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5 tips for amazing macro photography

The post 5 Tips for Amazing Macro Photography appeared for the first time at Digital Photography School. It is written by Jaymes Dempsey.

Do you want to capture beautiful macro photography?

Macro photography can feel like a struggle. But it doesn't have to be. By using a few simple tricks, you can make stunning macro photos consistent.

So if you are interested in taking your macro shots to the next level, follow these five tips.

1. Simplify the subjects and colors of your macro composition

All fantastic macro photos have a carefully chosen composition. That is, the elements in the photos are arranged in the most beautiful way.

So if you want to capture great macro photography, you must also choose your compositions carefully.

And the number one rule of composition?

Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Start by choosing a subject for your photo. Something that stands out – ideally the thing that you initially drew to the scene.

And once you've found your subject, you'll miss out on your viewer. Remove all distractions from the scene. If there are stray branches in the background, remove them. If there is something unpleasant in the foreground, change your angle.

The goal is to isolate your subject in all possible ways. You want the viewer to know exactly what to look at.

But in addition to removing all physical distractions, you must also remove all disturbing colors.

A macro photo must have three colors or fewer – four if you are really struggling. But no more than that.

Because too many colors cause chaos.

And with macro photography you absolutely must avoid the chaos.

You have to simplify.

2. Increase the distance between the subject and background for beautiful macro backgrounds

Now you understand the importance of simplification. But it's not just the subject of the photo that you need to simplify. You also have to simplify the background.

The best macro photography backgrounds are clean, simple and uniform. They don't take the subject away. Instead, they complement the subject and help it stand out.

But how do you create such a simple, clean background?

One way is to increase the distance between the subject and the background and to use a very wide aperture (something in the f / 2.8 to f / 4 range).

Why? Because the farther the subject is in the background, the larger the aperture needed to keep everything sharp. And so with very large openings, the entire background becomes wonderfully blurry.

This background blur is called bokeh. And macro photographers like it because it helps the subject stand out.

Remember that when it comes to macro photography backgrounds, Blurrier is almost always better.

So use a large aperture and enlarge the subject to background distance.

This way you get much better photos.

3. Focus manually for the best macro photography detail

Do you ever have a hard time keeping the focus while taking macro photography?

It is a common problem. Because you work with such high magnifications, the auto focus on your lens will undoubtedly struggle. And it will often completely miss your point of attention.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution for this problem: manual focus.

With manual focus you can change the focus point using the ring on the lens. Rotate the lens ring and the focus is moved so that you can focus close, far away and then back without using the lens autofocus.

This is extremely useful for macro photography. Even at high magnifications, you can consistently capture the focus.

However, as long as you switch to manual focus.

A few tips:

  • Carefully turn the manual focus ring. You don't want to be aggressive about it. Move smoothly instead.
  • If you have trouble locking the focus on your subject, try using autofocus to get you in the general area. Then refine the focus with the manual.

Manual focus can take a little practice to control. But it will be worth it in the end.

4. Shoot in the sun for stunning background bokeh

Now we have achieved the fun part of this article: How to generate beautiful background bokeh.

As I said before, bokeh refers to a beautiful blurred background.

And here's the thing: if you can make great bokeh in your macro photos, you're practically sure to be a great photo, because it will make your shot stand out.

But how do you catch a beautiful bokeh?

Here is a simple trick that you can use: shoot in the sun.

First wait until the sun is low in the sky (' early in the morning or late in the afternoon).

Then find a topic and place that topic between you and the sun. Bend low so that the sun is behind your subject.

Now go around until you find an area where something is breaking the sun – branches, leaves, etc. You want the sun to shine through these branches, touch your subject and touch you.

Why is this so important?

Well, broken sunlight ultimately provides the best bokeh. Those smaller pinpricks of sunlight produce great backgrounds.

Note: you do not want full sun in your frame. Otherwise the sky will be much too bright and your photo will not contain many details. Block the sunlight with your subject instead. If you want, let the sun peek from behind. (In fact, this can result in a number of particularly interesting effects.)

Bottom line?

If you can create amazing bokeh, your macro photography will take your breath away. So make it wherever possible.

5. Find shadow-sun combinations for beautiful colors

Here is a final tip about macro photography for you (and one of my favorites).

If you want to create beautiful pastel colors in your macro photos, use shade sun combinations.

When the sun is low in the sky, look for subjects. The shadows will be long, so you should have no problem finding a nice subject in the shade.

Get ready to photograph that subject. But before you actually start shooting, place yourself carefully so that the background of the shot is sunlit.

This works amazingly well, because the sunny background will be soft and golden. And golden light is great for bokeh.

You can capture photos ' s as follows:

And this:

With a little patience, you should be able to find lots of great backgrounds by using this trick.

So don't forget to try it.

Amazing macro photography: next steps

Capturing amazing macro photos doesn't have to be difficult. You just need to know a few tricks.

For example, you have to simplify your compositions.

You have to make beautiful backgrounds.

And you have to focus manually.

If you can do that, your macro photos will be great in an instant.

We would like to see you try these techniques and share your macro photos with us in the comments below.

The post 5 Tips for Amazing Macro Photography appeared for the first time at Digital Photography School. It is written by Jaymes Dempsey.

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