Meta's Best Macro Photography Tips For Beginners Meta's Best Macro Photography Tips For Beginners Meta's Best Macro Photography Tips For Beginners Meta's Best Macro Photography Tips For Beginners Meta's Best Macro Photography Tips For Beginners Meta's Best Macro Photography Tips For Beginners

How To Photograph The Best Macro Photography By Nature Photographer Meta Gatschenberger

Ad • Find The Best Macro Photography Books

Meta’s Best Macro Photography Tips For Beginners

Meta’s Macro Photography and Close-Up Photography involves getting really close to an object, often only a few inches away, and shooting with a Minolta AF 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens or a Minolta AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. You will soon discover, Macro Photography and Close-Up Photography isn’t very easy to get in focus, but adding Extra Light is the key to getting a wider Depth of Field at a Smaller Aperture (More Subject In Focus).

Macro Photography is Meta’s favorite type of Digital Photography, because it’s everywhere around you, but often passed by and overlooked.

Shooting RAW at 10 to 12 Shots Per Second in High Speed Burst Mode can quickly fill up Smaller SD Cards, which is why Meta uses Faster and Larger SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Cards. Now Up To 1TB!

Western North Carolina Macro Photographer Meta Gatschenberger, RN, shoots with Sony Digital Cameras and Vintage Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses.

Meta’s “Painted Trillium” (Photo: Top) was shot with a Minolta AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens mounted on a Sony Digital Camera.

View Meta’s Macro Photography


Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersAd • Faster and Larger SD Cards – Shooting 5 Bracketed Shots for every HDR Image or Shooting RAW at 10 to 12 Shots Per Second in High Speed Burst Mode can quickly fill up Smaller SD Cards, which is why Meta uses Faster and Larger SanDisk Extreme Pro SD Cards. Now Up To 1TB!

Meta’s Best Macro Photography Tips For Beginners

Ad • Find The Best Macro Photography Books

Macro Photography Setup For Beginners

Meta used her Minolta AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens to photograph this Bee’s Face (Photo: Left).

This Special Minolta Macro Lens can Zoom to 1:1 magnification.

Meta uses Manual Focus for all of her Macro Photography.

If you are serious about getting into Macro Photography or Close-Up Photography, look at buying a Dedicated Special Macro Lens, such as the Minolta AF 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens or the Minolta AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. You won’t regret it!


Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersAd • Disposable Shower Caps – Meta discovered this tip while Whale Watching off the Coast of Southern California. Hotel Disposable Shower Caps can be used to protect your Digital Camera and Lens from Rain, Fog and Mist. They are so small and compact, you can keep a few of them in your camera bag or pocket!

Macro Photography Tips For Beginners

Achieving a Wide Depth of Field (The Area of your Subject In Focus) is the biggest challenge in Macro Photography. You’ll need to stop down your Aperture to between f/16 to f/22 to Widen your Depth of Field. More light and a slower shutter speed will be required.

The Depth of Field reduces as your lens magnification increases towards 1:1 at f/22. Stopping down beyond f/22 to f/32 can result in a loss of sharpness resulting from diffraction blur caused by light reflecting off the aperture blades, and requires more sharpening in Post Production.

Shooting with a Very Small Aperture, like f/16 to f/22, will require More Light. Added light can be from a Reflector (Natural Sunlight is Always Best), a Diffused Flash Unit or from Bright LED Lights. Adding More Light will allow you to photograph at faster shutter speeds when shooting in Program Mode. You can also back light a photo, like a flower.

Ad • Silver/Gold Reflector Disc – For Macro Photography, this ProMaster Compact 12” Reflector (Model #3822) can direct White or Gold Natural Sunlight onto your Macro Subject. The 12” disk can also be used as a small wind block. Folds up into a 5” compact pouch that fits into your pocket or can be stored in your camera bag.

Ad • Translucent Filter Disc – For Macro Photography, this ProMaster Compact 12” Translucent Disc (Model #4326) can be used to diffuse light and enhance details in bright areas for more dramatic photos, especially under direct sunlight. The Translucent Filter Disc is one of the most important Macro Photography Accessories, but often over looked. Folds up into a 5” compact pouch that fits into your pocket or can be stored in your camera bag.


Ad • Camo Bandana – For Macro Photography, Meta carries a 22”x22” Camo Bandana, which is a square of Mossy Oak Material to lay behind small flowers to hide the background. The Mossy Oak Pattern is full of natural looking browns, tans and greens.

Ad • Light Absorbing Black Velvet Cloth– For Macro Photography, Meta carries a 22”x22” piece of Light Absorbing Black Velvet to lay behind small flowers to black out the background. Use a black velvet material that doesn’t reflect light back into the lens.

PC Remote Control – This can be used to Tether the Sony Digital Camera to your iPhone, iPad or MacBook for Remote Control and Remote Viewing. This helps when the Macro Subject is very low and saves you from crawling around in the dirt.

Ad • Sony HVL-F45RM Flash Unit – Use a Top Mounted Controller Flash mounted on the Sony Digital Camera, with a Flash Diffuser.

Bright LED Lights mounted on Mini Tripods for Macro Photography work well to Widen your Depth of Field at Smaller Apertures. Adding extra light also helps keep your ISO lower to avoid any added sensor noise.

The Focal Plane Mark – Φ – This circular mark with a vertical line through it is located on the back of your Camera (Photo: Left Highlighted in Yellow). The Φ mark indicates exactly where the sensor plane is located inside your Camera.

In Macro Photography, the Minimum Focus Distance (MFD) of a Macro Lens is measured from the Focal Plane Mark (FPM) to the Macro Subject. If you’re inside this area, you’re too close!

Focal Plane Example: On The Minolta AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens, it has a Minimum Focus Distance of 35cm. This distance is measured from the Macro Subject to the Focal Plane Mark Φ and not from the Macro Subject to the End of the Lens.

View Meta’s Macro Photography Photos

Photography Gear For Macro Photography

Ad • Slik Pro DXS Tripod – This Short Sturdy Tripod has No Center Column, so it can lay flat on the ground. This Tripod is perfect for Low Level Macro Photography. Fits in Compact Tripod Bag. Use a Slik Ball Head with Round QR Plate.

Ad • Slik Monopod – A Heavy Duty Monopod is often easier to use on Remote Mountain Hiking Trails, and can also double as a hiking stick. This works where a tripod won’t fit into very tight situations.

Ad • Minolta AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens – This Special 1:1 Macro Lens is required for Macro Photography. Meta uses her Minolta AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for most of her Macro Photography and well as a 100mm f/2.8 Prime Lens.

What’s Inside Meta’s Macro Photography Field Kit

Meta’s Macro Photography Field Kit attaches to the back of her Camera Bag. This Modular Configuration is used only for her Macro Photography and contains:
• 1 Small Pointed Scissors – To Trim Grass
• 4 Fine Mist Water Bottles – 2 Distilled Water and 2 50% Water / Vegetable Glycerin
• 1 Camo Bandana – For Natural Looking Blurred Backgrounds
• 1 Light Absorbing Cloth – Blacks Out Backgrounds
• 2 Bright LED Lights
• 2 Mini Tripods – Use as a Small Light Stands to Widen Depth of Field
• 1 ProMaster 12” Silver/Gold Reflector #3822 – Reflects Sunlight / Wind Block
• 1 ProMaster 12” Translucent Disc #4326 – Diffuses Light for Better Colors

Macro Photography Camera Settings For Beginners

Camera: Sony a99 II Digital Camera or Sony a77 II Digital Camera
Lenses: Minolta AF 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens or Minolta AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens
Tripod: Slik Pro DXS Tripod with a Sony Wireless Remote Control
Focus: Manual Focus with Peaking Color Turned On
Camera Mode: Program Mode – Adjust Aperture
ISO: 100 or Auto ISO Limited to ISO 800 (APS-C) or ISO 1600 (Full Frame)
Aperture: f/16 to f/22 (Widest Depth of Field)
Drive Mode: Continuous Shooting: Hi
Filter: Circular Polarizer Filter (CPL)
Extra Lightning: Reflector, Diffused Flash Unit or Bright LED Lights

Meta's Best Digital Photography Tips For BeginnersAd • New Sony LA-EA5 A-Mount Adapter – The New Sony LA-EA5 A-Mount Adapter lets you mount any A-Mount Lens (Sony or Minolta) to your Sony E-Mount Digital Camera. A newly designed compact auto focus and aperture drive system fits snugly into the sleek compact cylindrical adapter.

Meta’s Best Macro Photography Training Videos For Beginners

Ad • Find The Best Macro Photography Training Videos

Mastering Macro Photography

Ad • Mastering Macro Photography

– Tim Grey

Macro and close-up photography opens up a whole new world of image-making possibilities. By getting very close to their photographic subjects, viewers will find new ways to express their creativity, create unique images, and better understand the capabilities of their equipment. In this video workshop, expert instructor Tim Grey goes through the equipment, techniques, and concepts that produce the best results in this specialized photographic style. Topics covered include concepts of macro photography, basic and advanced techniques, and using a flash. The video also includes macro photography projects that viewers can try.

Meta’s Best Macro Photography Books For Beginners

Ad • Find The Best Macro Photography Books

The Complete Guide to Macro and Close-Up Photography

Ad • The Complete Guide to Macro and Close-Up Photography

– Cyrill Harnischmacher

This book also offers insights about macro photo composition, discussing light, color, camera position, and focus. With more than 600 images and figures illustrating the various ways readers can document the world of the infinitesimal, this book is not only a technical guide, but also a source of inspiration giving readers ideas to run with and make their own. Finally, this book also includes do-it-yourself projects, offering solutions both for everyday shooting as well as for dealing with specific situations unique to macro photography and close-up photography.
Close-Up and Macro Photography: Art and Techniques

Ad • Close-Up and Macro Photography: Art and Techniques

– John Humphrey

High magnification Photography or Macro Photography and Close-Up Photography is immensely exciting and rewarding. Through the close up lens, everyday objects produce striking images, and small creatures show amazing detail that usually goes unnoticed.
Close-Up Photography in Nature

Ad • Close-Up Photography in Nature

– John and Barbara Gerlach

Capturing the grandeur of landscapes or mood of a certain natural light is challenging but often the simple details of a texture or color evade photographers most of all. Learn the tips necessary to successfully photograph the beauty all around you.
Macro Photography

Ad • Macro Photography

– Alan L. Detrick

Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers provides exactly the information that aspiring nature photographers, no matter their level of skill, need to take their nature photos to the next level.
Extreme Macro

Ad • Extreme Macro – The Art of Patience

– John Kimbler

A tabletop book on above life size Macro Photography with tips and tricks on how to take the images. Included is the image that won the Digital Photographer Magazine’s Macro Photographer of the Year in 2009.

Contact Meta

Ad • Meta’s Best North Carolina Photography Gifts

Photos By Meta

PO Box 1571
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
1-828-443-4277

Contact Meta

Follow Meta On:

Follow Us On FacebookFollow Me On InstagramMeta's Best Digital Photography Tips For Beginners
North Carolina Web Design