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Macro photography is the process of taking extremely close up photographs, with the resulting photo often being larger than the original subject matter. This allows photographers to capture images of unusual and interesting subjects, exploring the world from whole a new perspective that is not possible with the naked eye.
Although the advanced settings of a DSLR camera allow you to get some spectacular macro images, it is possible to get started with a compact camera. Most compact cameras have a built in macro mode on them, often signified by a flower symbol on the mode dial. The same symbol is present on most DSLR cameras, and changing to the macro setting will allow you to focus in on extremely close objects, as well as create a blur effect in the background. Special macro lenses can be purchased for DSLR cameras, but don’t reach for the wallet just yet until you have mastered the skills with your standard lens.
Using a tripod is the key to getting a crystal clear image as the slightest movement will knock out the focus. When photographing subjects that are low to the ground use a minipod. This will allow you to stabilize your camera very close to the floor when capturing images such as flowers or bugs. For the perfect lighting conditions a reflector is advisable instead of using a flash.
One of the most interesting things about macro photography is the unusual choice of subjects and viewpoints. Texture and color are two aspects that help to make macro shots pop, so look for a subject that is visually interesting and stands out against its background. Two of the most popular macro subjects are flowers and insects. Macro photography can be used to create visually stimulating abstract images of everyday objects, and these can work well when blown up on a large scale. Capturing the world from a different perspective is what creative photography is all about. So get out there are snap some captivating images.
Composition and Focus
The success of a macro shot lies mainly in the composition of the frame and the focus of the subject. If you want to take a truly striking image that accentuates all the fine details, make sure you have a clear outer field. It may be necessary to manually focus the image in order to detail the exact focus points that you desire. Ensure that your main subject is sharply in focus, and that the focal point of the image does not end up being a leaf or blade of grass nearby. Getting a good background blur behind the subject may involve moving around a little to ensure that there is a clear color contrast between the foreground and background.
As with every aspect of photography, the best way to learn is to get out there and start shooting. Try taking pictures of a variety of subjects with interesting angles, backgrounds, and focal points, and behold the results!
With the holiday season well underway, we thought we would share with you our pick of the best cameras that 2012 has had to offer.
2012 has seen the release of some truly amazing cameras. From incredible DSLRs to pocket friendly compacts, we’ve got something for everyone…
Camera of the Year – Canon 1D X
Cashing in at a whopping $6,799 (and that’s just for the body!) this camera is not for the faint of heart. Despite the stiff competition that this full frame model was met with throughout 2012, the Canon 1D X has still managed to come out trumps. Offering an 18.1 full frame megapixel CMOS sensor, an incredibly powerful ISO range, and all new Dual DIGIc 5+ image processors that deliver the highest quality image captures, this machine is hard to beat.
Best Point and Shoot – Nikon P7700
When it comes to high end compact cameras the Nikon P7700 outdid them all! With an extra large 12.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, 7.1x optical zoom, fully articulating screen, plus a whole host of other superb controls, the $426 Nikon P7700 is second to none.
Best Entry Level DSLR – Sony Alpha SLT-A37
If you’re looking for the perfect entry level DSLR then the Sony Alpha SLT-A37 is the answer. Priced at $498, this newest addition to Sony’s Alpha DSLR series is an absolute star. Boasting endless features including translucent mirror technology, 16.1 megapixel resolution, ISO 16000 sensitivity, and full HD movie capture, the specs for this model really are awesome.
Best Compact Superzoom – Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS20
The Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS20 is an outstanding camera that offers superior picture quality even at maximum zoom. Costing a reasonable $349, this camera makes for the ideal travel companion. Slipping easily in the pocket, the impressive 20x zoom, 24mm ultra wide angle lens, and ability to shoot in HD ensures you capture magnificent shots each and every time.
Best Value For Money – Canon PowerShot ELPH 110
If you’re in the market for an inexpensive camera that is super simple to use, and won’t burn a massive hole in your wallet, then the Canon PowerShot 110 is the camera for you. With 16.1 effective megapixels, full 1080p HD video recording, and a 5x optical zoom all for an incredible $155, you really can’t go wrong!
What’s your favorite camera from 2012?
Share with us in the comments below.