Macro Photography

Macro Photography Composition Tips , Lesson 4


In Macro Photography Lesson 3 we have learnt about Focusing. And now it will be the last lesson of macro photography series. In which we will learn about Composition.

Composition Tips:

Even in macro photography, the basics of a pleasing composition remain the same. It is still important to balance the compositional weight of your frame, for example, and you have to extraneous details from your image just as you always do. However, being macro photography, there are some aspects of composition which stand out more than they otherwise would

Nikon D7000 + 105mm f/2.8 , ISO 800, 1/250, f/8.0

Pay Attention To Out of Focus Background:

One of the main tips in macro photography composition is to be aware of the background. For example you are capturing a photo of a subject which is in green colour ( a graas hoper). If your background will be green than your photo will not looks good as the green subject will dissolve in the green background. So for avoiding these types of interaction in your photo you need to put different background with respect to your subject. For example you can put yellow background with respect to your green subject. You can even set up your own background by asking your friend to stand behind your subject with colourful and bright shirt.

Also something interesting is that if you want a black background and you don’t have the black background so at that time capture your subject with the flash, it will automatically create black background as the flash illuminate your subject most.

This is happened by the property of light, that means if your distance from light source is double the light will cuts in four parts. So when you do Macro Photography in which your camera is too close to your subject, which is true in macro photography definition, The distance background receives no light results in black background. Look at this photo

Canon EOS 5D Mark II +65.0mm, ISO 100, f/8.0

The photo is captured in the morning but the flash makes the background black. So when you use flash its difficult to understand the time of photo taken . It would be difficult for viewers to identify the time of the photo weather captured in the morning or night.

Use Of Angles in Your Macro Photography:

Another tip to getting more good macro shot is to use of aligning the angle in the right way. It means of you are capturing a photo in which the subject is align in a horizontal plane and if you capture it by aligning your camera in different plane, than the result will come as a bad macro photo so for that align your camera with that horizontal plane in which your subject is. So aligning of plane is as important as Depth of field & Composition.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II , ISO 100, f/8.0

In this photo the camera is aligned with respect to the plane of the subject. According to basic geometry, any three points in space can be connected by one plane, no matter where those points are. The value of this law in photography is that at least three elements of a photo, even if they are different distances from the camera at first, can always be brought into the same plane of focus.

Importance of Colours in Macro Photography:

Instead of macro photography the colour is important in any type of Photography (excluded Balck and white photography). Actually i already described in composition section about the colours in macro photography but here i will tell you About the colours in details. Its very important to make your macro photography in color details.

Look at the eyes of this insect, very colourful, isn’t this ?. Sometimes these Colors is not visible with the naked eyes but as far as you go closer to your subject the colours appears. Also, as you focus closer and closer to your subject, you will start to see tiny color details that normally are not visible. For example, did you know that the compound eye on certain fly species is a rainbow of color? We can’t see any of that with the naked eye, but a macro lens at 1:1 magnification definitely does. Colors are one reason why macro photography is so interesting.

How To Approach Your Close Subject:

Approaching of close up to your subject is a little bit difficult task. Because when you go closer to your small subject, there is a chance that subject may fly away. So for that keep your movements slow while going closer to the subject. They only flies away when they notice any fast movement coming towards them or going away from them. So go slow to the subject. Go side by side for avoiding the distraction.
Try taking a small and slow step forward, rocking (slowly) side-to-side for several seconds, then taking another step forward. If you wait ten or fifteen seconds between steps, the dragonfly may forget that you exist. Using this technique has allowed me to get great macro photos incredibly close to a dragonfly.

Bees, on the othed hand do not get scared easily as they are very focused to their task. They will only leave a flower when they have gotten enough pollen from the flower. Taking of good macro photos of bees is that first focus your Camera on a part of flower and wait for the bees to crowl over that area. It may take sometime but you can get good photo.

Flies are a bit more skittish. They don’t even scared of slow movement. Its easy to capture the photo by going close to them in slow movement. But try to avoid sudden or fast movement. But the annoying part in the Photography of flies is that, they don’t like to spend too much time on a particular area so Adjust Your camera settings quickly and approach towards them .

Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 90mm, f/9.0, ISO 640

With non-flying object you need to worry about the fast movement as they are not scared of that. You can capture easily by approaching them closely. But the difficult thing in capturing the non-flying object is that they like to walk very fast & quickly making it tough to capture them

65mm f/8.0 ISO 100

Butterflies are very sensitive towards sudden movement. But its easy to stand back and photograph them as they are bigger in size. If you find a butterfly standing at a place for a long time it is a good opportunity for you to capture the good macro photo of them

Canon EOS 5D Mark II +65.0mm , f/8.0, ISO 100

For tiny bugs, your best hope is to avoid getting your shadow over them. This is a good tip for approaching most of these creatures, but tiny insects in particular tend to ignore you if you don’t stand between them and the sun. However, the smallest bugs are also the only ones which seem affected by the flash from a camera. Some will jump every time that you fire your flash, and they’re usually faster than your camera shutter delay, so you end up with an empty frame! That’s just another example of how fascinating some of these little creatures are.

Summary and Final Macro Photography Tips

Hopefully, this tutorial has set you on the right path to begin taking beautiful macro photos. The technical aspects of macro photography are certainly important, but, as with most genres of photography, the practical considerations of composition and finding subjects are far more relevant to creating great photos – and, with macro photography, the best subjects are perhaps no farther than your backyard. If you can brave some dirt and mosquitoes, you’ll be able to find hidden treasures almost anywhere.

Finally, here are some macro photography tips and ideas to help you get started:

  1. Look for subjects beyond just bugs and plants. You can take fascinating macro photos in a studio of anything from pencils to droplets of water. I have seen some exceptional macro photographs of silverware against a stark background.
  2. Stake out ponds and streams. Bugs need to stay hydrated, too, and many of them love being around waterways. If I can’t think of where to go to take good macro pictures, I always head to a nearby source of water.
  3. Keep the seasons in mind. In winter, there may not be as many bugs to photograph, but you could have an entire world of ice and snowflake photography to capture instead, depending upon where you live.
  4. Start taking macro pictures early in the day.At sunrise, you will find bugs waiting with droplets of water for the sun to rise. That is how I captured some of my best macro photos.
  5. Wear long sleeves. As much as I like bugs, I don’t like it when they bite. If you are taking pictures of small creatures, there is a good chance that mosquitos and other biting insects will be nearby. Wear long sleeves, closed shoes, and a head net in bad conditions. Also, consider gloves, even when it is hot, if you are in mosquito territory. I generally recommend that you avoid bug spray, in part because you may scare away the very creatures you are trying to photograph!
  6. Put effort into lighting. Not all flash photography is equally good. It takes some trial and error to get a good lighting setup that looks natural, and going with your first attempt may result in photos that look fake and unnatural. The image below was lit entirely by my flash, but the light is still very pleasant.
  7. Have fun with your macro photography! This is one of the most enjoyable genres of photography you can do, but it is easy to get frustrated at first. Again, even under the best possible conditions, my keeper rate for handheld 1:1 macro photos is less than 50%, and I have been doing this for a while. Even two or three sharp images is a huge success, and you will improve very significantly with practice.

So this was the last lesson of macro photography

All The Best guys take Good Macro Photos. Will meet you in Portrait Photography Lessons. Do Share These Lessons with your friends and family members.

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