What is Macro Photography?
According to Wikipedia, macro photography is taking photographs of small objects at larger than life-size. I tend to think of macro photography as shooting small objects in sharp focus at a size that fills the frame with the subject. I suppose both are accurate.
How I became interested in Macro Photography
I became interested in macro photography even before I bought my first DSLR camera. Shooting macro with a point and shoot camera is next to impossible. The focus would just search all over the place, trying to find focus on the object of my interest. That’s what drove me to purchase my first DSLR camera. I needed manual focus ability and a lens capable of shooting macro photos.
What do you need to shoot macro photos?
As I said, you need a lens you can do fine focus with. There are two main methods to shot macro photography. The least expensive method is to purchase a set of macro rings for your current lens. I’ve included a link to purchase the rings below.
Macro rings are mounted between your lens and camera to allow your lens to focus closer than its minimum focus distance. The minimum focus distance of a lens is simply the minimum distance from an object the lens can focus. By moving the lens farther from the camera body, you can decrease the minimum focus distance. This does come with a trade-off. You will have to use an external flash or other lighting to get a well-exposed image. Also, you will have to use a tripod, as your focal plane will become razor-thin. A small movement of your camera will throw your subject completely out of focus. If you’d like to watch a video that explains this in greater detail, just click here.
A macro lens, on the other hand, has a shorter minimum focus distance and is designed for macro photography. I found an older model Canon lens that was made for macro photography on eBay for a reasonable price. I used it to shoot this.
This is a macro shot of the center of a sunflower. You can see an ant here along with pollen grains and the detail of the immature seeds. A normal shot of the sunflower looked like this.
As you can see, using the macro lens allowed me to get much closer and still focus to get all the detail of the center of the sunflower.
Below is one more example of a tiny yellow flower I shot while exploring in the woods. This flower was also shot with my Canon macro lens.
Macro photography can be challenging, but the results you get can be so rewarding when you get back to the edit bay and find you have an amazing photo most people will never get. So get yourself a macro lens or a set of macro rings and give macro photography a try.
If you want to learn more and take your photography journey to the next level, you might like the Photography Master Class. This video course will definitely help you on your journey to be a better photographer.
Check out more great photography tips on our Photography Tips & Tricks page.