Macro shots or Learning to Shoot Macro are basically shots of close-up images that mainly involve minute subjects. They should be kept simple and neat paying close attention to depth field and target isolation.
Learning to Shoot Macro Tips and Techniques
Ensure proper lighting
When you are Learning to Shoot Macro, for quality macro photographs, take your shots inadequately lit environments. Shooting directly into the sun at various angles, greatly illuminates your target making it clearer as fine details are captured.
When you are Learning to Shoot Macro or minute objects it’s paramount to be patient if you are to be successful. Small insects can be really annoying as they eat into your patience. Just as you get a clear focus, it flies away leaving you cursing. That’s where patience comes handy since chasing them around would only get you more frustrated. Stay calm and alert like a preying lioness then at the right moment take your long-awaited, detailed and clear macro shots. And there you will have achieved your objective.
When shooting moving macro subjects you have to learn on how to manually focus on your object since automatic focus function will keep refocusing rendering the shooting impossible. It’s only advisable to use autofocus when shooting still subjects as they remain in focus. If you are using natural light you again have to use manual focus and turn the focus ring to the target is sharp at a particular point in its motion. Then take 4-5 bursts of exposure simultaneously, among these shots there must be one that suits your mission.
Use electronic flash to add light
If you need a small aperture along with sufficient depth of field and an extremely fast shutter speed to freeze motion, you have to incorporate electronic flash to add light, as well as natural light(from the sun) is will not serve this purpose. Macro work designed flash units are readily available in the market hence you can purchase some although their prices will leave some dent in your pocket but believe me it’s worth the pitch. The aftermath quality of the close-up image will be worth the trouble
Focus Stacking involves a software used bring together focused areas from a series of images. For example, if you intended to take a clear shot of a housefly, you could separately focus and take a shot of each of the parts making up the insect then bring them together to form a whole. Focus stacking comes handy when a photographer intends to achieve deep depth of field that immensely improves the quality of the image. The only setback with this method is that it takes up a lot of the photographer’s time, however, the image quality is worth all the trouble.
Get close to your target subject by use of a microlens
To get a sharp focus on your target you need to get as close as possible to it and ensure it fits well within the frame. However, this may be rather difficult since the closer you move to the target, the harder it gets to fit it satisfactorily within the frame if you are using the typical lens. A normal lens cannot focus on subjects too close to them (they will produce blurred images). Normal lens only works well when the subject is at least 7 inches away, which also doesn’t work well for macro shot images. Using a special microlens to achieve close focus of about two inches from the target and at the same fit the subject within the frame comfortably. The microlens although expensive is the way to go if you are to achieve that clear and sharp image.
Use the extension tubes
The extension tubes come in handy when taking shots of very minute subjects (especially insects) that are squirrelly or jumpy or easily startled since you cannot get close to them without scaring them away. They come in three extensions of 12mm, 20mm and 36mm. the beautiful thing about the extension tubes is that you can combine a number of them, fit them between the lens and the body of the camera, moving the way the film plane and offering a sharper focus on the subject. This ensures quality macro images although the extension may not allow focus to infinity.
They are some sort of magnifying glasses that are fastened to the lens to aid in bringing images to sharper focus. They are sold in diverse strengths such as +2, +1 and +3. They are also much cheaper than the macro lens and the extension tubes with the prices being determined by the filter’s magnitude and quality of the optical.