You’ve known the essential principles of macro photography. Here are some techniques that will allow you to get the most out of this discipline. And even if you are not a fan of flowers and insects, you can apply these same tips in scientific photography, collections (numismastic, minerals, etc.) and for still lifes.
Tips to get closer to macro photography
Use a flash
The flash is one of the most popular items in a macro photographer’s backpack since it allows you to use a higher shutter speed when using a closed diaphragm, thanks to the additional light input. at the scene. Remember that the maximum speed you can use is limited by your camera’s sync speed.
Some flashes in HSS mode manage to synchronize at very high speeds. If you plan to use this accessory on the hot shoe of your camera, you will find the flashes specific to macro photography very useful, which give an evenly distributed light and prevent the formation of punctual frontal reflections which are so unfavorable in your photos.
You can also set up your own lighting schemes as if you were in a mini-studio, by triggering your camera’s flash from a set of remote triggers. You can also apply a diffuser to the flash to obtain a softer and more advantageous light.
Integrate a reflector
A very simple way to get more light and redirect existing light to your subject, is to place a reflector so that it redirects natural light. You can also use it with a flash. You can lean the reflector on a nearby stone or on a tripod if you are holding it by hand.
Recognizing someone who practices macro photography is really simple since you will often find him leaning, in improbable positions, his lens glued to a flower. Also, try to position yourself on the same plane as your subject, and remember that the closer you are, the better. Previewing the scene on your camera’s LCD screen will make your job easier. And if you have trouble bending over, you can always fit a 90-degree angled viewfinder to your device.
Dare to use a reverse lens
You can achieve an effect similar to that of an extension tube by reversing a lens. It is a very complicated system to use, which will require great effort from you to focus. Indeed, as you have to be very close to the subject, you will have very little visibility, while the depth of field will be very low. But you will benefit from very important magnification factors. And the shorter the focal length of the lens, the higher these magnification factors will be.
With a focal length multiplier, you can increase this magnification even more. Another downside to reverse lenses is that you won’t be able to change the iris from the camera. This technique is very advanced, so it is only recommended if you have a specific lens, like Dzofilm lenses. You can reverse your lens using a camera mount-specific reversing ring.
Don’t forget composition
Composition is also essential in macro photography. If you’re going to make something stand out, try to frame it in one of the critical points, don’t center your main subject. Use colors to your advantage, make the background a complementary color to your subject. Monochromatic scenes work very well. A green frog on a green background is a scene that is usually very pleasant for viewers, for example.
Choose a smooth background
Whenever possible, try to choose backgrounds far enough away that you can blur them easily. In macro photography, it’s often quite complicated to do because often the background is very close to the main subject. In this case, it is a question of framing it in such a way as to be as uniform as possible. A common trick is to place a small painted background behind your subject. If you blur it properly, it will look very natural and you’ll have a great shot.