Want to explore the fun and creative world of macro photography? Here are some tips to get you started from our media school manager Alwyn Hanson.
Try to use a macro lens wherever possible. Although some cameras have a macro setting this can distort the image. Alternatives to a macro lens are available, with extension tubes or close-up filters being an inexpensive way to increase the magnification and close focus ability of your lens.
Depth of field is extremely small when using a macro lens. The image was taken at F11 and the web was only 5cm deep, yet there are still out of focus areas. This will sometimes mean using slower shutter speeds to enable enough light to reach the sensor, so a good solid tripod is an essential tool. In addition to this, at high magnification ratios any camera shake will be much more obvious in your photos than usual.
Look for the extraordinary in everyday household objects. Macro lets us get closer to items than we normally look to create striking abstract compositions. This image is a small container of toothpicks. Fill the frame with your subject to eliminate distracting backgrounds.
Lighting can be a challenge in macro photography. The image used a small reflector to light the insect. Avoid using on-camera flash as the majority of the light will be overshadowed by the lens due to the short distance between the lens and your subject. You can use a speedlight and an off-camera flash cable or bracket to direct the light at your subject. If you are really serious about macro photography, it might be worth considering investing in a ring flash to light the subject evenly from all sides.