So, I have started to experiment with macro photography. I have learned that it is challenging to hold the camera steady when you are shooting super close. This isn’t to say that I haven’t gotten decent results. It is just something that I need to be aware of. I really should be shooting off of a tripod/platypod to hold the camera steady.
I have two macro lens. My Canon EF 24-70mm has a macro mode at the 70mm end. It allows fairly close focusing and a 1:2 ratio. I also have an EF-M 28mm f/3.5 macro lens. This lens allows regular 1:1 macros and a “super” macro mode of 1.2:1. This mode is slightly larger than life.
However, it focus at 3.7″ which includes the length of the lens. Basically you have to be right on top of the object, about an inch from the end of the lens. Being so close can create problems holding the camera steady even in great light. I have learned that in the future, to get images sharp on super macro, I will need to be using some sort of a tripod. I have mentioned the PlatyPod and I will do a review of this gear in a future article.
Using a macro lens helps you focus on the details. The strength of the lens is that you can get super close to things and make the details of the image jump out at you. I really like that. I am technically a landscape photographer. However, unlike most landscape photographers, I prefer to shoot tight instead of wide. I really enjoy capturing details of things instead of wide open spaces. A macro lens is an extension of that process.
Shooting with a macro is not without challenges. Especially if you are used to shooting right over the top of subjects. With a macro lens you will frequently get shadows of you and/or your camera on the subject if you try to stand over it. I am finding that having an articulating screen helps you get low and to the side of the subject, causing less shadow projection.
In fact, shooting macro has really helped me with my angles. I tend to just shoot from eye level, a bad habit I picked up some where. Normally, the only time I change my angle is when I am shooting on a tripod. Having a flip out screen or a screen that at least articulates allows me to change the angles much easier and much more frequently.
Overall, I find that macro photography is enjoyable for me, even if it is not my main focus. I feel that changing up your shooting styles can challenge you to grow as a photographer. Learning new techniques and styles is always a good thing. It helps break you out of a rut. What do you think?
Clay is happily married in Maryland where he lives with his wonderful wife and twin boys. His daughter lives with her mother in Idaho. His hobbies include photography, martial arts, music, and technology.