Sunday, March 21, 2010

Learn Digital Photography - Five Things You Need to Know About Macro Photography By Wayne G Turner

The world of detail and worlds within worlds have fascinated people for hundreds of years. The ability to photograph those worlds was once the exclusive domain of scientists and professional photographers. The amateur was able to enter this world at high cost. Now with the advent of digital, getting in closer is open to all.
First let's dispel a misnomer. True macro is 1:1 representation of the object you're shooting. That is, a bee half an inch in length will be half an inch on the frame of film or digital sensor. With digital compact cameras and slr zoom lenses we don't reach those dimensions but we can get in really close and create a stunning image. So let's take a look at close-up photography and macro together. They do overlap in much of what you need to know.
1. It costs money
Which ever way you look at it, it's going to cost money as you learn digital photography. Dedicated macro lenses for DSLRs together with ring flashes and extension rings all cost money. And there are limitations to what you can do with a compact camera as opposed to an SLR. What a compact does do is give you a taste of what can be achieved with macro. If you like it then spend and if you don't you have lost nothing. So you must understand as with all hobbies you are probably going to invest as you learn more and want to do more.
2. It takes time
The world of detail and close-up takes time to set up and often is a waiting game when shooting insects and bugs. You probably will need more time to plan and think out your shots because of factors like depth of field, background and lighting which are all more critical the closer you get to a subject. It requires far more patience than other genres of photography.
3. It takes preparation
Each element of a macro shoot needs to be planned carefully. What you are going to shoot, how much light you need, what time of day is the light the best and if there is too much light are all important factors. Will you need a ring flash or will a fill-in reflector do the job? Should you shoot with you macro lens or is a standard lens with extension tubes going to result in a better photo?
4. It takes patience
I've already alluded to this point earlier on. The waiting game is one played more often with macro than many other forms of photography. Often by waiting that extra half hour doing nothing will result in a perfect subject position, just the right light or the wind dying down just enough to prevent camera or tripod shake. Patience is a virtue as the old adage goes and is even more relevant to macro photography.
5. It brings a great reward
A photograph of a large red bus is dramatic and filled with great colour saturation and is impressive. But, a delicate flower or a shimmering bee shot really close-up are so often more dramatic. We tend to be drawn to detail and the final results are often stunning. There is nothing like an intimate close-up image with details we rarely see. Great effort brings great reward.
Macro is my passion. I am drawn to anything small and detailed. I love to view things that the eye does usually see from an angle that is most often overlooked. Experiment with macro and you may experience a whole new world that you would never have expected as you learn digital photography. Happy shooting!
Do you want to learn more about photography in a digital world? I've just completed a brand new e-course delivered by e-mail. Download it here for free by clicking here: To learn how you can take your photography from ordinary to outstanding click here -
Wayne Turner has been teaching photography for 25 years and has written three books on photography.

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