Want to get a few macro photography tricks? This post covers basics tips on macro lighting, background, and equipment. There's also a section at the end, dedicated to tricks on insect photography.
I've collected a bunch of macro tricks from my own experiences. Then I combined them with some tricks from other very talented and famous macro photographers that I have learned from.
They really aren't secrets, but some of them are not real widely known to beginning macro shooters. These tips for taking macro photos could be called tricks if you consider they aren't known by the majority of photographers.
A trick is defined as a "cunning or skillful act or scheme intended to deceive or outwit someone."
Photography has often been defined as "painting with light" and the importance of lighting in macro photography cannot be over emphasized.
Not only the amount of light to give you the right sharpness and depth of field, but also the direction, contrast, and quality of light work together to reveal your subject in way that makes your photo have impact or not.
1. Get enough light. Duh, this sounds obvious but more light gives you more options. Shooting at lower ISO, getting more depth of field for focus and the ability to use a higher shutter speed for sharpness.
2. Modify the light. If it it aint just right, fix it. Use a flash, use a bounce reflector, change the time of day for your outdoor shoot, use a light box or add an accent light, maybe even move your subject to a better location if possible. Here's more on macro photography lighting.
Here is an example of how modifying your macro photography lighting completely changes your image. I simply turned off my main light, adjusted the exposure and got the back-lit photo on the right as a result.
This includes the colors, sharpness, contrast, light and amount of sharpness you want the background to have. This involves the angle you choose, your control of lighting both your subject and it's background, the depth of field, the distance to the background and any changes in the background itself.
The photo on the left has the brown cardboard background that I use when photography black-colored cameras, lenses, and other accessories. Changing the background to a white background with a back-light made it a much improved photograph.
Using a fresher lime without the distracting dark, aging skin would have made it a little better still.
When doing studio macro photography, I still try to make the background have a natural feel.
I've written quite a bit about the many tools available to you-some of it carry over from the film days of photography and now especially in the new world of digital photography. There is a balance between getting the right tool for the job and not wasting money on equipment and accessories that aren't necessary.
So these maybe might not be considered macro photography tricks at all, but these ideas should help you get started. Here's more on equipment for macro.
Macro photography tricks are like any other digital photography tip. You've got to pick the right ones for the photographic situation you are in.
Flowers and Bugs. Not only do they go together in nature, but they're also the most popular photography subjects for macro shooters. Here are some insider secrets to getting great close-ups.
Shoot more macro images. Shoot better macro images.