What is Macro Photography

Macro Photography enables you to capture sharp, close-up pictures of small subjects that bring out the details. Subjects can be insects, flowers and inanimate objects.

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To understand Macro Photography, let’s first understand Magnification Ratio which determines how large the subject/object will appear in your photograph.

A Magnification Ratio of 1:1 implies that when you take a picture from the closest distance, the image formed on the camera sensor will be a life-size image (of the same size as the subject is in real life).

Macro lens with a long focal length (focal length is the distance between the lens and image sensor) of say, 100mm to 200mm will create life size images, the Magnification Ratio being 1:1. While macro lens with a short focal length of 35mm to 55mm will produce images that will look half-the real size of the subject, the Magnification Ratio being 1:2 or 0.5.

Do I need a Macro Lens for Macro Photography

Well, a Macro lens focuses closely and captures more details compared to a normal lens. But, macro lenses are very expensive; they cost around 50K.

But, don’t fret – take a look at the below alternatives/accessories which are comparatively cheaper.

Extension Tube

You can fix an extension tube between the DSLR body and the lens. How will it help? Well, an extension tube will move the lens further away from the image sensor, thereby increasing the focal length. This way, it will give you a closer view of the subject and a magnification ratio of 1:1 or higher, suitable for macro photography.

Close-up Lens

You will have to mount the close-up lens onto the front of the camera lens using the filter thread (a filter thread is a threaded section at the front of the lens where you can attach accessories). Close-up lenses are like magnifying glasses that make the photographed image look larger, before it hits the sensor and hence can be used to capture details of small subjects.

Reversing Ring

A Reverse Ring is a metal ring with a filter thread on one side and a lens mount thread on the opposite side. Fix the Reverse Ring to your Camera lens. Then, attach your camera lens backwards to the camera body. Why do we do that? Well, the camera lens functions by making the photographed image smaller onto the image sensor.

So, logic here is that – if you mount the camera lens backwards, the photographed image will be larger and hence apt for macro photography. You will have to use manual focus, manual zoom and live view mode. Now, when you zoom in, the subject will appear closer, the magnification will be higher and the image of the subject will fill the frame.

We bring you ‘Jo & His Camera’ Comic Strips wherein a Magical Camera gives DSLR photography tutorials to Jo.

To understand Macro Photography, Click on the below Image to see the Comic wherein the Camera explains Jo, the concept of Macro Photography with the help of practical examples.

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3 Macro Photography Tips for You

If you are using lens with longer focal length of 100mm and above, you need not be very close to the subject while photographing it.

On the other hand, if you are using lens with focal length shorter than 100mm, you will have to get closer to the subject to photograph it.

For a sharp image, you will need a deep depth of field. And for deep depth of field, make use of small aperture opening (large f-number).

Keywords: Basics of Photography, DSLR Photography for Beginners, DSLR Photography Tutorials, learn DSLR Photography, Macro Photography

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