Thursday, January 7, 2010

Taking Macro Photographs


I got my start taking macro (close-up) photographs. I am just fascinated by the new world that opens up through a camera's lens. By applying these few facts any photographer can make interesting macro photographs.

1. Know your camera's macro distance.

Believe it or not, I see this one a lot. Someone posts a photograph of a flower or an insect and simply put, they held their camera closer to the object than the recommended lens distance. If your manual says up to 6", then you cannot hold it closer than that because the photograph will be blurry, and blurry is bad in most any photograph. Making great macro photographs is not dependent on owning fancy equipment, as much as it is from doing what your particular camera will allow you to do.

2. The closer the photograph the less depth of field.

Depth of field is the distance within a photograph in which objects are in focus. This means with less depth of field there will be more of a need to pick your focal point. In photographs including animals, insects, or people, the eyes must always be in focus. However, for other subjects, it can be really fun to experiment. Ask yourself what you are trying to achieve. What about that scene do you most want the viewer to see?

Spider Underneath
Spider Underneath

3. Take into consideration the size of the subject and frame accordingly.

The smaller the object generally speaking, the closer in you will need to be. A tiny insect is usually swallowed up given too many surroundings. If you really want to highlight the uniqueness of a small object, be sure it fills the frame.

Book Bug
Book Bug

4. Watch for distracting elements.

I have a friend who jokingly refers to this problem as ESPs - Evil Stick People. There are also Evil Grass People and Evil Leaf People, but I think you get the idea. Pay attention to anything natural or manmade that might take away from the importance of your subject. I have pinched the grass shorter many times to keep it out of the subject's way.

5. Don't forget the rules.

The rules of composition still apply. There seem to be a lot of articles nowadays about "breaking the rules", but I would suggest you learn to follow them first before you allow yourself to break them.

Seeds of Promise
Seeds of Promise, Acorns

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Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.


Carla Gade said...

Great post! I'm still learning a lot about photography and just got a new camera. Thanks for the tips!

scw1217 said...

You're welcome!