What is Macro Photography?
Macro photography is close-up photography of small subjects, including things like bugs, flowers, and even inanimate objects.
You can take macro pictures in a studio or outdoor environment so long as you are magnifying your subject sufficiently.
It usually involves photographing something at a magnification that renders it life-size (1X or 1:1) up to about 5X (or 10X in case of some texts).
What is Magnification?
In macro photography, it is important to know how large or small your subject appears on your camera sensor. Comparing this number versus your subject’s size in the real world gives you a value known as your Magnification.
Good macro lenses let you shoot at 1:1 magnification and some specialized options do even more than that.
• Life size = 1:1
• Half life size = 1:2
• Twice life size = 2:1
Tools to use with DSLR
• Set picture quality to HIGH in settings
• Shoot in MANUAL mode
• Use AUTO WHITE BALANCE most of the times
• Change the focus mode to auto to manual and set it to the CLOSEST FOCUSING DISTANCE for maximum magnification
• Turn on FOCUS PEAK OPTION to easily spot the focussed area and take pictures when focussed accurately
• Set shutter speed to AUTO during well-lit conditions
• Set shutter speed to 1/500 if you have shaky hands or moving subjects to eliminate motion blur
• Set ISO TO AUTO during BRIGHT conditions. Ideally do not set it to more than 400 regardless of the conditions as it increases noise in the image.
Common Mistake that might occur.
Best Practices to get a perfect Macro shot.
Crop out distracting elements around your subject. Keep in mind you don’t want to make the photo too small.
2. Adjusting brightness and reducing the shadows
If the photo is too dark for your liking, bump up the brightness and exposure and reduce the shadows.
If the photo is too bright, reduce the exposure, brightness and the highlights.
3. Adding contrast and clarity
Increase contrast and clarity to add more details to your photos. I tend to increase contrast by +10 and the clarity to +30 or +40
4. Hue and saturation
Do not change hues if you want natural colors in your images and change them only if you want to make them look surreal. Different filters can also be used to change the colors.
Make the colors pop by increasing the saturation. Ideally not more than +10.
5. Export quality
Export your images in 100% quality for the best jpeg image at the cost of larger file sizes.
Well, these are some of the advice and practice that have been implemented and used on the action of macro shots taken by our Macro Man - Karthik Bhat.