Macro Photography (Close ups)

Fancy something different for your photography?

Macro is great fun. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Two of my first macro shots were taken with a relatively inexpensive pocket camera – the Ricoh R10 (see Andy’s Photography page for more details).

Ricoh R10 macro

Many bridge cameras (mid-range cameras somewhere between a pocket camera and a DSLR in size and price) have a decent macro capability.

From there you may well want to progress onto a DSLR and get a macro lens. The good news is that there are reasonably priced,mid-range lenses at 60mm or 100mm which enable great macro shots and also double as superb portrait lenses.

Note1: you can try using low-cost extension rings to create a macro capability on a DSLR out of a non-macro lens. Whilst this does work, I have found it to be very fiddly and too much hassle as the depth of field is so narrow.

Note2: The depth of field even on a dedicated macro lens is still quite shallow. This means that you will have to stay very still to keep the right part of the subject in focus. If the subject is static, then you can use a big f-number (small aperture setting) which will increase the depth of field. In this scenario, you are even more likely to need a tripod as you will have to decrease the shutter speed (increase the duration of the exposure), which again makes a blurred shot more likely unless the camera and subject are completely still.

Note3: Lighting the subject can be tricky, as you are often quite close to it – anything from a few centimetres to up to a couple of meters if using a long zoom lens (e..g 300mm to 400mm). For close-up work, it is worth considering an LED-ring light – a circle of LED lights that fits around your lens; they are fairly cheap to buy. The built-in flash or a flash light attached to your camera is unlikely to work well for close-up work.

Here’s the gallery of the best of rest of my macro shots: