Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tips for Shooting in Macro


I mentioned recently that I have been trying a few tricks to help me with macro photography. It's my favorite type of photography and yet, I'm struggling with it!!  I'm older and have developed a hand shake! In a flickr group I belong to we've been discussing macro images and several have passed along a few tips I've tried. I'd love to pass those tricks along to you.

Terri says, "I had a terrible time getting my focus sharp. It seems I have a slight sway in my old age and just can't stand still enough! I know, I know, a tripod is the answer but I'm just too lazy most of the time. What has been working for me is to click the shutter as soon as focus is achieved, no waiting, just "beep" and then click. I have been getting a lot more in focus shots doing that." She also suggested that instead of focusing and then composing, to change the focus point on the camera. I didn't know you could change the focus point! I had to look it up in my camera manual!! I 've tried both her suggestions and they really helped me.

Judy suggests either using the timer on the camera - focusing, setting up my shot, then pushing the timer button or using a remote. That way you're not even touching the camera when the photo is taken.

Here's a suggestion by Carol, "tie a long string to the tripod screw at the bottom of your camera.
Step on the string and pull the camera up as you shoot to tighten the string. There you have it - homemade tripod! You'd be surprised how much it steadies your hand!" I was surprised! It did help. It doesn't help the side to side sway, but it did help steady the camera.

I've also found that if I breath out slowly and hold my breath while I shoot, I am steadier.

I've been shooting with a 50mm macro lens. After the discussions in this group, I want a 100mm now!!  I can't get quite as close as I want!!  I usually have to do some cropping. Which is usually OK unless I want to print! I also have a tripod, which is fine if you're photography a stationary object, but when chasing a bee or ladybug, it just won't work!!  I can usually find something to prop my camera on if the object I'm photographing is ground level.

It's still a game of luck with me!!  I usually set my camera on multi-shots and click away!  If I'm lucky, one of these will be in focus!!  I hope some of these simple suggestions will help you! 


  1. Ohh wow Cathy, thanks for the tips, there are I already used but also new and the stunning pictures you show this moment. Even I am thankful for your answer about the insect. And that macro lens is on my wish list to. Must feed my saving pig.

  2. lens is on my list also, thanks for that. Suzy x

  3. Cathy, you manage to get great macros in spite of the challenges! I love your second image, so delicate and pretty. Your tips are very helpful -- I also have a shaking problem sometimes, but deep breathing helps.

  4. The second picture is my favorite too! I love red and the light is so good!

    I have the 100mm and love it because I don't have to get so close to what I'm taking a picture of. Especially helpful for bees! It's also a very good lens for just about everything!

    Are you a Canon girl?


  5. Thanks for the tips. I want to dry all of them. Loved your shots.

  6. this is so great cathy! i really struggle with camera shake and getting sharp images. i'm going to try some of your suggestions. :) and a macro lens is at the top of my wish list. thanks for info!! :)

  7. As always, these are just stunning. Thanks for the tips!

  8. These look great to me. - I use a Point n Shoot and sometimes have the same problems you mentioned. Wonder if those tips work for PNS cameras.

  9. Cathy, thanks for sharing these tips. I'm definitely going to try them. I think your macro images are great and only improving. I love those water droplets and curled petals in that second image, and the beautiful color and selective focus in the first one.


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