If you’re fond of photographing flowers, insects, or abstracts, then you will love these tips for Macro Photography. And where better to try than in our tropical jungle oasis of Puerto Vallarta! Whether you are visiting the Vallarta Botanical Garden or exploring your own neighborhood you are sure to find some stunning subjects.
- Be selective of your subjects. If shooting flowers, make sure you choose one with healthy leaves and petals.
- Shadows and Macro do not mix. Don’t shoot flowers in full sun unless it is completely backlit. Try for overcast days instead, find a shady spot, or bring a diffuser to create your own shade. This alone will make a huge difference in the quality of your images!
- Do not shoot with a flash unless you can modify it or it is meant for Macro Photography.
- Use the Rule of Thirds to offset some subjects and center your images with symmetrical subjects.
- Shoot in bright, but diffused, locations like conservatories and greenhouses. Vallarta Botanical Gardens has some wonderful and diverse flower houses and is a perfect location for Macro lovers!
- One of the best parts of Macro Photography is that when you shoot extremely up close, anything can make an interesting subject. Look around and discover unique opportunities!
Tips for Camera-Phone Photographers:
- Make sure you are focusing and exposing accurately by tapping on your phone screen. Touch where you want to focus and slide up and down on the sun icon to adjust your exposure.
- You can use lighting accessories such as attachable LED lights to help evenly light your subjects.
- Try shooting in Portrait mode to blur out your background.
Tips for Point-and-Shoot, DSLR, and Mirrorless Photographers:
- Use a medium aperture when shooting with a Macro Lens. Using wide apertures like 2.8 generally won’t give you enough focus. Macro lenses will almost always blur your background.
- When you are shooting outside it can be difficult to see your LCD screen. View them with your Histogram on to review your images for exposure.
- In addition to cheaper macro options than a special lens, you can try extension tubes or close up filters for a fraction of the price. When using these adapters you will not be able to focus on non-macro subjects and if you have trouble focusing, move closer or zoom in and out.
- The technique of “Poor Mans Macro” is taking one of your lenses, removing it from your camera and reversing it. You have to hold it against your camera as it will not be connected and to focus you need to move closer and farther away from your subject until you find the right spot.
- When 75% or more of your subject is light toned (whites, light pinks, beige, etc), you camera will automatically want to make it darker. When 75% or more of your frame is dark toned it will make it brighter. You will need to adjust for this using exposure compensation. Make the light subjects lighter, and the dark ones darker to keep them as accurate as possible.
- Color representation is very important, so use the most accurate White Balance preset or create a custom white balance.
- If you are looking to improve your images, try researching new techniques or take a workshop!