When it comes to up-close photography, there are some key points that will help in your search for that perfect image. However, before we go any further, please remember that having the right equipment is paramount to great photography. It’s all very well having the steadiest hand or the most imaginative mind but if you don’t have the tools to support that, well…you’ll not give your ideas justice.
So, whether you’re using a DSLR camera or a compact camera, make sure you have a macro lens (or have the camera on the macro setting). A tripod will always be your best friend and if you can get hold of an external flash, all the better. A reflector will also help make that image top-notch too.
Before you start, make sure you’ve got the camera raring to go in macro mode. On a digital camera, you’ll find that the symbol is a small flower. This mode allows you to get up-close and personal with the subject, blurs the background a little and keeps the feature of the picture sharp and in focus.
Now. Live View. It’s a pretty awesome addition to digital cameras and allows you to get yourself into some really awkward positions to capture the moment from an unusual angle. The reason? The large screen allows you to see the image you’ll be taking – so whether you’re hanging upside-down from a tree or are squashed into a small gap, that screen is a perfect representation of what the composition of the image is and can even give you an indication of how sharp it’ll be.
The manual modes on a DSLR will give you a great deal of creative freedom and offers some amazing ratios, with regards to the image produced. Always be sure to look at the numbers – a 1:1 ratio will give you a life-sized image whereas other lenses offering 1:2 offer you half life-size images.
Of course, all that’s very well but if you have a shaky hand, you have a problem. Investing in a tripod will be one of the best purchases you can make. A tripod will also allow you to fiddle with the settings of the camera without losing the perfect composition that you’ve just arranged.
Something else to help reduce shakiness is a cable release – and actually, even using a high-shutter speed will help to eliminate blurriness.
And finally, shadows. Shadows are macro-photographer’s worst nightmare come true. Be sure to have a flash and use it wisely. If you’re using a DSLR and an external flash, you’ll be able to take images from as many different places as you like. Be sure to note that if you’re using a built-in flash, shoot at around mid-day when the sun is at its highest.
Macro photography is fun, creative and totally boundless. There’s no end to the photographs that you can produce – where will you start with yours…?
Featured image in this post: http://photofolio.co.uk/photo/ants-at-work/