Are you ready to dive into macro photography with your new Canon Rebel T3i? Macro, or close-up, photography is at the top of many “I want to learn how to do this” lists, but, for some reason, it gets pushed to the back burner. Well, there is no time like the present to get started. And, the good news is that with your T3i, it is easier than ever before.
If you have a dedicated lens for these pictures, great. However, if you don’t own one of those expensive lenses specifically made for close-up work, have no fear, extension tubes are here! Almost any lens can qualify for this chore if you have a cheap set of extension tubes. Basically, they extend the distance from the lens to the sensor so you can move your camera closer to the objects you are photographing.
One of the best things about taking extremely close pictures of objects is the detail that is revealed. There are facets of nearly every subject that are not normally noticed by people at a casual glance. But take a close up shot and you will experience many OMG moments.
On a personal note, yours truly actually became hooked on photography when I took my first macro shot with an old point and shoot camera. As nearly everyone else who makes this discovery, I took pictures of every bug and flower that I could. I didn’t realize that there are so many other interesting subjects to shoot in the tiny world of close up photography. There are buttons, zippers, door knobs, human eyes, animal eyes, and the list is infinite. The only limitation is your imagination.
Now that you are convinced to get started, here are a few hints:
*Start shooting. This seems quite obvious, but most of us tend to get bogged down with the learning process. Yes, there are many classes and tutorials available online and off line, but just go out and take some pictures. You will learn as you go, and it will be so rewarding. Photography is a skill that is best learned “on the job.”
*Allow yourself to make mistakes. This goes along with the first hint. If you are afraid to make mistakes, you will never experience the thrill of what you discover through those mistakes. Some of your best shots will come as a result of something you did “wrong”
*Use a tripod. As you get closer to an object, the chances for blur increase exponentially. Personally, I use a tripod and a remote shutter button, but when I don’t have the remote, I use the 2-second timer on the T3i.
*Use Live View and focus manually. The Canon Rebel T3i has a fantastic feature that makes macro photography so much easier than most other cameras. It is the digital zoom feature when in Live View. The way it works for this kind of photo is to set your lens on manual focus, then use the digital zoom at 5x or 10x so that you can fine tune your focus. This one feature is what sold me on the Canon Rebel T3i.
That’s it. Pretty simple, right? Hopefully, these few hints will get you started (and hooked).