Macro Photography

Make a macro lens your next rental!

Macro photography can be a fun way to capture tiny subjects and make them appear larger than life. Both Canon and Nikon make Macro lenses that do a fantastic job. Macro photography generally means you are shooting a 1:1 ratio, so if you are shooting something that is 1 inch long, the lens should produce an image of an image that is 1 inch on the cameras sensor.

It does take some patience and practice, but the end images can be very rewarding. Besides using macro lenses to just shoot small bugs or flowers, they are very popular with wedding photographers to capture rings and fine details on dresses or cakes. Macro lenses can also be great lenses for portraiture.

Deciding on the depth of field is a good place to start. Using the lenses at low f/stops like f/2.8 will pinpoint the focus of your subject and give you a shallow depth of field and out of focus background. The higher f/stop will give a larger depth of field.
Some of these little tiny subjects, like flying bugs, will require a shutter speed around 1/200th of a second or higher so you can catch them without motion blur.

This photo of the bee is shot at f/13. You'll notice the bee and a majority of the background is in focus.

This photo of the dragonfly is shot at f/5.6, keeping the subject in focus and giving a soft, blurry background.

When shooting at higher f/stops and shutter speeds it may be necessary to use a little bit of flash to compensate for the light you lose. Any flash will work just fine. Canon makes a specific macro flash that mounts to select lenses. That little bit of light can really bring out details like fine hairs on insects or flowers. I try to always keep my ISO setting as low as possible to reduce background noise, so I can get the sharpest image possible.

This photo used a little extra light from the on camera flash on the Nikon D810.

With a little practice and a LOT of pictures, you will most likely come out with images that have a real WOW factor!