Friday, December 28, 2012

Macro Tips

Earlier this week, Kevin Jarrett sent me a message to let me know that he was so inspired by my macro pictures that he bought a macro lens!  Now he's looking for some advice on macro shooting. First of all this was a bit of a wow moment for me, enough so that it inspired me to write a blog post! Shocking, right? Secondly, I thought, tips? What do I know about macro photography? Well, I've been doing macro for about 3 years so I must know something.

So, here are my tips for macro photography:

  1. Experiment-set up a shot and take multiple shots using different apertures. Remember, the smaller the aperture (lager number) the greater your depth of field so more will be in focus.
  2. Understanding the connection between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO will help your shots. This past summer I finally started shooting in manual mode most of the time and that step really helped me understand this whole triangle much more clearly.
  3. Practice on ordinary objects around the house. One of my favorite shots is of a wire whisk from the kitchen. Besides playing with my macro lens I was also experimenting with lights for that shot.
  4. Edit- just so you know I edit my pictures in Photoshop. My snowflake shots are also heavily cropped.
  5. Don't rush to buy more gear to get even closer shots. I bought extension tubes and have played with them a bit but so far haven't found them worth the money. But....I'll keep playing.
  6. Go to Flickr and search macro. Find shots you like and look at the exif data. Find shots that you can try and recreate using the same settings.
  7. Use a tripod when possible.
  8. When using a slow shutter speed be sure to use the timer on your camera so you don't have any camera movement.
  9. Learn from the mistakes. Analyze a shot that is not what you wanted. Try to figure out what you could do to improve it next time.
  10. Be patient and don't give up. It took me 3 years to get a snowflake shot that I really like even though I know I still want to do better.

Well, those tips flowed out much easier than I was expecting. So, what do you think? Will this be helpful? I hope so. Let me know if you have any questions. I'll try to help.

Hey, other macro users out there, what tips do you have? I'd love to hear them. I'm always trying to improve my shot.

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