Three Helpful Macro Photography Tips in Just Two Minutes

Interested in trying out macro photography? This quick and helpful video will give you three tips to keep in mind when you start shooting the small stuff.

Coming to you from ZY Productions, this excellent video will offer you three useful macro photography tips in just two minutes. Macro photography is a fun genre for almost anyone to experiment in, particularly since there's a veritable plethora of readily available subjects just about anywhere you go — even just around the house or your yard. However, it comes with its own set of unique challenges, two of the biggest being lighting and depth of field. If you find you're having trouble getting enough light for your exposures, a dedicated macro flash can do quite a bit of good. In addition, the insanely shallow depth of field you're likely to be working with can make achieving and maintaining focus very difficult using just the lens' focusing ring. This is where a dedicated set of focusing rails can really come in handy and will also allow you to more easily focus-stack an image if you choose to really dive into the world of macro photography. Check out the video above for more helpful tips. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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A beanbag or any reasonable facsimile (e.g. stacked and folded pair of gloves) can be a great help as well if you for instance have to get down low and there's a reasonable size rock about.

Although I have a rail, I rarely use it. Most macros I take are either studio product shots or putzing around on a walkabout. All the studio stuff is image stacked, and some of the stuff in wild as well. If you can stack, don't use a small aperture like he described. Use your lens optimum aperture which is usually 2-3 stops down from wide open (1-2 on M4/3, 1 on 1-inch) F11 or higher is an option if you're not going to stack, but is will degrade the IQ, the degree of which depends on the lens and the format (FF, M4/3, etc).

A lot of macro shooting "purist" poo-poo the use of AF when doing macro, but it's sometimes really more handy than you can expect in macro. It's not always going to be the best solution, but it's foolish to ignore I think. Some bodies also have built-focus bracketing which also makes use of AF to potentially grab a clean stack of a fleeting moment in the macro- and microcosm.