Close to home
se your macro lens to turn everyday, household objects and items into magnificent works of art. As Robert Capa suggested, if you're photos are not good enough, the you're probably not close enough. Get close. Real close. Discover a small world of detail with big world significance.
You Can Do It!
hotographing close-up subjects isn't as difficult as you might think. Especially if you have a macro lens in that camera bag of yours. Most photographers never seem to get close enough to the subjects they're photographing. I mean really close. But those that do are treated to a world of wonder that is beyond imagination. If you apply a few simple tricks and tips about shooting close-up photography you'll be hooked. I promise. More than likely... you'll be obsessed. Because you'll be viewing the world in magnifications that you have never seen before. Are you bored of the subjects, themes and concepts you're currently shooting? Then, again, get close. And uncover a world that's waiting for you.
Put On Your Close-Up Game Face
acorns in a wooden bowl
hen I'm shooting close-up photography then I like to put on my CU 'game face'. In other words, I make my sole photography mission and session about getting those jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring close-ups. No wide shots. No telephoto shots. No normal shots. At least not for this session. All close-up shots. Limit your scope and purpose. When you focus on the small stuff only, you'll be rewarded big time. Trust me. Get close. And only close. Macro close!
Equipment for Close-Up Photography
ost kit lenses that come packaged with a camera don't normally allow you to get closer than 18 inches from your subject. That's not close enough. Close-up (or macro) photography begins where normal lenses leave off. For my close-up photography, I primarily use this Canon macro lens. It's not cheap, but it is the best in it's class. Most macro lenses on the market achieve at least a 1:2 ratio - meaning the image on the file is 1/2 the size of the object being photographed. Some of the new, more powerful macro lenses are 1:1 - meaning the image on the file is the same size as the object being photographed.
pencils in wicker basket
f your budget doesn't permit a macro lens, then you might want to explore one of these options:
- reversing ring
- auxiliary close-up lens
- telephoto extender
- extension tubes
You can read more about these close-up accessories right here in this wikipedia article.
Tips for Professional Close-Up Photography
spools of natural yarn
- Whenever possible, use a tripod (it's really difficult to shoot tack sharp macro photography when you're hand-holding. This is the tripod I use from induro.
- Take your camera off automatic. Use manual exposure controls (if you don't know how to use...consult your manual). The closer you get to your subject, the more exposure compensation you're going to need.
- Focus is extremely critical. Focus on the most critical element of a scene.
- Don't forget to set your white balance.
- I prefer natural light in my close-up photography, but that's a personal choice. Flash is good too, when use properly.
- Simplify your background. Simple backgrounds 'read' better than busy ones.
- If you can afford it, a macro lens is, by far, your best tool for getting killer close-up photography.
Rewards Are Great
he rewards of close-up photography are great. See and share the world like never before. There is a small world waiting for you that will inspire you beyond belief and imagination.
ere's a cool video on close-up photography from professional shooter Roy Todd. Enjoy. Get close :)
...and here's a behind-the-scenes video of me shooting close-ups for Jalbum:
Open invitation to join the Close-up Photography event
oin world renowned photographer Jack Hollingsworth for community "Theme shoots". Close-up photography is the first in a series of these events. The theme shoots will be formed by us, the Jalbum community. Let's make it great. Help make this event a vibrant and fun learning experience. Anyone can join. It's free. Submit albums, give feedback in albums and join the conversation in the group discussions. To spice things up, Jack will hand pick three winners for each theme. Winners will be featured albums on Jalbum.net, announced in the Jalbum blog and newsletter and awarded with a 1 year Premium account.