since most subjects aren't going to wait long to move again.

If you are going to shoot fly-sized subjects you will also need to invest in a lens-mounted flash or perhaps a ring flash. If you can mount your camera on a tripod so it doesn't move either, you can get the perfect macro photo.

Don't boost the ISO setting

This is one of the best macro photography tips for beginners because it reflects a mistake most beginners make until they learn better.

There may be some concern over the low light level involved with close-up shots of this nature, but you don't want to turn up the ISO setting on the camera. It makes sense in a way to do this, but it will just add noise to the photo which makes it less clear.

You actually want the lowest possible ISO setting for the best shot.

These macro photography tips should give you some clue as to how macro photography works, but there is much more to be learned! The best thing you can do for yourself is to get the right lens and a flash and start practicing.

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David Coote
Wedding Photographer
Northern Ireland