Macro Photography – Intro

Macro Photography entails taking near pictures of your subject.

Real macro photography involves real size images of subject on camera sensor / film.

35mm film plane should be used to measure this ratio. It means that on the film plane the exact size of the subject will be reproduced. Impossible to get these results with normal standard and zoom lenses.

There are many ways to achieve it. Special lens known as macro lens are made to overcome this problem. All the camera manufacturers have dedicated macro lens in their lens lineup. The macro lens are a bit expensive for beginners.

Some people use closeup filters to save money. Although this is a cheap solution but the magnification is limited and you will not get true 1:1 reproduction.

Some people connect the front element of their lens to the camera to get macro effect. It is great way to getting macro images, but as the lens is mounted normally via a plastic ring, focus would have to be done with hand. Old lenses which were used with film cameras are pefect for this job. They are available very cheap these days and you can experiment with any brand. I have found that a wide angle lens gives the perfect macro effect when reversed.

Another basic issue in macro photography is the handling of light. When you get very closely up to your subject the light will become less and less. Increase in magnification would also increase the subject movement. Shutter speed would be changed to compensate for this. This can be achieved by high ISO or increased light. High ISO means more dots in the final picture and you would have probably in bigger sizes. You can use your flash to increase the light on the subject to use high shutter speeds. Since the subject is so near to your lens, regular flash will not be able to illuminate it. This situation would require a ring flash specially made for macro photography. A ring flash is a round flash which mounts on the lens. When you press the shutter button, flash fires and illuminates the subject from all sides. The light from the ring flash is even and no harsh shadows are seen. Sometimes it gets difficult to get close to the subject due to the size of the ring flash. In that situation the only solution is either to wait for the subject to move to a better place or try to make some ambient light fall on the subject.