Starting out with Macro photography is exciting! You’re entering a new world of possibilities and there seems to be an endless stream of tiny things you’d want to capture – unfortunately, as is with every type of photography, macro images can also go wrong. All you need to fix this is the combination of the right macro photography tips, tools, and a little more practice.
If you’re new in the world of macro photography or just want to perfect your shots, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll have an in-depth look at macro photography and the top 4 mistakes to avoid for a perfect shot. Let’s dive in.
What Is Macro Photography?
Before diving deeper into the topic of macro photography mistakes, let’s first understand what macro photography is.
Macro photography is a form of close-up photography mainly focusing on small subjects such as flowers and insects. Typically, in macro photography, the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than the standard life-size.
This form of photography seeks to bring out some of the subject’s tiniest details that standard photos don’t capture.
Macro photography isn’t easy, especially for newbies, but with the right skills, you can capture amazing images.
Continue reading for common mistakes to avoid in macro photography and tips on how to capture perfect macro shots…
Common mistakes with Macro – 4 examples
Here are the top common mistakes likely to affect the quality of your macro shots and the macro photography tips to adopt:
1. Autofocus Dependability
While autofocus seamlessly focuses on the subject at hand, it’s not the best approach for macro shots. Typically, autofocus doesn’t give you full focus control on what you want to capture.
You may find it blurring your principal subject and driving focus to unnecessary objects nearby. Although autofocus is the go-to focus option for most newbie photographers, manual focus is the best option for macro photography.
And while manual focus may be overwhelming to use, a little practice can improve your skills. Besides, using a tripod can help enhance manual focus by reducing camera shakes when holding your phone. A tripod also helps navigate uneven terrain without focus loss.
Here’s how you can plan your focus well.
- As you hold your phone, be ready for that capture when your focus locks in. While autofocus will help you lock in your subject with ease, manual focus does more. Besides, you can experiment with it to ensure you have an excellent composition for the shot.
- An excellent composition should be your primary goal since you don’t want to end up with blurry photos. You can also rely on guidelines that guide you into creating a stunning photo by placing the image in strategic intersections.
When used accordingly, manual focus gives sharper images than autofocus.
2. Getting Too Close to the Subject
There’s a notion that if you want to get the perfect shot, you should get too close to the subject. While this may be true, it doesn’t work for live subjects. You’ll only scare the subject away if you get too close to it.
Besides, by getting too close to the subject, you may block sufficient light supply creating unnecessary shadows that affect the quality of your image.
So, the best way to capture macro images is by maintaining a balanced working distance (distance between the front of the lens and the subject) of approximately 6 inches (15 cm).
Your working distance will depend on the focal length of the macro lens that you’re using. Typically, lenses with a longer focal length require more working distance than those with a moderate focal length.
Ideally, it’s best to look for macro lenses with a longer focal length to provide more working distance, reducing your chances of scaring the subject or casting shadows.
However, getting such lenses, say 180mm or 200mm, may need you to dig a little deeper into your pockets.
But if you want the best value for a perfect working distance, consider getting macro lenses with a focal length between 100mm and 150mm. Such lenses are pretty much affordable and help capture sharp images.
3. Having Wrong Equipment
You are fresh from learning the best macro photography tips you can use to ensure the perfect shots. Since your phone has a highlighted macro lens feature, you get the hype that you are now on the path to becoming a serious macro photographer.
However, it can happen that often your photos aren’t as sharp as you would expect. This means you need additional equipment.
A Special dedicated macro lens captures the photo in a 1:1 ratio enabling the sharpness to stand out.
While there are various macro camera modes available, not all will offer the best life-size photo needed. You want a macro lens that gives you crisp photos that draw the desired interest. Hence the need to invest in the best-dedicated macro lens for perfection.
Note that you may have to dig deeper into your pockets for the best macro lens. If you are not ready for this step yet (or just want a lighter option)
you can try out our Black Eye Macro G4, one of the best gears for macro photography. It’s portable, boasts a 15× zoom, and is compatible with various devices.
For any macro lens you choose, be sure it can get you to 1:2 or 1:1 magnification, ideal for macro photography.
If you aren’t sure what equipment to go for, seek advice from professional macro photographers. Remember wrong equipment can destroy the quality of your image regardless of your skillset. So, consider investing in a good macro photography gear.
4. Poor Lighting Conditions
Lighting is an important aspect of every photography session. But did you know, too much or too little of it can negatively affect your images? Well, now you know. Typically, you need balanced lighting for an amazing shoot.
When shooting outdoors, choose a time when the light is not too harsh. Harsh natural light affects the contrast of your shots, limiting the details you want to show. Besides, when shooting indoors, you need a good balance between natural and artificial light to create a well-balanced set-up.
Practically, both indoor and outdoor conditions need light modifications to produce perfect sharp images. In case you are shooting in bright light, using a diffuser or flash is crucial. This will help in controlling the amount of light hitting your focus object. Whereas light aids help, they may not be practical for moving objects.
Generally, light aiding tools such as flash, softboxes, ring lights, and diffusers offer great lighting help when using low apertures. You can also choose to do your shots in the mornings and evenings or cloudy middays when the sun is not harsh. This will help create even contrasts while eliminating unnecessary shadows.
Getting the best macro photos is every photographer’s dream. If you have tried your luck in these shots but with no success, worry no more. We’ve highlighted some of the common mistakes you are making that limit your results.
So, grab your smartphone, and use the macro tips discussed above to capture those killer shots! Don’t forget to get our Black Eye Macro G4 macro lens. Good luck!