Hello Photoion students and photography fans. Today we’ve got a series of tips and tricks for you to make the most of macro photography.

Macro photography is perfect for capturing all the details of a nearby object, but it can sometimes be a challenge to know how to capture the best image. These macro photography tips will help you;

1. Lenses

The focal length of most macro lenses ranges from 50mm up to 200mm. Short focal length lenses are suitable for more general / still life macro work, but as with many things in photography, if you want to get close to moving subjects, you’ll want a longer focal length lens.

A 100mm lens will give you a much greater subject-to-lens distance than a standard 50mm lens, and usually sit in the midpoint on the price range.

If you’re capturing especially small subjects, such as insects, outdoor on the move, then might want to move onto a 150-200mm lens. These lenses are the most expensive, but their extra power is invaluable when trying to capture fast moving subjects such as bees or butterflies.

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Macro Photography Workshop, Butterfly siproeta stelenes

2. Make a Standard Zoom Focus Closer by Adding Extension Tubes

One of the challenges with Macro photography is getting your subject to fill your frame without cropping the image in post production and retain the detail and sharpness when printing the image. One great way to achieve greater magnification (without buying a dedicated macro lens) is to use extension tubes which fit between the rear mount of the lens and the camera body. Extension tubes make the lens focus closer and so produce bigger images of smaller subjects.

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Macro Photography Workshop, Butterfly wings

This is a cheaper alternative to buying dedicated macro lenses, but does have its limitations. The setup can be awkward to build and use, and changing lenses when out shooting can become much slower; something which could mean you miss out on a lot images.

 

Macro Photography Workshop, Butterfly

Macro Photography Workshop, Butterfly – Siproeta Stelenes

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Macro Photography Workshop, Butterfly – Siproeta Stelenes

 

3. Add a Dioptre to Make a Lens Focus Closer

Another cost-saving alternative to some macro lenses is to use a Dioptre. These magnifying glass-like filters can enlarge your image and may provide a good alternative to splashing out on a whole new dedicated macro lens.

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Macro Photography Tips, Bee

4. Use of aperture in macro photography

Aperture and depth of field are crucial things to get right in all photography, but in macro photography, where your camera is typically getting much closer to your subjects, they become even more important.

Experimenting with your aperture can produce unexpected and wonderful results in your macro photography. The aperture and depth of field are very relative matters and they are all dependent on the distance from the subject to the camera and the focal length used. The most important thing to remember is that, the closer you get to a subject the shallower the depth of field, using the same aperture. For example: if you capture a photograph at f/8 from 30 cm distance from the subject, the depth of field will be much wider then capturing the same image from 10 cm distance. But closing your aperture for a greater  depth of field can be a challenge if the ambient light is low, as your shutter speed will become longer in order to compensate the loss of light. In this case you will need to use an external source of light to be able to maintain a fast shutter speed.

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Macro Photography Workshop, Butterfly wings and body

5. Use of flash

Using an external flash for your macro photography can help you to expose at the high speeds necessary to capture moving subjects sharp, and also keep your aperture small enough to allow for a wide depth of field.

As a lot of macro photography involves subjects that cannot easily be captured using a tripod, this tool then becomes even more important!

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you learnt some great tips about macro photography.

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If you wish to learn more about macro photography please feel free to join our macro photography workshop.

Best wishes,

Photoion Team