Get up close and personal with your subject!
Creative macro photography allows you to show unnoticed details of the world. Seeing and exploring the surroundings through a macro lens makes even an ordinary thing interesting and exciting. Look at the world more closely and you will see the beauty. You will also discover infinitely more new subjects to photograph.
The challenge to produce the perfect image is ongoing. Creative macro photography is inspiring and demanding. It is fun but it can also be frustrating. To minimise the frustration, I have put together three important concepts for you to master, increasing your chances of making that elusive, perfect image.
1. The magic of depth of field
Understanding depth of field is one of the most important concepts in creative macro photography. Becoming familiar with how the aperture, magnification and focal length of the lens all interact with each other is essential to your success as an artist with a camera. DOF has a great impact on the aesthetics of your images. Creating images with aperture f/2.8 and then f/16 will produce very different results.
The selected aperture, along with magnification, will control depth of field. As magnification increases, depth of field decreases. Smaller apertures provide greater depth of field while larger apertures reduce it.
There are many creative choices you can make with aperture. How do you decide which aperture will be best for your image? Think about your subject, and how much story or information you want or need to express in your interpretation of that subject. Think about what you want to emphasise and how you want your image to look.
2. Narrow the point of view, expand your imagination
Simplify the image as much as possible. In most close-up photography one should strive to concentrate on one of the most important parts of the subject, such as the eye of an insect or the part of a flower that is most interesting. Control what’s in the background and eliminate everything that will distract you or a future viewer. Fill the frame with your subject. Experiment with different angles to find the most appealing aesthetic solutions.
3. Creative choice of composition
When you create your images you should slow down and really look. Examine your subject carefully, looking at its colour, texture and structure. Select a viewpoint that complements it for a perfect composition. Do not hesitate to move around the subject to find a better point of view for isolating a particular aspect of your theme.
Remember, the end result will depend largely on the light, the ability of your camera and lens, your abilities, but above all the unique mood and atmosphere. When you photograph, try to find visual stories that you can express. Each subject will express its own story, and can be used as a metaphor. For example, peeling bark suggests unfolding, or change. A tiny leaf sprouting suggests emergence, life and growth.
If the above advice does not satisfy your hunger for knowledge, you should take advantage of my online course, The Hidden World of Macro Photography
. This workshop provides a great opportunity to develop your skills through practice.