Macro Photography Tips for Beginners

Learn How To Shoot The Best Macro Photography and Close-Up Photograph

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Macro Photography Tips – Depth of Field Solutions

Macro Photography Tips – In this section of Nature Photography Tips, Meta Explains Her Macro Photography and Close-Up Tips For Beginners. Since this is a Beginners Website, Meta will not be getting into Complex Focus Stacking or Extension Rings.

Depth of Field Problems and Solutions – Macro Photography and Close-Up Photography involves getting really close to an object, often only a few inches away, and shooting with a Special Minolta AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens or Sony AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. You will soon discover, Macro Photography and Close-Up Photography isn’t 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).

Nature Photography Tips For BeginnersAd • Mastering Macro Photography – If you are new to Macro Photography and Close-Up Photography, consider taking a Macro Photography Training Class. This Macro Photography Training Video covers Macro Photography and Close-Up Photography, opening up a whole new world of image making possibilities. 5 Star Rated!

Meta’s Best Macro Photography and Close-Up Macro Photography Tips

Ad • Find The Best Sony Macro Photography Lenses

Meta’s Macro Photography Setup

Learn How To Shoot The Best Macro Photography – Meta used her Minolta AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens shoot 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 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens or Sony AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. You won’t regret it!

Meta’s Macro Photography and Close-Up Macro Photography Tips

Depth of Field Issues – 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.

Lighting Issues – Shooting with a Very Small Aperture, like f/16 to f/22, will require More Light. Meta normally shoots at the Native ISO of her Sony Digital Camera, which is ISO 100, that produces the lowest noise image possible. Added light can be from a Reflector (Natural Sunlight is Always Better), a Diffused Flash Unit or from Bright LED Lights. Adding More Light will allow you to shoot at faster shutter speeds when shooting in Aperture Priority 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.

Light Absorbing Black Velvet – 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.

Use 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.

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

Bright LED Lights – Use External LED Lights mounted on Mini Tripods for Macro Photography works 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 Meta’s 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

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. 5 Star Rated!

Slik Monopod – A 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. 4 Star Rated!

Special Macro Lens – A Special 1:1 Macro Lens is required for Macro Photography. Meta uses her Minolta AF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens for all of her Macro Photography and as a 100mm 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 Nature 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 Details and Colors

Meta’s Recommended Macro Photography Camera Settings

Camera: Sony a77 II Digital Camera
Lenses: 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: Aperture Priority Mode
ISO: 100 or Auto (Limited to ISO 800)
Aperture: f/16 to f/22 (Widest Depth of Field)
Image Stabilization – Turn Off when on a Slik Pro 700DX Tripod
Drive Mode: Continuous Shooting: Hi
Filter: Circular Polarizer Filter (CPL)
Extra Lightning: Reflector, Diffused Flash Unit or Bright LED Lights

Nature Photography Tips For BeginnersAd • Find The Longest Lasting Batteries – For North Carolina Nature Photography, Meta uses Energizer Ultimate Lithium Batteries which have a 20 year shelf life and can operate from -40°F to 140°F°. Energizer Lithium Batteries are Specially Designed for High Drain Photography Devices like Camera Flashes and LED Flashlights. 5 Star Rated!

Meta Reviews Her Best Sony Macro Lenses For Sony Digital Cameras

Ad • Find The Best Sony Macro Photography Lenses

Ad • Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens (SAL100M28)

Get incredibly close to small subjects with the Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, which delivers professional results in almost any shooting situation. The versatile macro focus lens covers a wide range of photographic applications, from close-up nature subjects to midrange telephoto shots, making it ideal for carrying on location or in the field as a Sharp 100mm f/2.8 Prime Lens for portraits. Specific details include a focus range limiter that speeds up the auto focus response by limiting the range of distances that are brought into focus; a focus hold button that gives you full creative control; an auto clutch option with a manual focus ring that doesn’t rotate; a circular aperture that provides a pleasing circular defocused effect that’s ideal for low-light shots; and excellent optical precision that gives your shots greater visual accuracy. 4 Star Rated!

Fits in a Lowepro 9 x 13 cm Lens Case

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Dimensions
(Diameter x Length)
Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(US Dollars)
16°
0.35 M
f/32
75 x 99 mm
505 g
ø55mm
150mm
$800

Ad • Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens (SAL50M28)

With a minimum focusing distance of just 20cm and up to 1:1 magnification, this compact Sony Macro Lens can open up a world of creative possibilities for Macro Photography and Close-Up Photography. In addition to impressive macro shots, this lens also offers outstanding optical performance for general photography, making it a very versatile choice as a sharp 50mm f/2.8 Prime Lens.

This was Meta’s first Sony Lens for her Sony a77 II Digital Camera and was used to shoot many weddings. 4 Star Rated!

Fits in a Lowepro 9 x 9 cm Lens Case

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Minimum Aperture Size
Dimensions
(Diameter x Length)
Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(US Dollars)
16°
0.20 M
f/32
71 x 60 mm
295 g
ø55mm
75mm
$600

Ad • Sony LA-EA5 Full Frame A-Mount Lens Adapter for Sony E-Mount Cameras

New for 2020! Adapt any A-Mount lens (Sony or Minolta) to your Sony E-Mount camera. A newly designed compact auto focus and aperture drive system fits snugly into the sleek compact cylindrical adapter which perfectly matches the diameter of the A-Mount lens. The compact cylindrical design also makes the adapter ideal to use with a vertical grip. Get wide E-Mount Focal Plane Phase-Detection Auto focus Coverage and Advanced Real-Time Eye AF and Real-Time Tracking with Legacy A-Mount lenses Including motorless lenses!

New: $250

Fits in a Lowepro 7 x 8 cm Lens Case

Angle of View
for APS-C
Minimum Focus
Distance (MFD)
Maximum Aperture Size
Dimensions
(Diameter x Length)
Weight
Filter Diameter
APS-C
Crop Factor
MSPR
(2020 US Dollars)
N/A
Same as Lens
Same as Lens
66 x 32mm
88 g
N/A
N/A

$250

Meta Reviews Her Best Macro Photography Training Videos

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. 5 Star Rated!

Meta Reviews Her Best Macro Photography Books

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. 5 Star Rated!
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. 5 Star Rated!
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. 5 Star Rated!
Nature 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. 5 Star Rated!
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. Not Rated Yet.

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Ad • Find The Best Minolta AF Lenses

Nature Photography Tips For Beginners
Nature Photography Tips For Beginners

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Nature Photography Tips For Beginners
PO Box 1571
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
1-828-443-4277

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Photos By Meta

Western North Carolina Nature Photography was shot by Western North Carolina Nature Photographer Meta Gätschenberger.
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