10 tips for beginners of macro photography

As an old driver, this article will takeMacro photographyBeginners discover the new world and give 10 tips.

How to select the lens

There are several lenses that are particularly suitable for macro photography. Of course, using an external lens in combination with an ordinary lens can also play a magnifying role. A better choice is to replace the ordinary lens, and the direct camera with the external lens will have a better amplification effect. However, for the beginners of macro photography, the most convenient and flexible way is to buy a professional macro lens directly.

At present, the most common macro photography is the 90-105mm focal length lens, which can achieve 1:1 magnification. There is also a slightly shorter focal length, such as 50mm or 60mm, but at the same time, the shooting range is also shortened, and it must be very close to the subject. When shooting insects and other creatures with this lens, people may be scared away.

1: 1 Magnification means focusing on the subject to the maximum extent. The image displayed on the sensor is as large as in real life. If there is a 36 × If you want to take a 36mm insect with a 24mm full frame sensor, the actual size can match the photo.

If APS-C or micro 4/3 system is used, although the sensor is not so sensitive, the work can be more than doubled. Generally, 1:1 macro lens has several commonly used reputation products, such as Sigma’s 105mm, Canon’s 100mm, Nikon’s 105mm, Sanyang’s 100mm, Tenglong’s famous 90mm, Sony’s 90mm, and Tuli’s 100mm. The price ranges from $400 to $1000, which is very useful and cost-effective.

These lenses generally have a lens stabilizer, which is more convenient for shooting. Read more relevant comments, and then buy one that you like. The 100mm 1:1 macro lens is generally error free and can take pictures with good image quality.

Location and weather

Generally, people who play macro photography prefer to shoot small insects and flying insects. Of course, flowers and plants are also very popular, and they often produce attractive photos. For macro photographers, it is very important to choose the shooting location. Places with many flowers and plants are my choice for experience. Padua Botanical Garden is good.

If you want to shoot insects and flying insects, you’d better choose to go out when the temperature is about 17 degrees Celsius. It’s OK to be warmer. Insects prefer to stay outdoors when the weather is warm. On the other hand, if you can find the place where the flying insects live (it’s hard for me to find it anyway), you can take pictures when the weather is cold, because flying insects are more honest in cold weather. Many macro photographers like to go out in the early summer morning with flying insects still sleeping. This is the best time to shoot.

In addition, the macro photos taken in cloudy days are a little softer than those taken in sunny days.

When should I use flash

If the subject is very small, such as flying insects, the focal plane will be very narrow, just a few millimeters. Therefore, you must set the aperture to at least F16 so that you can focus as much as possible. In case of such a narrow focal plane, a very high shutter speed is required (because insects and insect wings can move), and flash lamps are indispensable at this time.

In the process of macro photography, you can use any type of flash. In most cases, even the built-in pop-up flash of a cheap digital camera can take good pictures. My personal favorite is the MK-300 of Mecco, which is cheap and light.

Strictly speaking, flash is not required for macro photography in many cases. For example, when the light is sufficient and F2.8 or F4 aperture can be fixed. If 1:1 magnification is not required, you can take a good depth of field picture on a slightly larger focal plane (the depth of field will be enhanced if you are slightly away from the subject).

Another advantage of not using flash is that you can take more natural photos with natural light. But if you want to take a picture of a flying insect that is very close, or focus on a part of its body, then flash is useful.

Flash lamp used with diffuser

If flash is used for macro photos, I strongly recommend using it together with the diffuser. You can use any white light transmitting material at hand, just put it between the flash and the subject.

The stronger the light source, the more natural and soft the shadow of the photo will be. This is why the large soft light box is widely used in portrait photography. This is why the diffuser is used in macro photography: it makes the flash light brighter, the light in the picture looks less sharp, and the color is more beautiful.

At the beginning, I would take out a round hole in the white paper and insert the lens into it. But the paper is thin and easy to wrinkle. My second diffuser is the filter of the vacuum cleaner. It is the same operation. Cut a small hole and put the lens in. This is a great attempt. Now, I have specially made a folding diffuser, which can be folded when not in use.

shutter speed

In the process of macro photography, you will find that a small shake in your hand that is not easy to detect when you hold the camera will make the photo go crazy and paste it. In particular, when trying to take pictures of flying insects shaking their wings on the leaves, it was really difficult. For beginners, high-speed shutter is essential. At first you can try 1/250 shutter speed or faster.

However, when the shutter speed is high, the flash light lasts for a very short time and can only freeze your focus object. Even at 1/100s shutter speed, the effect is the same. The reason is that the flash can only stay in the focus of the photo, so even if you happen to shake the camera, you may only focus on the exposure point.

With a short focus macro lens, you can take good photos even at 1/40s shutter speed. The advantage of low shutter speed is that it can avoid pure black background, unless you often use flash. Compared with high-speed shutter, photos taken with low-speed shutter have a more colorful background and better looking photos.

In general, try to use high-speed shutter at the beginning. If you have more practice, you can use flash to try low speed shutter.

Focus mode

First, stop thinking about autofocus. The autofocus of most macro lenses cannot keep up with the shaking speed of the subject under 1:1 magnification. It is better to abandon the idea of automatic focusing and start to learn manual focusing at the beginning of macro photography.

Second, don’t think about tripods. Unless shooting something completely static, such as exhibition hall works. In the process of macro photography, the tripod is too impractical. When shooting flying insects and flowers outdoors, you may spend a lot of time on the tripod. The point is that you can’t set it up well without spending much time. You can only watch the flowers swaying in the wind burn away in your photos. Put up a tripod for one minute, and the insects will probably fly away in 10 seconds.

After many times of practice, I have summarized the following focusing methods, and the photos taken are relatively ideal. First of all, hold the camera with both hands. It is better to fix your elbows on the ground or your legs to make your whole body more stable. Then twist the focusing ring to the most appropriate position. Finally, start focusing. Don’t touch the focusing ring again. Find the most appropriate angle and time to take a picture, and press the shutter.

It is very good to find out one of the five pictures that failed to focus. Be prepared, macro photography will make you have to give up a lot of waste films.

How to shoot when the focal plane is narrow

As mentioned above, near focal length means that the focal plane is very narrow. You will find that the best macro photography works generally come from the flexible use of narrow focal plane. Therefore, try to find flat subjects and put them in a narrow focal plane. For example, a small flower with a flat shape, or a butterfly photographed from the side, or a beetle with a gentle shell arc.

Another example of using a narrow focal plane skillfully is to highlight the head of a flying insect in a virtual background, which will also produce interesting and beautiful photos.

How to find the shooting angle

It is easy for beginners to make a mistake, that is, for convenience, they can take photos wherever they stand, and shoot flying insects or flowers at 45 degrees. This approach may make your photos look very boring like other novices.

Try to find less common angles, such as side shot, forehand shot, or overhead shot of insects. If you really don’t want to lie on the ground, use your flip screen. If the flying insects are resting on the plants or leaves, try to shoot the plants upside down to make the sky the background. The photos taken by this method are not only strange in angle, but also more beautiful in overall color.

How much magnification is more appropriate

In many cases, I will always take photos with the highest magnification, just like a novice macro photographer. I thought, “The bigger the insect in the picture, the cooler it will be.”. However, the reality is that a little bit back can often produce more beautiful and interesting photos. As big as the flying insects look, they can be photographed. It is wise to match the surrounding scenery.

Keep away from sharp objects

Finally, never use sharp objects such as knives or drills to destroy your expensive macro lens. Don’t look at the so-called techniques that bloggers on YouTube demonstrate in their videos, and don’t touch the camera with a lighter or toothpaste. This kind of thing is put far away from the camera. The practice of cutting the camera, burning with a lighter, and smearing the camera with toothpaste is only applicable to those cheat bloggers on Youtube!