10 Macro Photography Tips Revealed – Dragonfly
I was so happy to catch this little guy a couple of years ago. I noticed this little dragonfly and watched it for awhile as it flew around, but never landed anywhere. I was about to loose interest when suddenly it landed on the antenna of my car. I usually shoot on manual, and today was no exception. Before I approached the dragonfly I made some approximate settings and then I carefully crept up upon the shot, getting just as close as I dared. I fine tuned my settings as quickly as I could, and barely daring to breath I put my lens right up to the dragonfly and clicked this one photo before it flew away. If you look closely, you can see that he was laughing at me all along.
Previously I discussed how to create a macro photo by taking long exposure of a snowflake , and then demonstrated how to process the image in gimp. In this article I will discuss various techniques that should be used when you are attempting to capture all of the detail that you want. I do not pretend to be an expert at macro photography, however I find the practice to be very interesting and fun to try out.
Technically, a macro requires a macro lens of at least 1+, which is a life size image. Anything else is actually a closeup. While this is technically true, don’t put off trying out this photography just because you don’t have all of the equipment. Try to take close up or macro shots with whatever equipment you have available. After all, you have to take pictures to learn the techniques.
This tip is true for all photographs, but especially so for macro photography. Look for a different angle, or a new focus point. You might be surprised at the impressive results. Try to adjust the lighting and exposure times for different highlights and greater color saturation.
Choose a simple background.
The interesting item is the object that you are concentrating on so, don’t let the background become distracting. Typically with macro photography you will be taking your pictures with at least an f16 stop on the camera, so the distant background will be out of focus. You do want to make sure that the overall look will complement your picture. If not, change your angle, or you can even put a piece of colored paper in the picture to disguise the background. Just put it far enough back so that it complements the photo and doesn’t distract the viewer.
Tripods are usually a must.
Typically you have to use a tripod when you are working with macro photography because even the slightest hand movement can cause blur that you don’t want. This isn’t always true, I got lucky with the dragonfly shot above, which was a spontaneous handheld shot. If you don’t have a tripod available, look for any kind of impromptu tripods that are around you. This can include a chair, a garbage can, a car, a tree, fallen log, or anything that is in your current environment. The goal is to find something stable and use it.
Simplify your picture.
Focus on one detail, one insect, one flower petal, one interesting rock. That is your photograph, and everything else is just detail. Feel free to break the rule of thirds, and fill your photograph with your subject. Remember that it is the subject that is interesting you, and what your viewer will find to be most interesting.
Action always makes your picture more interesting. A drop of water splashing into a cup is more interesting then a static drop. A bee, hovering at a flower is more interesting then one that is just sitting there. I don’t mean that you should never take a picture that is static. Quite contrary, a static picture can be interesting in its own right, however action always lends an extra element of interest.
Learn how to use the manual setting on your camera. This includes both the manual shutter and aperture, as well as how to manually focus the lens. Using the viewfinder for this is generally faster then using the view screen. Doing this will allow you to quickly make adjustments, especially when you are trying to photograph action.
Patience is a must.
When you are trying to take a macro picture of an insect you have to have patience since the bug isn’t going to do what you want it to.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get dirty. You just might have to crawl on the ground or up a tree in order to find your subject. Just go out and dig in until you find what you are looking for. When the opportunity presents itself you may only have a few seconds to go for it.
Get Out There
So what are you waiting for? Grab your camera, pack a snack and hit the outdoors, looking for the unique and unusual. Turn over some leaves and check under the rocks, you never know what you will find next.
Thanks ~ Mike.