Macro photography is a technique of taking a picture from a very close distance to get detailed and sharp results. Objects of macro photography are usually small stuff or animals such as ants, caterpillars, butterflies, water droplets, and various other small objects. The highlight of macro photography is texture. For those of you who want to learn more, here some macro photography tutorial and basics you need to know.
1. The lens and camera’s setting
In macro photography, choosing the right camera lens is very important. The focal length of a macro lens ranges from 50mm to 200mm, but you can use 150—200 mm for the best result. However, because the price of a macro lens is quite expensive, there are several alternatives that you can do, such as attaching the extension tube between the lens and the camera body, installing a close-up filter in front of the lens, and reverse the lens.
For camera settings, you also need to set the camera with the RAW format to ease the editing process later. For the aperture, it should be set at F7,1 to F11 with shutter speed setting is between 1/80 sec to 1/160 sec. For ISO setting, it is not recommended to use high ISO because it can cause noise and grain. So, you can set the ISO between 100 and 400.
2. Playing with focus
The use of manual focus is more recommended than autofocus. By using manual focus, you can get more accurate images and more easily adjust the composition of photos. In addition, you also need to pay attention to the shooting angle. Make sure the angle you take is parallel and perpendicular to the object so that the picture will look sharper. Unfortunately, not all cameras will make a sound when they get their focus, so you have to work extra.
To maintain focus, you are also advised to use a tripod. This is to avoid shocks that might occur due to the movement of your hands which can affect image quality. If necessary, also use a wireless trigger to minimize touch on the camera when taking pictures. You can also try playing with distance to get focus and interesting details around the object. You can also do this to capture a background that can support the quality of your photos.
3. Perfect Timing
The timing of shooting in macro-photography can also affect the results of your images. If you want to take outdoor macro photos, it will be much better if you do it between 6:00 – 9:00 am or 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. This is because the sunlight at these hours is good. You also need to avoid taking pictures when the weather is windy because it can interfere with objects.
Another perfect timing for taking macro pictures is after rain. The rainwater can be interesting objects for you to catch. In this case, water droplets that stick on twigs or objects around you can produce amazing macro photos. You can zoom it in to capture interesting patterns and textures from any objects that you find.
4. Use artificial light if needed
Proper lighting is very important in macro photography. Natural light is indeed the best source of light, but there are times when conditions make us must use the help of artificial light. If the light conditions tend to be dark or if the shooting is done at night, you can use artificial light such as flash/ speedlite/ reflector to improve your photos. The use of artificial light can also help you capture details on objects better. For a better result, you can combine the usage of flash and diffuser. This will reduce the amount of light entering and help you to get smoother photo quality.
The last process of photography is editing. In this process, you can refine and correct the imperfections in your photos. Basic editing on macro photography includes brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness. You can increase or decrease it as needed, but try not too far so that the photo does not lose its authenticity. It would be much better if you maintain the original color of the photo. If there’s any part of the background that is not required, you can also do a clone-stamp to clean it up.
Those are some basic macro photography that you need to know. Nowadays, macro photography is one of the most popular types of photography because with this technique one can create amazing work from an object that looks ordinary. Although it looks simple, it really takes patience and thoroughness in creating a macro photo. Even so, you don’t need to be afraid to start trying. Frequently, exchange your ideas with other photographers to get input and suggestions from them. You can continue to experiment and explore your ability to sharpen the instincts and quality of your photos. Persistence and consistency is the key to get the best results.