By SnapSquad - April 27, 2018


After reading our last post, we hope you have already started to test your skills at capturing some beautiful garden blooms and that you will feel totally confident to take on the summer’s flower shows. Of course, we are not going to stop our encouragements yet; in fact, we have more to share with you about close-up photography with words from famous expert photographers.

Heather Angel- U.K  says “Macro photography is about tuning into different combinations of shapes and colours, and training your eye to notice details.” Heather tries to use backgrounds that aren’t busy, so as not to take attention away from what she wants the viewer to focus on. 

Joni Niemela – Finland is a true self-taught photographer who says that he has never read any tutorials or books on the subject. Instead he just went along with his own experiments with colours and lighting. In an interview with Giulia of Pxleyes, Joni shared that he experiences photography as a lifestyle: “To me enjoying the nature is equally important as photographing it.”

Mike Moats – USA shares that he likes shooting two styles: “one with everything in focus and the other with very soft shallow depth of field.”  Taking pictures of the not so perfect can also result in magical effects and Mike likes to “search out the flowers that have petals that have formed in unusual designs.” (Interview by Kruger-2-Kalahari)

Damon Clarke – Canada. Damon explains that “Extension tubes move your lens away from your camera’s sensor, automatically allowing you to focus closer to the subject. This is, by far, the best way to get amazing macro ability without the cost of a new lens.” Damon also likes to create a blurring effect he obtains “by leaving areas of soft focus around (the) main point of interest.” To him as an artist, he says to be “more concerned about the quality of the image, creating depth and beauty rather than showing every last detail.” (Interview

Patty Hankins – USA. Started shooting flowers in her studio, a new experience she thought she would never try which quickly made her realize that she could now “capture details in the flowers that I was never able to share (…) before.” 
Patty loves “the flexibility and freedom of digital photography” With it, she can create exactly what she wants.

Alberto Ghizzi Panizza – Italy. For Alberto, the best recipe to create a good macro image is to combine patience and accuracy in heavy doses. ‘Therefore, it’s incredibly important that you also have a very good photographic technique and camera set-up.’ 

Jacky Parker – UK shares her studio technique photographing flowers: “When I cut flowers I place them in a Wimberley Plamp (clamp), which I then secure to a tripod to prevent movement. I place the tripod and Plamp usually in front of pots containing colorful flowers or a bright shrub in the garden using them as natural backgrounds, blurred by a wide aperture setting on the camera. The Plamp can also be used amongst groups of flowers or foliage to hold a certain stem in place, giving a more natural feel to the image, if you do not have a clamp I find clothes pegs quite useful” (Interview Leslie Nicole, French Kiss Collections)  You can also use plamps while taking outdoor pictures.

And from Mike Moats, a final word for the pros:
It’s a seven day a week, 12 hours or more a day job, but I love it and look forward to waking up at 5 in the morning and getting to work!”

Macro photography which is commonly used to take pictures of flowers and insects is, to put is simply, the art of making small objects look big by magnifying them; an opportunity for the artist photographer to often discover parts of a fascinating world otherwise hidden from our eyes.
Back in the days when photography was made on film and macro was not so macro after all (a 1:1 ratio i.e.: life size was considered macro!).

What is macro photography?

Today, macro photography doesn’t require nearly as much equipment. Many point-and-shoot cameras have macro modes that can capture pretty decent close-ups. It is the art of making small objects look big. It opens up a whole new world for me to explore.

Macro photography is commonly associated to the photography of flowers and insects.
The macro capabilities of a camera can be written in two different ways. The first is using ratio. A 1:1 macro image means that lens will capture a life-sized image of an object. A 1:2 ratio captures a small object at half of its original size, and vice versa.

More commonly, a camera or lenses macro capability is measured in the distance the object can be from the front of the lens. Perhaps you’ve tried to take a close photo with a compact camera, only to hear the lens whirring in back and forth, unable to lock a focus. That’s because you were either too close to the subject, or you forgot to turn the macro mode on.

The minimum focusing distance, listed in a camera’s specifications, indicates just how close you can get in macro photography. Many modern, advanced compacts let you get an inch from the object and still focus. A compact camera’s lens focuses on subjects at varying lengths by moving the lens closer or further from the sensor. Macro photography requires the lens to be close to the sensor to acquire a focus, and not all cameras are able to position the lens close enough to lock a focus.

On most compact cameras, there’s a shortcut to tell the camera you’d like to focus close to the lens. This shortcut looks like a small flower icon. When macro mode is on, the camera will be able to focus on objects that are close to the lens. It’s still possible to get too close, so check the minimum focusing distance on your camera’s tech specs. Many newer compact cameras can focus as close as an inch from the front of the lens.

It is the art of making small objects look big. It opens up a whole new world for me to explore.
Macro photography is commonly associated to the photography of flowers and insects.
Which is better for macro photography, a compact camera, or a DSLR?

While many newer compact cameras have excellent macro modes, they don’t give the user full flexibility when it comes to exposure and depth of field. There are a few models that allow the use of manual modes when shooting macro, but many don’t. Manual modes are important in macro photography, as they’ll allow you to choose just how much of the image is sharp and how much of that background is blurred.

Macro photography is simply photographing items up close. However simple the concept, there are different macro photography tips that apply to taking close-ups. Many cameras can take macro photos, though DSLRs have more flexibility and a higher resolution. Taking images close-up is a fun way to rethink items we see every day, or explore something you think you know well, like your backyard.

Author: Annie R. Teo

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