Macro Photography is basically taking pictures of small things like butterflies, bugs, flowers frogs and making them big. I love this type of photography! I love getting really close to the subject. I also think when you can see little critters up close it takes away the fear of them. Their faces can be so cute. Though I’m not a pro I’ve learned a thing or two through trial and error.
It may seem obvious but watch where you stand. When you get as close as you can to your subject it’s so easy to ruin the shot because of the shadow you cast. If you don’t think of this before you approach what you’re shooting you can miss a good shot and opportunity if your subject is scared away.
Another thing is to approach slowly and also to have your camera close to your face before you start approaching. You can may only get one chance so the motion of moving you camera from your side to your face can frighten them to run, hop or fly away.
Also most of the time when you’re really close to your subject camera shake is a real issue. Every little move looks horrible on the picture. You can’t set up your tripod to steady the camera. You have to find a replacement “tripod” I’ve used my knee or my other hand with my elbow on a solid surface. Sometimes I’ve steadied my camera with my elbow pushed into me side. If you have do this be sure to hold your breath when you take the shot.
Sometimes you just need to stay put. The photo above is a damselfly. You’ll never get a clear shot trying to chase them all over. If you watch them you’ll see that they fly away and return to the same spot. Once you get in place you’ll see the fly come and go. You need to get the place he lands in focus then just watch through your viewfinder till he returns. Depending on your focal point and the position he lands in you may need to stay put for a while before you get the perfect shot.
If your able to it can be a really cool shot to show scale. Most photos don’t show how large or small the subject it. Like the photo of the Hawaiian Coquí frog above. That frog was smaller than a dime. This photo of the Gecko on my finger really shows how tiny he was, barely bigger than a section of my finger. Below are a couple other ways to show the scale. The bee on flowers and The adult Gecko on a Mango. To me the Gecko looks like he’s smiling.
These are just a few things I’ve learned about macro photography. I hope they can help you too on your next macro adventure.