TIPS TO GET STARTED IN MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY

Are you patient, curious, enthusiastic, a lover of nature and the little great things he gives us? Then you will love macro photography. If you have not yet succumbed to its charms, I hope that after this article you will end up at your feet

WHAT IS MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY?

Basically it is the ability to obtain large images of small elements, be they animals or objects. It is said that for a photograph to be considered macro, the size relationship between the photographed and the image projected from it on the sensor must correspond in a 1 to 1 ratio; that is, they must be the same size in reality as in the sensor.

WHAT MATERIAL DO I NEED?

There are numerous options to get a macro picture and, like almost everything in photography, you can spend very little or spend a lot. That will always depend on your budget and what you are interested in macro photography, since there are so many systems to get it as prices. Let's see some:

MACRO TARGET

It is the most recommended system since it is the simplest in addition to the one that provides better results in general. They are specific for macro photography, and have different focal distances: short (30mm to 50mm), long (60mm to 105mm) or macro telephoto (150mm to 200mm). Normally, the greater the focus, the farther you can be located to photograph your subject (the same as with a non-macro lens), which is very useful. The negative part is that the greater the focus, the more price.

INVERTER RINGS

A more economical solution than the macro objectives is based on turning the objective (surely you have already tried it once ) which allows an approach similar to the one you get with a macro objective. The rings link the front of your lens with the body of your camera. The negative part is that you will lose control of the camera (focus, diaphragm, etc.) and the positive is that you can get very good macro images for very little money. In this case, unless focal; more increase

APPROACH LENSES

They are a cheap option to start in macro photography. They are placed as a filter on the lens of your camera, and serve to increase the image (like a magnifying glass). The negative part is that they are usually of poor quality, creating aberrations and distortions in the image. The positive part is that they will allow you to check if what you feel towards macro photography is something temporary (so it is not worth spending anything else) or is really your thing. In that case, do not hesitate, start saving for a good macro objective .

EXTENSION TUBES

Extension tubes are another very economical system to achieve macro images. They curl directly between the camera body and the lens, and its function is to increase the focus of our lens, allowing us to get closer. There are two types: some maintain connection with the camera and the others do not, so they force you to work entirely in manual (focus, exposure, etc.). Obviously, the former are more expensive than the latter.
A good tripod is a good ally in macro photography

TRIPOD

Unless you want to limit the taking of your macrophotographs to the controlled environments of about four walls, the ideal would be a tripod that meets the following characteristics:
  • Robust and heavy: Yes, terrible when you've become fond of outdoor macro photography, but very necessary, since the robustness of a tripod makes it less vulnerable to imperceptible movements of wind or other factors
  • With removable center column: It will allow you to take pictures at ground level.
  • Legs that allow varying the angle individually : It will be very useful to go outside, since almost never the land that you are going to find are perfectly flat. On the contrary, most of the time you will move between rocks or weeds, so this “detail” will be very useful.
  • Zipper kneecap: Allows you to adjust the position in a millimeter way (which in macro can make the difference between photo and non-photo).
You don't have any of the above? Well, you will not have it as easy as the lucky one who possesses that ideal tripod but surely you will overcome any adversity with a little more effort.

REMOTE SWITCH

Macro photography is as delicate as those flower petals or those ants that you like to portray so much. The slightest movement or vibration can spoil your image, so it is almost essential that you get a remote trigger. Not everything is to squeeze the shutter, you have many other ways to shoot a photo and much less harmful to your image

SPRAY CAN

Yes, do not put that face of surprise, do you know how beautiful a few drops of dew can be on a sheet in macro version? And, what is the easiest way to find dew in the place you want to take a spray can with water to create beautiful drops of water wherever you prefer?
The importance of focus and sharpness in macro photography

CAMERA SETTINGS

The most important thing in macro photography is to get a good approach from our protagonist. It is also the most difficult, because a small millimeter error that in any other photographic discipline would go unnoticed, in this case it would mean the loss of full focus of our center of interest.

LIVE VIEW

Many cameras have this option. It is widely used in landscape and macro photography, since it keeps the mirror open to avoid the movement that is caused during the taking of an image when the mirror is raised. In addition, it allows us to check the focus through the “live and live” screen to be able to correct it very precisely. The approach will be done manually in the area we want to highlight.

EXPOSITION

As in any image, the exhibition is important and the choice of one type or another, will be closely linked to the result you want to obtain. It does not hurt to get a reflector if you plan to go for a walk looking for wonderful macro images. The vast majority of times you will not be able (or should not) move to your center of interest, so a reflector will help you eliminate shadows or redirect the light.

MANUAL MODE

Macro photography is almost predestined to work manually. So you can choose the speed and the diaphragm that interests you in each image.

ISO

Since you have a great tripod to prevent your camera from moving in the slightest, it is ideal that you work at low ISO to keep the quality of your image to the maximum. However, it is not only your camera that can move, you will have wind outside or simply your protagonist will move on his own foot. Be sure to shoot at a sufficient speed to prevent your image from moving out. If you do not have enough light, it is best to "sacrifice" some image quality and upload the ISO before your image is moved.

WHAT TO PHOTOGRAPH AND HOW?

BACKGROUND

You can resign yourself to what you have, you can do pirouettes and change the point of view to get what you want, or just help you with some color card . Although they are shallow depth of field images, the background is still as important as in any image, and you should watch it with the same attention.

COMPOSITION

Since the focus on macro photography is so accurate, the images are usually based on a single center of interest, which often highlights a single area of it, since it is often difficult to keep the whole subject in focus. Imagine if you wanted to include a friend in the scene Almost impossible. That is why the images are simple (within their complexity) competitively speaking. There are few distracting elements, so the importance of the composition takes on, if possible, greater importance. The "norms" are the same as those we use in any image, but in this case the ones that I think you should consider the most are:
  • Rule of thirds
  • Golden Ratio
  • Negative space
  • Law of the gaze

THEMATIC

Everything, absolutely everything, is likely to end up being one of your wonderful and incredible macro photographs, although it is true, that there are some subjects that lend themselves more and better to be photographed in this photographic style:
  • Flora
  • Fauna (small, it is understood )
  • Recognizable everyday objects (coins, screws, shoelaces ...)
  • Water drops (dew)
Drops are a recurring theme in macro photography

DO YOU RECOGNIZE ME

In my view, the wonderful thing about macro photography is to be able to see what we cannot do with the naked eye. It is unveiling the mystery of small things, it is taking something small and giving it a giant scale, it is taking the unnoticed and making it important. And precisely because of this, I believe that one of the qualities that a macro image should have is that it is recognized what is in it.
Recognizable and magical at the same time

PRACTICE AT HOME

Do not limit yourself to the wonderful excursions to the meadows to look for bugs and flowers. Macro photography requires (like all) practice and at home you have many candidate reasons to be a great image. You can also take your shots quietly, without wind, without shadows, with nothing that interferes between you and your wonderful photo. The more you practice, the easier it will be for you to go outside and do better results .

COMPACT CAMERAS

Finally, just tell you no, that compact cameras DO NOT offer a "real" macro even if they have the macro symbol (flower) between their different settings. They do not allow you to take macro images but they do allow you to imagine how and how infinitely fantastic the "authentic" macro world is I usually think and say that photographers (whether amateur or professional) have the ability to see what others do not see. The ability to find stories, to create them, to capture them. This is even more true if it fits in macro photography. This type of photography allows us to raise objects and animals, situations, textures, hairy legs and large dark eyes, buzzing elements and drops that enclose a world to the height of our eyes. It allows us to capture a world as alive as unknown, a world that would not exist if it were not for those wonderful images worthy of Alice in WonderlandSo, do you dare? You have already seen that there are many ways to start in photography and not all (much less) are expensive, so I encourage you to try it because I can assure you that you will go crazy. Or crazy. And you know, if you liked it and you think that someone else may be useful, please share it on Facebook Google+ and Twitter. Thank you!

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