macro photography, sharp, focus, macro image, ring shot, details

Macro photography is referred to when you photograph small subjects or details and to magnify them and make them have a larger than life feel. You see this type of photography when capturing wedding rings, newborns details (nose, toes, etc), and in nature photography. While its a fun way to experiment, on of the biggest challenges for photographers is getting their images sharp. Here are five ways that you can improve the sharpness of your macro images.

  1. Apertures – With macro photography, your depth of field (DOF) is going to be very shallow. That’s why when if you are photographing a ring and you have your aperture at f2, there’s a good chance you won’t have the entire object in focus. When you bump that up to f11, you’re going to get a wider range of it in focus.
  2. Shutter speed up – Be aware of your shutter speed. I know I’m not the steadiest of hands when I’m trying to photograph something up close. By keeping your shutter speed at 1/125 or above, you’re able to minimize any motion blur that may occur.
  3. Manual vs Auto Focus – There are times where our cameras just can’t quite find the focus. Whether its on a diamond or something else of low contrast, it’s sometimes best to switch to manual focus on your lens. Just take your time and take a little extra photos as you make minor adjustments.
  4. Extra light – Sometimes it’s handy if you’re in a dark spot to have a little extra light. If you’re in a pinch, you’re iPhone flashlight might be just the boost you need. Or you can purchase a video light to keep on hand to help find your focus and give a little extra dimension to your photos.
  5. Tripod – If you’re working with a still object and you have the time, grab a tripod! This will allow you to slow down your shutter speed so you can keep your aperture up without sacrificing your ISO. Be sure to set it on the self timer. If you have your shutter speed pretty low, even pushing the shutter release button can cause motion blur at the time of capturing the photo.

Macro photography is a fun way to add a new perspective to your work. By being aware of these five things, you’re on your way to images that will be tack sharp!  What are your favorite things to photograph with your macro lens? What are some tips you’d like to share?

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