Posts Tagged ‘Life size photography’

Macro & Close-up Photography of Insects

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Insects and other creepy-crawlies such as spiders make great subjects for macro photography. When we normally see a fly buzzing around, it just looks like a black blob. But on the macro level it looks very different.

Horsefly portrait
Horsefly portrait by Gilles San Martin on flickr (licensed CC-BY-SA)

Many creatures can have an almost otherworldly look about them when captured up close. In a sense, they are of another world - the macro world.

In this article we'll look at some tips on getting close to insects (and other invertebrates) without scaring them away, finding them, and how to photograph them.

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Macro & Close-up Photography Tips – Focusing

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Focusing for macro and close-up photography is usually best done manually. At close-focus distances lenses can sometimes find it hard to lock focus. If a lens racks the focus out to infinity and then back again before it finally focuses on the subject, this can take some time. It may not even be able to find focus on the subject, and leave you with an unfocused image in the viewfinder.

DSC_1355 by Ben Fredericson (xjrlokix) on flickr (licensed CC-BY) - photo taken using manual focus

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

July 28th, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Macro & Close-up Photography Tips – Aperture, DoF, Diffraction

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When you take a photo of a landscape, it's not too difficult to get everything from a few feet in front of you all the way to the horizon in focus. But as you get closer to your subject and the magnification level increases, the depth of field (amount of the image in focus) rapidly drops off.

In macro and close-up photography, depth of field is so narrow it is usually measured in millimeters. So taking photos where more than just a thin sliver of the image is in focus can be tricky.

Even at an aperture of f/8, depth of field covers just a small part of this butterfly's mustache
The depth of field in this image covers just a small part of the butterfly's mustache

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

April 8th, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Macro & Close-up Photography using Diopters and Coupled Lenses

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Diopter or close-up lenses are a good way to add macro / close-up ability to your current photography gear. They work by screwing or clipping on to the front of your camera's lens, and decrease the minimum focusing distance. This allows you to move your camera closer to the subject, and achieve higher magnification photos.

Livin' on the edge
Livin' on the edge by Fountain_Head on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

These close-up lenses work with all cameras where the lens has a filter thread. So they will work with virtually all interchangeable lens camera lenses, and most bridge and advanced compact cameras that have built-in lenses. With some cameras that have an integrated lens, you may need to purchase an accessory tube that attaches to the lens to provide a filter thread that the close-up lens can then be screwed into.

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Macro & Close-up Photography using Extension Tubes & Bellows

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Continuing our look at different methods for capturing macro and close-up photographs, in this article I want to look at extension tubes and bellows. Both of these methods are only applicable for cameras with interchangeable lenses, as they sit between the lens and the camera.

They both work the same way, by extending the lens away from the camera body, the minimum focusing distance of the lens decreases. You can then get closer to your subject, and get some great macro photos.

Emerge by aussiegall on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

April 2nd, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Macro & Close-up Photography using Macro Lenses

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If you have an interchangeable lens camera, you can purchase a macro lens for your camera. A macro lens allows you to focus much closer (and so obtain greater magnification) than a standard lens.

Thorny Pettle
Thorny Pettle by the_tahoe_guy on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

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Written by Discover Digital Photography

March 24th, 2013 at 12:09 pm

What is macro photography?

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Macro and close-up photography provide a way to make the unseen visible. It can highlight details and show us beauty we would otherwise have missed. Essentially macro photography is taking photos that magnify these small items and details so that they can be seen easily.

Macro by Hachi Gatsu on flickr (licensed CC-BY)

If you want to learn more about macro photography, there are some common terms used when discussing it, which it can be helpful to understand what they mean. In articles about macro and close-up photography, and in online discussion forums, you will often come across terms such as:

  • true macro
  • magnification ratio
  • life size
  • ratios such as 1:1 and 1:2

In this article I want to explain what these terms mean how they relate to actual photographic practice.

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