How to Take Great Macro Photographs

Macro photography is the art of taking extremely detailed close-up photographs. Every photographer should have one or two macro photographs in their portfolio, and if you want to have your images used as book cover illustrations, or in advertisements, or map illustrations, then learning the art of macro photography is essential.


Macro-photography Illustration

Taking good macro photographs requires using a fairly specialized camera. While modern digital cameras have gotten better at taking macro photos over the last few years, keeping the image in focus and achieving a suitable level of contrast can be difficult. Ideally, you should use a lens with a 50-60mm lens, although you can still achieve good shots with a 100mm lens.

Filters for Macro Photography

Macro-photography Illustration by Andrey Osokin

Macro-photography Illustration by Andrey Osokin

If you want to achieve an even greater subject-to-lens ratio, then one way to do this is to use a Dioptre filter. This kind of filter is essentially a single-element lens which screws into the front element thread and acts like a magnifying glass.
A dioptre can turn a compact camera into a serviceable device for taking macro shots.

Choose Your Focus Carefully

Super macro-photographu by Andrey Osokin

Super macro-photographu by Andrey Osokin

When you are taking macro shots, you should choose the point of focus carefully. In fact, you should consider taking multiple shots with different focal points. Even changing the focal point by a few millimetres can make a massive difference to the appearance of the shoot.

Use Ambient Light Carefully

One more great Macro photo by Anrey Osokin

One more great Macro photo by Anrey Osokin

If you are photographing static objects, playing with ambient light can also change how the image looks. It is not a good idea to use a direct flash, because this will create too much glare, or wash out the image. However, a small amount of ambient light, or an off-camera flash, combined with a slight increase in shutter speed, can increase the clarity of the image and make your chosen focal point stand out.

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