I’m so happy to be sharing part 2 of our series on outdoor photography here at She Lives Free. You can find part one, an awesome intro to outdoor photography, right here.
I’m so impressed and inspired by the talented ladies who took the time to share as guests here on the blog. Feel free to let them know what questions you have or join me in thanking them for graciously sharing their time and talents with us!
Great Tips For Macro Flower Photography
Macro Photography is a way to photograph small subjects really close up so that the subject on the photo is greater than the life size. Sounds so simple and downright technical. For me, macro photography is a way to bring magic to your photos. It enables you to take an ordinary scene and make it amazing and remarkable just by changing your perspective. It is a metaphor for life: by changing how you look at things you can change everything! I find it amazing and fascinating, and hope you do too! Of course one of the most fascinating subjects to photograph up close are flowers. They are beautiful and just so captivating. Here are a few tips for taking macro photos of flowers.
1. It is about practicing.
It is not how expensive or fancy your camera is, it is not about how good looking the flower is, it is ALL about practicing. Take your camera where ever you go, and practice taking those shots. All the time! Take more than one photo of the same flower from a different point of view. The more you practice the better your photos will become. Practice makes perfect!
2. Get to know your camera!
Don’t be afraid to play with the settings. It is not about the camera, but it helps a lot to know your camera functions. Most point and shoot cameras have a Macro setting, it is a little tulip shape. However, I was taking photos on a Macro setting for a while, and I wasn’t perfectly satisfied with them. I went to Youtube and looked up videos on how to shoot in manual setting, and how to properly set your focus yourself. My photos improved tremendously. I recommend you read, watch videos and just play with your settings. Especially play with your settings! Change them around and go do some practice shots. You will see what settings make your shots great. To take better photos, you need to learn about ISO, shutter speed and aperture. (Here is a great place to start: https://photographylife.com/iso-shutter-speed-and-aperture-for-beginners )
3. Lighting is important!
I would start out by shooting in daylight. I find that the best times for photographs are during morning and late afternoon, when the sun is not beating down on the flowers and washing the colors out. Once you feel great about your photos, move on to try and take photos in the dark. Also, play with the light. With macro photography, sometimes great results can be achieved if the photos are taken against the light.
4. Avoid the clutter.
See what would clutter the photo. The background can make or break the shot. The great thing about macro photography is the ability to crop things out you don’t like and don’t want to be present in the photo. Change perspective if necessary.
5. Learn to edit your photos.
Something as simple as adjusting contrast and brightness can go a long way to improve a photo. You don’t need expensive software. There are a number of free options available. I love Gimp. It is free, and amazing. There is also PicMonkey, where you can do many of the tasks you would need to edit your photo to your liking. What’s great about PicMonkey is that there is no software to download, you can do all the editing in your browser window. You will need to be brave, try things, and play with the software. There is no wrong way to do it, but to learn you will need to try. For some of the things I wanted to learn, I, again, turned to Youtube.
6. Learn to see.
Sometimes a commonplace scene can become extraordinary when looked at from a close perspective. Something that looks like a regular lawn can look quite amazing when looked at through a bug’s perspective!
7. Most importantly, have fun taking your photos.
Have a great time, and explore this wonderful way to spend time and create art!
Mariya grew up in Odessa, Ukraine, moved to Brooklyn, NY at 14, and now resides in her favorite state, NJ, with a wonderful husband, two growing boys, a cranky grandpa and three troublesome dogs. She always enjoys drawing, painting, creating art, reading, learning with her kids and going to adventures all around NJ and the surrounding states. She is the happy person behind www.happyfamilyart.com, where you will find a happy family learning, creating art and traveling together.
We’d love to hear your questions and comments! What fascinates and/or frustrates you about photography? What’s your main takeaway from this instruction guide to macro photography?