Macro photography is a different beast compared to regular photography. There are numerous ways to come up with macro photography ideas; you just need to find the right subject and practice to get it right.
This often involves taking photos of things that we often take for granted. We stop noticing small details, even the details we come across daily. Macro photography asks us to stop and notice something different, something amazing!
Today we’re going to look at some unique macro photography ideas to help you create professional-quality macro photos.
What is Macro Photography?
The word macro comes from the Greek word “ makros ,” meaning “large.” Macro photography generally refers to taking photographs at magnifications greater than life size.
For example, if you take a photo of a person with a camera on a tripod and shoot at 1:1 magnification, then their facial features will be the same size as they would be in real life.
I like to shoot macro photos at 2x or greater magnification so that even small details like eyelashes are visible in my photos.
Macro photography is a great way to explore your environment and learn more about the things around you. It’s also a great way to learn more about photography in general.
How To Take Macro Photos
The key to macro photography is getting close enough to your subject that it fills the frame. This means that you need a lens with a high magnification factor (the ratio of the focal length divided by the image sensor size).
Macro lenses are available in various sizes, from 30mm at 1:1 to 200mm at 1:2 magnification. The higher magnification means you need to get closer to your subject, which can be tricky if it’s small, fast-moving, or hard to find.
Macro photography can be done with any camera, but some cameras are better suited for macro than others. A DSLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses will allow you to change lenses for different subjects. In contrast, compact point-and-shoot cameras often have fixed lenses that cannot be changed but will still have a macro mode.
Utilizing the camera settings for macro photos, such as depth of field, shutter speed, aperture, texture, and color can make even the most ordinary things look fascinating. The more you observe your surroundings, the more macro ideas you’ll come up with.
Tips to Get Started
Use a tripod
A tripod is essential equipment for macro photography, especially with a high magnification lens. The slightest movement can cause your photos to be blurry, so a tripod will help to keep your camera steady.
Use a remote shutter release
A remote shutter release is another handy tool to have for macro photography. This allows you to trigger the shutter without touching the camera, which can help avoid camera shake. This also allows you to be further from your camera and subject.
Use a flash
A flash can be helpful in macro photography, especially if you’re shooting in low light. It can help to brighten your subject and create more contrast. You’ll need to ensure your flash isn’t too harsh to produce an exceptional macro photo. This is where diffusers and external lights come into play.
Use a shallow depth of field
A shallow depth of field can be helpful in macro photography, as it will create a blurred effect (bokeh) and produce a contrasting background while isolating your subject and drawing more attention to its finer details. This can be done using a small aperture (high f-stop number – f/2.8) or getting closer to your subject.