Rolf Dietrich Brecher PRO 11:15am, 24 October 2014
Name of the group is macro learning - so I´d like to learn - not in a way being taught something like teachers do but in the way of sharing tricks or opinions or knowledge.

What makes a good macro ?

So - go ahaed and let us know.....
fniewerth PRO 4 years ago
For this purpose, but you should also make first time honest opinions about the pictures, so comments of write what few do .
Greetings Frank
tramsteer PRO 4 years ago
A good tripod or at least a monopod helps. It is possible to manage w/o but you will end cranking up the shutter speed and cutting the d.o.f.
kindhearted mine [deleted] 4 years ago
Personally don't cheap out on the lens, I went from 3 cheap lenses using tricks to get the best out of them until I sold all three and got a 105mm Nikon macro, it is worth it. Also lighting is key, to get the fast shutter speed you'll want a good light system, plus pending on what you use for macro it may take away from your light, like extension tubes.
warrencarl 3 years ago
Tricky question as beauty is in the eye of the beholder...that being said...

What makes any picture good, good lighting, good composition, good focus point and a good or unusual point of view.

For me a macro image of an insect at the insects level is a must, getting down on the floor or kneeling and then getting up again repeatedly can be exhausting but its worth the effort.

Unobstructed images..IE: blurred out backgrounds creating good isolation of the subject is a great way to pull a persons eye to the place you want them to look, background distractions can ruin an insect shot even if the creature is perfectly focused.

As mentioned above good glass is a must, although I have seen incredible images taken with a 55mm kit lens and tubes but nothing compares to an image captured from a macro lens.

As for technique I always shoot hand held as this gives me complete freedom for framing the subject and quick response and movement time, I always allow my breathing to calm down before I shoot and often hold my breath.

Manual focus for me is an absolute priority, know your f stops, decide what you are after..everything in focus from front to back or only partially focused.

Most lenses are best between F8 to F11 you can push to F16 but some softness may creep in, I personally love images taken in natural light at f2.8 to f4 as the isolation of the subject makes for an incredible final image.

Set your camera ready or you may miss the shot.

I prefer natural light but due to the nature of macro work a flash is sometimes unavoidable, if I use flash I usually set up at iso 100-200, at F11 it seems to work for me, I use a ring flash either on the end of the lens or off to one side or above to give a softer light.

I always work in AV so I can change my f stop quickly, always and I mean always focus on the eyes of your creature just as you would in portraiture photography.

As for approaching insects remember that due to their short life span they live in a different time frame to us so even the slowest movement you make seems very quick to them.

Try to keep your shadow away from the subject at all times as this will send them disappearing into the dark undergrowth but they will return to sunbath.

Be patient, you cannot rush insect macro work, understand the insect you are trying to photograph..knowledge of animal behaviour is the key, do they perch on the same vegetation like the dragonfly, do they sunbath on the same leaf as do many spiders, these creatures usually use the same area day after day so take a note book and record what you found and where so you can revisit if needs be, many a time I have gotten home and said if only I had done this or that what a picture I would have had, so check your notes and return if required.

Most of all be prepared for masses of frustration and disappointment with your macro images at first, its been said by many a professional that if you get 1 macro image out of every thirty you had a good day, only time and practice will drop this figure, I stand at about 1 in every 5 and I've been doing this for over thirty years.

I think it takes all the above information and more to be able to make good macro images you may also need some computer skill for editing your images.

Well that's me done..sorry it was so long winded but I'm passionate about macro photography as I hope you are..happy snapping everyone... : )
Photogems25 3 years ago
Great answers here from warrencarl and may his comments make me a better Macro photographer next summer been at it for 6 years working with Nikon camera and lens with some help from extension tubes and a macro lens I have accumulated over the past six years in the search for the solution to the best macro close up clear photo I can get with my equipment. I have enjoyed your photos WarrenCarl they are mentionable in the halls of photography.
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