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Macro photography involves capturing images of small objects in a manner that makes them look larger than life size. This involves taking extreme close-ups. Most cameras that are compact or 35mm is capable of capturing macro photographs. A 50 mm prime lens can also work well with 35 mm cameras and be able to do some macro photography.
Most digital cameras will also have a macro mode feature that can be used to take close-up shots. There will be a flower icon inside the camera’s menu settings on the camera dial settings which can be activated to take the pictures. However, using macro or any other preset mode will not allow you to have manual control over other settings like flash.
Keeping the camera steady
When you start dipping your toes in to macro photography, you need to ensure that the shot you make on your camera is extremely steady. Though most digital cameras have an inbuilt image stabilization feature, you cannot rely solely on this when you are capturing a macro image. In order to capture the best macro images, you will need to mount your camera on a tripod. You can also check to see if your camera comes equipped with a self-timer that can be used to fire the shutter, at least in a gap of 2 seconds or so. The feature works even better if you happen to have a remote trigger.
Auto vs Manual Focus
Focusing is an issue when it comes to taking shots when doing macro photography. The lens may have a hard time focusing if your lens is too close to the subject. You can also try moving the camera back a little bit and then zooming in or out. If that doesn't work either, you can try to use manual focusing. If the subject lacks distinctive contrast, you can also point your lens at the edge of a subject and the contrasting background. You can re-frame the shot after you have achieved focus.
You can review your photos on the LCD screen of the camera. The images look much sharper on the LCD screen but will also help you understand whether your image is out of focus or not.
Low ISO and Wide Aperture
If you have a steady tripod set up and are taking pictures in well-lit setting, in order to reduce digital noise, you should avoid using a high shutter speed. Shooting at ISO 100 or 200 will keep out most of it. In order to achieve a good shallow depth-of-field, you can set your camera's setting at about f/2.8. This will allow you to distort your background and focus on the subject in the foreground.
Rain Shots and Floral Arrangements
If you get your hands on a bouquet of flowers, you can use these to test your macro photography skills. Set the flowers next to an open window, you can use external camera flash to bring light on to the subject. You can also take advantage of raindrops that fall during the rainy season to get some great shots. You can also fill a spray bottle with water and spray the floral arrangement in order to achieve the raindrop effect.
As with all digital images, using Photoshop or another similar image editor in order to process your macro images can do a lot to improve contrast, color saturation and sharpness. Cropping the images can also vastly improve the overall composition of the photograph you take.