Macro Photography Ideas, Hacks & tricks
There are so many subjects to shoot instead of only insects or objects such as snowflake photography, underwater photography, water drop, and macro photography depth of field, etc. Working with these subjects is tricky and you have to be tactful for perfection. You must have suitable gear and proper macro photography ideas, hacks & tricks. Besides, as this type of photography is pretty much challenging, you must have sound knowledge on how to do macro photography at home or studio commercially.
Earlier we have discussed about macro photography accessories, equipment, and essentials. You can check out to know detail about photography gear and this article will help you know how capture stunning macro photos of some challenging subjects.
Snowflake macro photography
Though it seems that winter season is not perfect time for macro photography, still there is a fantastic opportunity to have stunning macro photos. All the macro subjects like insects, flowers, and tiny things remain invisible during the winter, but you can shoot wonderful images of snowflakes. Snowflake macro photography is tricky and you must be very quick, as they might melt away quite soon. You need some different accessories for the photography, which are very much needed for getting beautiful snowflake photos.
What you need for this photography are:
🔷 Black blanket / towel / mitten
Block woolen cloth is very important for collecting suitable snowflakes. It must be dark or constructing color background, since snowflakes are mainly white. A considerable amount of gap should be between snow and the background for proper light reflection. That’s why woolen clothes with fur perfect, becuase they can create insulation under snowflake.
🔷 Camera & Lens
No matter how your camera is. What you have, you can start with that. But, there is something about the lens. If you can afford, buy suitable lens or you can use your existing lens with a macro photo reversing ring. Usually, the snowflakes are around 2-5mm across, which needs powerful magnification. So, suitable lens is needed capable of magnifying 1:1 life-size that enough to shoot full frame macro photograph.
Natural lighting is the best for perfect snowflake photo shooting. But, in a snowy day, you may feel the shortage of enough lighting necessary for this macro image. To cope with such a situation, you can keep suitable ring flash with you that we have described earlier in this content. During the use of flash light, be aware of not melting the snow. So, try to get your job done very quickly and at first try.
Finally, you need macro photography subject that is snowflake. So, go outside and keep woolen blanket open so that it can hold some snowflake that are falling from the sky. Usually you need one flake, but, don’t take the risk of melting or bad shape. So, hold more than one. Now, your subject is ready for getting captured. However, there is another way to get snowflakes during summer, from your refrigerator. But, we’ve tried and it’s really too risky during summer. In most cases they start to lose their aesthetic shapes very quickly, even if they do not melt. However after getting a whole bunch of them, you can start shooting at random and get some of the best ones.
How to shoot snowflake macro photos
Although macro photography is a little bit challenging and not like the average photography, it will need acid tests. Get some shots to try your luck and then perfect it. If you arrange everything perfectly, it will be easy for you.
Alright, for shooting snowflake image, go outside with mitten or blanket during snowfall. Set mitten and try to hold snowflake. Hold more than one snowflake and select the best crystal for your photography. It should be big, clear, and reflective snowflake with a lot of branches.
Once you have collected snowflakes, try to shoot images at the very first hour because there is a risk of melting. Now, set your camera and lens as close as possible to shoot macro. Usually these images are captured in board daylight, but if there is not adequate light, then use flash for creating proper lighting environment. Ok, if everything is ready, capture macro snowflake photos as much as you can, because later you have to do focus stacking. During taking macro images, it is not possible to focus each part of your tiny subject. As a result, use Adobe Photoshop (we love it for better result) for focus stacking. This technique enables you to focus all parts of the macro snowflake image. However, in this way, you will get awesome snowflake macro photographs.
Underwater macro photography
Underwater photography is not easy. Perhaps it is more tiresome that you think. A lot of things depend on you and when everything goes with you perfectly, then you can claim to be capable of capturing underwater photography. Unlike the average photography, here you need to buy thousands of dollars photography gear and diving equipment underwater, you need to know diving techniques, and the most importantly, you have to know underwater photography lighting. Besides, you must have the ability to shake frustration. Many times, you may experience what you never want, suppose you dive into water, but there are no fish or other subjects you are looking for. Again, you may feel sick or some other physical shortcoming, etc. That’s why you should have a well preparation for experience the amazing things underwater that most people never experience.
Underwater macro photography gear
A good preparation, in case of this type of photography, is needed and it includes long planning, some training as well as suitable underwater macro photography equipment. This task is pretty much hard, but it is a lot fun. Its success depends much on the right use of gear. So, let’s have a talk about gear of underwater macro photography.
🔷 Camera & Lens
You can capture underwater macro photos with a water resistant compact camera or a DSLR. What you have to check out of it is only its zooming capability which allows you to shoot closer photos. Nothing more, you need regarding camera, but you need a macro lens and appropriate flat port. You should select lens with suitable focal length, minimum focus and working distance. The macro lenses you will use for underwater macro photo should have 60mm to 100/105mm range. There are lots of brands such as Nikon, Cannon, Olympus, etc. you can take their lenses for best performances.
🔷 Strobe for Lighting
It is a significant issue. You know, good photography is all about proper lighting. Underwater macro photography is not an exception, even here it is more challenging. Only built-in camera flash is not enough and cannot create clear images. That’s why, external flash or flashgun which is also known as strobe, is crucial. It will provide you more flexibility. There are lots of options that allows to use various light effects regarding water color, depth, and clarity. For having perfect exposure, use more than one strobe and place those into different angles.
🔷 Diving equipment
Then you need necessary underwater diving equipment. There are lots of things such as gear bag, hand torch, compass, surface signaling device, GPS rescue device, some emergency tools, oxygen tank, diving knife, and more, just know the activities and facilities of everything and justify which are suitable for you and buy that are affordable. Moreover, you need proper training for underwater macro photo shooting.
How to shoot underwater macro photographs
First thing first. For underwater macro photo shooting, take preparation, make yourself ready, and dive into water. Get as close to your subject as possible, especially within 12 inches. Make ready your flash and turn on. Use external strobe or flash for minimizing backscatter and to get proper exposure, use strobe more than one, because water reduces color, contrast, and sharpness. Get low and shoot from upward angle and focus on your subject’s eyes for best composition. Then, set your camera to the highest resolution. In this case, ISO should be lowest to begin. However, now shoot your underwater macro images. If your images lack of sharpness, concentrate on shutter speed. It should be1/30th for still subject, 1/60th for slow moving subject, and 1/125th for fast moving subjects like fish. Finally, if it requires, edit your images DIY or take photography post production service from any professional bulk image editing company.
Water drop macro photography
This type of photography is really fun! Taking perfect shot of speedy water drop macro image is very challenging. It is an art of capturing close-up photos. These photos have details, though they cannot be seen with bare eyes. Actually macro photography means greater images than the subjects. Water drop macro photography is also that. Usually, water drop is seen naturally on leaves, flowers, or anywhere. It looks like a world on its own. You can also create water drop with perfect background or nice scenario reflected on the drop by yourself.
Water drop macro photography gear
To get wonderful water drop macro photos, you should some important gear such as camera, macro lens, steady platform like table, dropper or syringe, pin, etc. These gears will provide you more ease to have beautiful water drop images.
🔷 Camera & Lens
If you can afford, use costlier camera. But, if you cannot, start water drop photography with what you have- SLR, DSLR or smartphone. Only what you have to think about this photo shoot is shutter speed. Your camera must have very quick shutter speed. The shutter should be around 1/200th per second and for having enough depth of field, the aperture for macro photography should be f4-f5. Anyway, proper use of macro lens is another issue. Use macro lens so that you can focus on your subjects easily.
It is another significant gear for taking water drop photo. If your hand is shaky (even though it is not shaky), use a suitable tripod to have clear and blur free water drop. Without a tripod, your best images may get distorted and lack of sharpness. Because, though it looks steady, we are always moving even a little bit which will ruin the effort of taking macro images.
After getting a steady camera with tripod, you need steady subject. So, keep your subject on a table. You’ll get another advantage with the table and that is the perfect angle which is very important for perfect shots. Your tripod or camera and the subject should be placed on the same level.
🔷 Dropper or Syringe / Pin
Though you know how to create water drop, we like to give you some extra info about water drop creator. If you use dropper or syringe without needle, you can easily create water drop. You can also use pin for the same purpose.
How to shoot water drop macro photos
For having a stunning water drop beautiful macro photo, take a good preparation with all of the necessary accessories. Then, set up the photography equipment at studio or anywhere you like to take the photo. At the very first, place a table and keep water bucket on it. A suitable tripod should be setup then just beside and parallel with the water drop. You can take such an image in two ways- one is still droplet on a flower or leaf and the other way is to take a falling water drop in the still water.
In case of still water drop photo, create a water drop on flower or leaf using dropper or syringe. Try to use natural light or if needs, use an external flash. To increase the beauty, place another flower just behind the water drop so that it can be focused through the drop. Finally, set camera on the tripod, concentrate on ISO, aperture, and take the image.
If you want to take an image of falling water droplet, set everything like the static water droplets photography. Here you should be quicker while shooting with the pace of falling water drop. Concentrate on the right momentum and the shutter speed of your camera. For taking this type of images, the minimum camera setting is ISO 200, 85mm lens, 1/125 shutter speed, f/11 aperture, and the DSLR you like most. If your smartphone can take water droplets, you can also use the phone.