Have you been thinking about turning your hand to macro photography but are not sure where to start? Read on as we take a look at some of the equipment that you will need to try this incredible photo technique that offers you a closer look at the fine detail of your subject matter.
What is macro photography?
Sometimes referred to as close-up photography, macro photography is the art of making smaller things look bigger or macro. Using a magnification rate of a minimum of 1:1, macro photography reproduces the subject matter, but larger showing the minute details.
Macro photographers usually capture smaller objects like flowers, water droplets, and insects – making them appear much larger. Macro photography can be used to make anything much larger or just highlight the intricate detail of something such as the pattern on a leaf.
Whilst there is actually no need for any specialised equipment for macro photography, it is important to choose the right type of equipment if you want to achieve the desired effect. The camera that you opt for will be incredibly important.
You will need to choose a camera that can take the specific type of lens that is required for macro photography. It is possible to use a point-and-shoot camera for macro photography, particularly if you are starting out and money is tight, or if you just want to have a try. This type of camera will offer you a “macro mode” setting that has the ability to capture objects in macro and also do close focusing.
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If you are, however, looking to invest in macro photography and would prefer something with more options that you should consider a DSLR camera. This will offer you the flexibility to take a range of different macro photos and also try out a number of lenses in order to achieve the best macro effect. It will also offer you a cropped or full frame sensor. This gives more focal length and allows for closer zooming to the subject matter.
Once you have chosen your camera you will need to select a lens that has the capability for macro photography. This is one of your key pieces of equipment.
There are lenses that are designed specifically for macro photography and will make shooting photos much easier and simpler. It is worth investing in one of these. With a standard macro lens you should get a focal length of between 90 and 105mm, this will also give you 1:1 magnification; there are some lenses with a shorter focal length and the working distance will also be shorter. The shorter the focal length you have the closer you will need to position yourself to the subject matter in order to get a good shot.
If you own a DSLR camera then you can adapt this for macro photography using extension tubes. These are cylindrical hollow spacers that you place between the camera mount and the lens in order to increase the lens capacity. These tubes do not have optics and their real job is to change the minimum focus distance of your lens, in order to help you avoid unclear and blurry images.
Steady hands are needed for macro photography in order to produce a really clear image. Invest in a tripod, it doesn’t need to be an expensive one. This will be particularly helpful if you are shooting objects further away.
Make sure that it fits your camera and has sturdy adjustable legs. A tripod is a useful piece of equipment for other types of photography so could prove a good investment.
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If you are still unsure what equipment would be suitable for you, why not get the advice of other photographers? On a photo-sharing platform like ClickaSnap, you can join a community of photographers and photo lovers who can share their advice, top tips and their own photos to help guide you on your journey.