Macro Photography: 5 Tips on Getting Started

Macro photography can be a good option to keep yourself occupied and creative if you don’t have the option of leaving your home. The reason being that you can find subjects for macro photography in your garden or even inside your home. Think of flowers, insects, coins, or even toys. Yes, it does require quite a bit of patience and time, but when done correctly, the results are insanely good. In today’s video, photographer Kai Wong shares 5 tips to help you get started with macro photography:

Wong uses a Laowa probe lens for demonstration purposes but you can use any macro lens that works for you. A true macro lens has a very short focusing distance and allows you to shoot life-size images of your subjects. Macro lenses are specialized lenses and thus need a bit of know-how to use efficiently.

When choosing a macro lens, it’s important that you pay attention to the lens’ magnification and focal length. You’ll want a minimum magnification of 1:1 that allows you to take a decent life-size image of the subject. If it’s 2:1, the lens can project an image that’s twice the actual size of the subject on the sensor. As for the focal length, a longer lens means you can have a greater working distance. That’s great if you don’t want to get too close to insects.

A common problem that macro photographers face is getting things in focus. That’s mostly due to the short distance between the lens and the subject. Increasing the distance a bit, and using smaller apertures is one way to ensure that most of the subject is in focus.

Another challenge in macro photography that you need to be aware of is lighting. While the narrow aperture allows less light into the lens, sometimes even the lens itself is so close to the subject that it blocks the light. Having an external light source to illuminate your subject will come in handy a lot of the time.

Chances are that the lens will struggle to focus if you use it in autofocus (AF) mode. This is true when the subject is quite close to the lens. So, a good idea is thus to leave the lens in manual mode and focus using the manual focus ring. This will save you from a lot of frustration.

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