The Macro World

Photographers often try to capture scenes that spark interest and highlight beauty and this translates into what our eye can easily see: people, landscapes, wildlife and buildings. But if you look a little closer you will find detail and beauty in the smallest of things. Macro photography will absolutely change the way you look at the world.


What you will need to unlock the beauty of the macro world:

  • A macro lens in order to get closer and magnify the subject so that you can see the beauty in the detail
  • A sturdy tripod to keep your camera from shaking because you will be working with large apertures and slow shutter speeds
  • A flash to help illuminate your subject
  • Extension tubes if you want to increase your magnification.
  • Lastly, you will need time and patience, as you will have to wait for the perfect moment and work to get the settings just right

Every lens has a minimum focal distance which will determine how close you can get to your subject and still focus. Adding extension tubes will allow you to get closer and still focus thereby further magnifying your subject. Remember that the closer you get, the smaller your depth of field will be so you might have to increase your aperture in order to get a sufficient depth of field to capture your subject adequately. I very seldom use macro under f5.6 and would normally push it over f10 to ensure that I have enough depth of field. Because we are using such high apertures our shutter speed will slow considerably which will, in turn, hamper our ability to hand hold the camera. This is why we need the tripod.



Once you are set up on your tripod and in position for the image, use manual focus as these lenses are made for this type of focus. Often the autofocus struggles and might be millimeters off which could mean the difference between a great photo or one you will delete. Use live view to focus as you can zoom the live view and then adjust manually get your focus perfect. It could also help if you have a trigger release as this will ensure less camera shake and get you the sharpest photograph possible.


Expose your balance

Richard de Gouveia

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