So you want to get close, huh? ‚Close-up photography is magical and can be done with almost any lens, even your normal zoom lens (all of these shots were taken with the Zuiko Digital 12-60mm zoom, not a macro lens). ‚Sure, serious macro photography requires specialized equipment, but you can get good results right away using what you have if you remember a few guidelines.
First ‚œ get close! ‚So many times I see ‚Ëœclose-up‚„ pictures that include way too much in the frame. ‚Like a flower image that shows other flowers, leaves, a fence, the dirt etc. ‚That‚„s not a close-up. ‚The reason good close-up and macro photos are so magical is that they show us a world we might not ordinarily notice. ‚Here‚„s what to do, find out how close your lens will focus and then try and stick to that as much as possible. ‚My ZD 12-60mm lets me get a couple inches from my subject and does a good enough job that I can sometimes leave my macro lens at home.
Second ‚œ isolate! ‚Close-up photographs are much more effective when the subject is clearly separated from the rest of the scene. ‚You can do this in two ways, first by choosing a subject that doesn‚„t have anything near enough to be in the frame with it. ‚So pick that flower or mushroom that doesn‚„t have any friends. The second way you can isolate your subject is by opening your lens to a large aperture. ‚Doing this limits your depth of field and creates an out of focus background also known as bokeh. ‚Of course sharp focus on your main subject is critical, so be careful. ‚Watch the shutter speeds and use a tripod if necessary.
Third ‚œ surprise! ‚Show me something different. ‚Oh gee, another flower picture. ‚Yay. ‚How about a bug? ‚Yawn. ‚A leaf? ‚Zzzzz. ‚Sorry, I‚„m not really dumping on any of these things, but haven‚„t we all seen a million of them? ‚I‚„m just as guilty of it. ‚After a while they‚„re all the same and it takes an effort to bring something different to the world of close-up photography. ‚Find it. ‚Whatever it takes, find something unusual about an everyday object or something you hardly ever see photographed. ‚Try new angles, perspectives, juxtapositions, play with depth of field, background, color combinations; anything to help your image break free of sameness.
So that should get you started. ‚Get close, isolate and surprise me! ‚Feel free to post comments with links to your best close-up photos or share them on the‚forum.
My Website = www.wickeddarkphotography.com and I’m based in New Hampshire, USA