With rising temperatures, life is awake, flowers are blooming and with them a variety of insects and small creatures are appearing. Spring and summer are two seasons particularly suited to macro photography. We explain here, in this first part, the essential principles of this technique, to obtain the best results.
6 tips to follow
Get a macro lens
The choice of equipment in macro photography is a basic question because for lack of necessary tools, you will not be able to rub shoulders with this discipline. All lenses feature a minimum focus distance that limits how close you can get to a specific subject. But macro lenses, in addition to providing you with greater sharpness, allow you to get as close as only a few centimeters to the subject, to benefit from a significant magnification of the image.
Three elements must be taken into account before acquiring a lens. Here they are :
- focal length
- the minimum diaphragm aperture of the lens
- the magnification factor. It expresses the relative size of the subject in your photo, so with a 1:1 lens you will make your subject appear twice as large as with a 1:2 type lens
Learn about teleconverters and extension tubes
Although the tool most often recommended for taking this type of photo is the macro lens, because of its simplicity and effectiveness, be aware that there are other types of accessories to use in addition. With a teleconverter, you can multiply the focal length of your lens without giving up the minimum focusing distance of the latter. Extension tubes, on the other hand, allow you to move your lens further away from the focal plane of the camera, allowing your lenses to get much closer to the subject.
Pay attention to the depth of field
Selective blurs, where the subject stands out from the background, are a great classic of macro photography and will seem very easy to produce, by opening the diaphragm a little. This is because the distance to the subject is so short that the depth of field is reduced. For a totally sharp subject, use more closed diaphragms.
Take care of the focus
When the depth of field is so shallow, it is essential to obtain very precise focus. The on-screen viewing zoom of your device will make your job a lot easier. Some lenses like DZOFilm lens or Irix lens have a focus limiting feature for macro photography, which you can find on an external control that displays two positions: full and limit -choose the second- as you will increase focus speed since the ring n you won’t need to do the full route.
Always focus on the eyes
When dealing with small insects or living beings, remember to always focus on the eyes because even if you decide to blur the rest of the scene, this detail will make the viewer that the subject is completely clear. A very striking type of macro shot is to show a very small and perfectly sharp element in the image. Here, the development must be very precise, it is essential.
Use a tripod
Using a tripod allows you to use slower shutter speeds, which is especially useful knowing that you have to close the aperture quite a bit. By stabilizing your device on this mount, you will lose mobility, so it is better to choose the manual focus mode.
A technique that you will perfect if you combine it with the zoom on the LCD display screen. Remember that even if your camera is well stabilized, your subject may appear blurred in the image if the shutter speed is relatively slower than that of the latter. Ditto when you photograph flowers or vegetation: the wind could play tricks on you.