Macro Photography For All!
landed here because you're interested in learning more about macro and
close-up photography, right?
Congratulations, you've come to the right place!
This site is all about zeroing in on the world of small
things and capturing memorable, beautiful images. Thus the
motto "Let's Get Close-Up"!
Now that you're here, poke around a bit, kick the tires, and see what I've put together for you. Let me tell you about myself over here.
All the photos on this site were made by me,
except where noted.
That's convenient for both of us because I know these photographs
intimately and I can share how they were made, what drew me to make
them, and what hurdles I might have had to overcome.
My goal is to help you develop your macro photography skills! I show my photographs to illustrate important points and share some of the spark of inspiration that got me into doing this in the first place. You'll collect a lot of macro photography tips along the way!
You'll see bugs that look like gargoyles, snowflakes that blow your mind, detail in stuff you may have taken for granted. You'll discover gorgeous patterns in flower petals, sparkles in crystal, and weird images from ordinary objects that will amuse and astound you.
What I love most about macro photography
is that our subject matter is all around us. I mean it...stop what
you're doing right now
and take a close look around you.
In these pages, we'll explore miracles of the
Little World that
can be found in your back yard, or within an arm's length of
where you're sitting right now.
Of course, if you like to get out and explore the world, we'll also explore different locations, times of year and the magnificence of weather and climate on the natural world.
photography is, strictly speaking, close-up
photography. Many people use the terms interchangeably. Others prefer a
rigorous definition that relates to the degree of magnification. What
matters most to me is the message within the photograph, so I try not
to get hung up on strict definitions. I'll offer up some definitions
here, than make the case that it doesn't really matter all that much.
We'll start by considering the 1:1 magnification ratio. This is where the size of the image on the film or digital sensor is the same as the object in real life. The coin in the photos below is 24mm wide, nearly the same width as the digital sensor in the Nikon D70 camera that made the photo. Photographing the entire coin tight to the edges results in a 1:1 magnification image.
|1:1 magnification||1:4 magnification||1:8 magnification|
As we pull back in our coin
photograph, the coin itself occupies a smaller part of the film or
sensor. If the coin is now a fourth of its actual size (on the film or
sensor), then the ratio is expressed as 1:4, likewise for the coin
photographed at 1:8 on the right.
When we focus in closer than 1:1, and photograph details of the coin that render twice as large as real life on the film or sensor, then we call that a 2:1 magnification ratio, or simply 2x.
Some people still call this larger-than-life photography macro photography, others insist we're now in the realm of micro photography. It's important to know the difference in theory, because micro photography is a world unto itself that is hugely important. It is the world of microscopes and lens systems that reveal details invisible to the human eye (pond scum at 60x, anyone?).
As magnifications get larger we reach the limits of where camera lenses and close-up accessories can focus and compose an image; to me that's where macro ends and micro begins. Micro photography is an amazing world to explore, but it requires special equipment and is beyond the scope of our discussion.
Understanding this terminology, and where the differences lie, is most useful:
in a beer
This site is a
practical resource of macro photography tips that hits the essential high points yet
avoids crushing you under the weight of technical details (not
about that...there are some great resources out there if
you want to dig deeper, and I'll tell you where they are).
I'll give you basic photography tips that no photographer should be without (whether you're shooting macro or not), tricks that will save time and money, and that will transform your pictures from "ho-hum" to WOW!
We'll talk about equipment needs unique to macro photography and close-up photography, how to understand the language of light, and how to manipulate light to do your bidding.
You'll also be learning digital photography here, and how to make sense of the flood of terminology that can drown you in a sea of pixels.
And, because your beautiful photographs deserve, yes, scream out! to be displayed in a likewise beautiful fashion, we'll cover, step-by-step, all you need to know about displaying your photos and showing off your skill and artistic vision to a wider audience.
You can also post your own photos, and share your know-how on some of the pages here. I know a lot about this subject, but there's a lot I don't know, so I look forward to hearing from you.
Let's explore together, learn how to take great pictures, and have some fun while we're at it!
First things first, however. We'll begin our journey by discussing what makes a good photograph, and try to answer why some photos work and others don't.
Enjoy your visit here at macro-photography-for-all! Let's Get Close-Up!