5 Macro Photography Tips


Make the Most of Composition and Depth of Field

One of macro photography's limitations is minimal depth of field. The closer to a subject you focus, the shallower depth of field becomes. In macro photography, subjects are often mere inches away from the lens -- sometimes even closer. Solid macro shooting requires coping with depth of field as shallow as a few millimeters, which can make it difficult to keep the entire subject in focus. Consider it a challenge. When you succeed, your reward will be a sharply focused photograph.

But depth of field doesn't tell the whole story. The challenge of finding that perfect focus drives home the importance of composition. Composing a shot involves shooting from the proper distance and angle. It requires using natural lighting as effectively as possible. This is where we leave behind technology and focus on artistry. Light and shadow, angles and lines -- all these components come together to affect how appealing a shot is to the viewer's eye. Practicing composition is the fun part -- all you have to do is go out and shoot. Experiment!

Author's Note

Writing about photography's always a challenge for me. My father is a photographer, and the intricacies of the technology fascinate me, so I'm always drawn to researching image sensors and lenses and autofocus systems. Professional photography is as much art as science, but really learning macro photography requires some serious study of the relationship between a digital camera's image sensor and focal length. As I found out, there's much more to macro than shooting a mere close-up! I balanced out research into lenses and extension tubes by spending way too much time looking at galleries of macro photographs. Lizards have the coolest eyes.

Related Articles


  • CambridgeinColour.com. "Macro Extension Tubes & Close-Up Lenses." (Feb. 12, 2012) http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/macro-extension-tubes-closeup.htm
  • Canon.com. "Macro lenses." (Feb. 11, 2012) http://shop.usa.canon.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/subCategory_10051_10051_-1_29759
  • Creek, Neil. "About macro extension tubes." Nov. 10, 2007. (Feb. 12, 2012) http://www.neilcreek.com/2007/11/10/about-macro-extension-tubes-p365-nov03/
  • Leong, Steven. "Canon 100/2.8, 180/3.5L and MP-E65." Jan. 21, 2007. (Feb. 12, 2012) http://www.photomalaysia.com/forums/showthread.php?20651-Canon-100-2-8-180-3-5L-and-MP-E65
  • Punti, Tanya. "Macro photography tips with example photographs and images." (Feb. 15, 2012) http://www.slrphotographyguide.com/blog/macro/macro-tips-images.html
  • Rockwell, Ken. "Nikon 55mm f/2.8." (Feb. 15, 2012) http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/55af.htm


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