If you have an SLR camera, digital or film, you can explore a fascinating world of macro photography. Whether your a beginner or a professional photographer, all you need is a macro lens (They are fairly inexpensive as far as professional quality lenses go) and possibly a tripod.
A SLR and a macro lens enable you to focus within inches of your subject. That combined with todays super high-resolution digital cameras and a whole new world emerges from you camera to you computer.
If its flowers, insects or the intricacies of a computer chip, you will be amazed by the detail captured beyond the scope of the human eye. As a Denver product photographer, I find myself using my 55mm macro lens to capture the intricacies of products both large and small.
Obviously, focusing needs to be precise at this short distance between camera and subject.
Unless you are using close-up lenses, when doing any kind of macro work, you always have to consider the effective f-stop. Even if you are using the SLR body’s built-in meter, which will correct automatically for light loss you must realize that effective aperture affects picture quality.
Taking pictures through a pinhole results in tremendous depth of field but very low sharpness due to diffraction. This is why lenses for a 35mm format camera stop at f/22. You will want to shoot at the highest aperture possible to maximize sharpness and depth-of-field.
Now ad an electronic flash or two or three and you will see that world in a brilliant detail.
Fill-flash should not alter the exposure of the image but helps to highlight more detail. The flash will reveal areas that might otherwise be lost to shadows. If you experimenting macro photograph, you may be able to get away with using your cameras pop-up flash with a homemade diffuser like a piece of clear plastic or white-cloth. Keep in mind that, since you are so close to the subject, an on-camera flash will not effectively light the subject area. You may need to explore an off-camera flash with a dedicated extension cord or an on-camera flash with a second or third slave flash. A lens ring-flash can be used but comes with a price tag. Even if you go the extra mile and purchase a state of the art twin-flash system you may still need to find a way to diffuse the light for the best results.
The overall aim of macro photography is the same as any other form of professional photography. To get a sharp image of the subject, pleasing composition and dramatic lighting when available.