We are always interested to see exceptions. We see many things around us but, there are many things which just appear in front of us as a whole entity, but we can’t see them close due to their tiny shape and size. Photography has an amazing branch for going close to them which unleashes these hidden beauties. Photographers are always creative, and they search for hidden unseen beauty. Close up photography is the way for the photographers to see things closer and discover the hidden beauty from the things around.
Tips To Follow Before Taking Close Up Photography
This article will give you some fundamental tips for close up photography. I hope after reading this article you will be able to start with a close up photography and utilizing these tips will gradually make you an efficient close-up photographer.
1. Operate in Manual Mode
Close up photography is done within a very small area as the subject is comparatively smaller. The small area may give a different look while looking through the lens of the camera. Our eye may not be able to anticipate the look of the frame the way it can be anticipated for other photographs.
Thereby it is better to keep the mode of the camera in manual so that it gives the flexibility to set the camera in the desired setting anytime as the frame demands. While looking through the lens, we will discover many things which are not usual in naked eyes. New things will arise new ideas and may change the intention. So manual mode should be selected. Thus it can help to adapt to the intention and idea of the photographer.
2. Focus Manually
Most of the lens is provided with a motor which allows you to focus automatically. In case of close up photography, you need to focus something very small. While focusing that, there will be many things nearby and it will make the camera confused about focusing on the exact point. Thereby always focus in manual mode. Initially, it may bother you, and you might not get the perfect shot. But few practices will make you expert on this issue.
3. Check Live Mode for Sharpness
Never hesitate to check in live mode on your LCD of the camera. Once you check in live mode, you will have three advantages. One is, you will be able to see whether the image is correctly focused or not, the next is whether the image is clear or not and the last one is that you will also be able to check the framing or composition of your image. It will also let you use the rule of thirds properly as you can use a grid overlay on your monitor.
4. Get Depth of Field
There are obvious differences between close up photography and macro photography. For macro photography, the subject becomes 1:1 or larger and for close up photography, it is smaller than 1:1. For macro photography, you don’t always need much depth of field as you will be capturing a very specific portion of the subject. But close up photography may take the whole portion of the subject thus needs depth of field. So select your aperture to a narrow range to get the depth of filed in case of close up photography. Again you may go for Extended Depth of Field. If you do not know how to take the Extended depth of field then learn how to take it from Tutorial of Extended Depth of Field.
5. Don’t Always Set A Wide Aperture
For getting the depth of field; you need to use a narrow aperture. But don’t always remain rigid with this idea. If you have a lense which provides you aperture up to f/2.8 or even 1.4 does not always mean that you have to select that. Sometimes you have to make a specific point to focus. And you will understand that blurring the background will enhance the look of the image. And wide aperture is a good solution for making so.
6. Use Burst Mode for Gaining Sharpness Without A Tripod
This is a good idea for close up photography. This is for the situation when there is no scope of setting a tripod for taking the photo. You may photograph from a boat or in some place where there is no scope of placing tripod. Set your camera with fast shutter speed and click in burst mode.
Out of the many photos, you will get at least one which will be sharp. But don’t forget to give support by your hand like a clamp. You can also use a monopod for supporting the camera if there is anything available around.
7. Use A Tripod fro Close Up Photography
Just like all other photography; a tripod is a must for close up photography. Most of the times you are using a lens with a longer focal length, or you are taking a magnified photo. Your very small shake of the hand may spoil the photography. So never hesitate to use a tripod unless the situation does not allow so. My personal opinion is that for photography the way the camera and lens are essential, a tripod is also essential for most of the photography. Buy Good Quality Tripod From Amazon
To avoid camera shake while pressing the trigger, you may use the self-timer of your camera. If you use self-timer, then you don’t need to use your concentration on pressing the trigger and not shaking the camera at the same time. After the countdown starts, you can use your full concentration on the subject and maintain steadiness for not shaking the camera.
9. Use Remote
Camera shake is a big problem for any kind of photography. For close up photography, it is bigger. So we must take maximum care for avoiding camera shake. For close up photography, a small shake will spoil the photo. While pressing the trigger there will shake the camera is mounted on a tripod even. We can very easily avoid this problem by using a remote.
But there is a limitation to this. If the subject is static, then we can very easily use the remote. But if the subject is mobile, then we can’t use it. In that case burst mode capturing is the perfect thing to do.
10. Use Appropriate Lens for Close Up Phtography
Before taking the photo to select the perfect lens for getting the most desired photo. There are many lenses which are appropriate for shooting close up photography. Examples of some recommended lens are given below.
- Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro GOSS
- Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD
- Panasonic Lumix G Macro 30mm f/2.8 ASPH.
- Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens
- Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF VR Micro Lens
- Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro
- Sigma APO Macro 180mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Lens
- Canon TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro
- Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro
- Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Macro
- Meike 85mm f/2.8 Macro
- Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro VC USD
- Pentax-D FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro WR
- Fujifilm Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR 1:1 Macro
- Sony FE 50mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro
- Samsung 60mm f/2.8 NX i-Function Macro
- Fujifilm Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro
- Samyang 100mm f/2.8 ED UMC
But if you don’t have any of these lenses then don’t worry. There are many other methods following which you can easily shoot close up photography. Some of which I shall mention later.
11. Use Extension Tube for Close Up Photography
If you don’t a lens which is specially made for close up photography like the lens mentioned earlier then what to do? I have already said there are many methods for shooting close up photography with an ordinary lens. Using an extension tube is one of them. The extension tube is a cheap apparatus which takes you closer to the subject by changing its focal length.
It is nothing but a hollow tube which has to be placed in between your lens and camera. You can add an extension tube with your camera according to your necessity. You can add more than one if you need. Most of the extension tubes don’t allow the electrical connection between lens and camera, thus restricts the autofocus system.
So if you are using an extension tube of that type, then you have to focus manually. Although there are extension tubes which can connect the lens and camera electrically. But whatever extension tube it is, you are suggested to focus manually as mentioned earlier.
12. Use Diopter
You can use a diopter for bringing the subject closer to you. Diopter is a magnifying lens which has to be placed at the front of the main lens. This is a good apparatus to bring the subject closer. Before you buy a diopter make sure that the thread measurement of your lens and diopter is the same. Again before buying see the reviews of that particular diopter for checking its performance.
13. Reverse Your Lens
This is the most effective, easy and cheapest way to shoot close up photography. Just open your lens and fix the opposite side with the camera. Now, how to fix it? Well, there are apparatus too for fixing this with the camera which is called a reversal ring adapter. Just buy the appropriate adapter and fix your lens inversely and see the magic. Your subject will be enlarged depending on the focal length of your camera.
14. Use Ring Flash
Flash is another important thing for the close up photography. For close up photography, you have to take your lens close to the subject. For this reason, the flash fixed with your camera will not be able to send the light to the subject.
An external flash will make the shadow of the camera itself. To get rid of this you may use a ring flash which has to be placed with your lense. This will give a cool and perfect light to the subject causing no shade.
15. Use Lens Reflector
Lens reflector is an apparatus which has a reflecting surface and placed within the lens like a ring flash. It is usually a 12-inch white disk. This will reflect the light of the subject and will again enlighten the subject with natural light. A ring flash will add artificial light, but the lens reflector will add real and natural light.
16. Use Long Focal Length Lens for Living Subjects
Living subjects for close up photography are usually insects or any being which moves or changes it position if it feels the presence of anything closer. But to photography that we need to get closer. For this kind of situation, we have to use a lens with a long focal length.
This will bring the subject closer though you remain at a distance from where the subject will not be disturbed. Your subject will dictate the focal length of your lens because you will understand from which distance your subject will not feel disturbed.
17. Use Wide Lens Too for Close Up Photography
For close up photography; we usually don’t think of wide lens. But a wide lens can change the whole photo. It will take your photo to a different perspective. Remember, you are shooting very small things. More things in the frame will make the subject more meaningful about its size.
Again you need to make your photo look exceptional. The wide lens will do this part for you. So, don’t always remain rigid for using a narrow lens. Try with a wide lens as well.
18. Have Your Patience for Close Up Photography
Compared to other photography, close up photography is a bit tough and critical. Initially, you may not get the desired success. So you have to have patience while shooting close up photography. If you are shooting the photo of a bug or a bee, then you will not get it static always because it will not give you pose for photographs. It will move against your will and not understand your intention. So always have your patience and keep on shooting. Success will come gradually.
The Last Word about Close Up Photography
Close up photography needs determination and patience. This photograph is a bit critical than other photography. You need to practice everything again and again to become a good macro photographer. Again you need many apparatus to shoot good close up photography.
This photography is expensive too. But there are some easy procedures too for this photography which were mentioned in the article. Close up photography is expensive but a perfect outcome will not let you feel the expense of this photography. Besides making good photos, close up photography will take you to the unseen things around us.