Macro photography is the art/practice of photographing tiny things. If you have the spare cash, It's easy to just go out and buy a macro lens to start shooting, but in order to get those crisp, back to front, pin-sharp images, a little bit of technical know-how and computer wizardry is essential.
There's something deeply alluring about high-quality macro photography, especially nature macro photography. We see these little creatures buzz and crawl past us every day, and most of us don't take a blind bit of notice, or worse; shriek and bat them away with a rolled up piece of paper. It's a shame that we treat them like this because when we take a closer look, there is great beauty in their variations of texture, color, and shape. Jumping spiders in particular, with their big dark eyes, are a favorite among nature macro photographers because of their variations mentioned previously, and likeness to a Pixar character.
In this video, commercial photographer and videographer, Martin Botvidsson, takes us through the process of capturing an extreme close up of a bee using a macro lens, artificial lights, and slider; then focus stacking multiple images taken at slightly different focal lengths, using Helicon Focus — you can download a free trial version here or just use Photoshop. For those of you drooling at Botvidsson's setup, I agree; life isn't fair.
But, if you would rather not wallow in self-pity, and just work within your means, not worrying about what other people use, it is quite affordable to get started in macro photography. For starters, while Canon's MP-E 65mm lens can capture amazing detail due to it's 1:5 magnification ratio, it's expensive and not very versatile. A slightly cheaper alternative is Canon's non-L series 100mm f/2.8 or Tokina's 100mm f/2.8 AF-D for Nikon users. If you don't want to spend any money on a new lens, why not turn your own lens back-to-front, like in this article? No, you don't need Profoto lights, either — any flash will do, but artificial light is needed because you'll need to shoot with a small aperture, like f/11 or f/16, when you're so close to your subject.