Macro Photography


When I started out in photography, I knew nothing. I didn’t even know how to turn on a camera or change a lens. 7 years down the track, I still can’t say I know much but I am getting there. One thing I am happy about is, at least I learned how to take macro photos!


What is Macro Photography?

To me, macro photography is about getting down and dirty. You often find yourself sitting in weird positions, or even lying down in order to shoot at the right angle.

Macro photography is about shooting small objects so they become somewhat larger than what they actually are. In plain terms, think of macro photography as using a magnifying glass to make things bigger and capturing that into a still image.


What tools do I use for Macro?

To shoot macro you must must must have a macro lens. A standard lens ain’t going to focus if you want to get close and personal to the object. For example, any lens in the <10mm – 60mm range will not cut it for macro photography. Ideally,you  want a macro lens that is 100mm or beyond.

For me,  I use the canon 100mm lens. It comes in 2 versions: 100mm with the Image Stabilizer (IS) or the 100mm without. I would ideally prefer the former, but it is much more costly (~$900 more approx).

Macro Photography Tips

  1. Avoid shooting on windy days because the photo will come out blurry. Macro lenses are heavy objects, and some do not have image stabilizers and are prone to camera shake. So to get those crisp sharp images, ideally it is best to shoot indoors (but of course that is not always possible, especially if you are photography insects).

    Photo: Because it was a windy day, I had to increase shutter speed. This of course reduces the brightness of the image, so I had to increase Aperture to compensate -> which is okay because I rather like the low depth of field 😀
  2.  Use natural lighting whenever possible. This rule applies not only to macro photography but all types of photography in general. Natural lighting is less harsh, and does not result in those  dark shadows.

    Photo: Took my lovely pot of daisies inside and shot by the windowsill.  Trust me, it is so much easier shooting macro inside than outside.
  3.  If you haven’t noticed, I love putting water droplets in my macro photos. The easiest way to drop them on to petals and leaves is to use a pipette or syringe. It is such a precise method and you can control the size of the water droplet. It is an absolute must!!!

    Photo: Twin flowers -> how flattering!
  4.  The closer your get to the object, the less light that enters your camera. Remember it is always a trade off. Getting closer = less light = you need to adjust your camera’s setting to compensate
    • How do you compensate for less light?
      • You can increase the ISO but that can make the photo grainy
      • You can lower the Shutter Speed but that can increase the risk of blurry images
      • Have a larger aperture but that will lower the depth of field and make the background a bit more fuzzy.




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