Macro photography has definitely become a very broad genre of the art form, thanks to the ability of today’s cameras—from smartphones to professional DSLRs—to make capturing macro shots as easy as clicking a button or two. However, the results may not always be what you desired.
What is Macro Photography?
Macro photography is a unique form of photography that involves photographing small objects to make them look life-sized or larger in the photo. The usual subjects include flowers and small insects, which we don’t normally get to see up close with the naked eye. This type of photography is also used for bringing out details in jewelry and other inanimate objects
While today’s cameras offer a macro mode in the menu or analog settings, they don’t offer as much as 1:1 magnification. If you want magazine or gallery-quality macro pictures, you’ll need to purchase a dedicated macro lens for your camera. There’s a wide array of Canon macro lenses on the market that offers 1:1 magnification.
Contrary to popular belief, not everything will make for a good macro subject. There are certain subjects that are indiscernible when viewed close up and without context—and if your viewer can’t understand what they’re looking at when they see your macro shot, how can they appreciate it? But of course, this is all a question of preference and aesthetics. If the subject you photographed appears confusing in macro but is still aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, then it definitely qualifies as a suitable subject. Following are some common subjects :
- Small insects
- Rain drops
Shooting inanimate objects is fairly easy as you can have complete control over the positioning, lighting, and even your background. Simply place it against your desired background, depending on your composition, and make sure they don’t clash with each other. Many photographers prefer to keep it simple by positioning their subject in front of a contrasting background that’s located farther away from the subject, so it comes off as a beautiful background blur.
Most people will advise you to use smaller apertures (a larger f-stop number) as this helps increase your depth of field and ensure that the important parts of your subject are in sharp focus. However, the problem with using a smaller aperture is that the reduced and diffracted light can greatly affect the sharpness of your image. On the other hand, if you use too large of an aperture, you end up with less depth of field, which means that some parts of your subject may end up blurred out as well.
One of the hardest parts in doing macro photography is achieving the right balance between desired sharpness and depth of field. If you are able to shoot from a perspective or angle that allows you to fit the most important or interesting parts of your subject on a single plane of focus, which ensures that your subject remains sharp while still maintaining beautiful background bokeh, then it’s all a matter of finding the largest aperture that will allow you to do that without leaving your subject blurred out in certain parts.
Dedicated Macro lens
- EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM (For Canon)
- Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro (For Canon and Nikon)
- FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS Lens (For Sony)