Behind the Scenes: Macro Photography Shoot

The beauty of macro photography is that you can do it anywhere and at any time. You don't even really need fancy gear. All you need is a subject and a camera.

As it's one of my favourite types of photography, I do use some more specialised gear. I use a Nikon 60mm f2.8. It's a lovely sharp lens. I have a Nikon D750 camera and use a Manfrotto tripod. If I'm wanting to get even closer I will use a set of bellows.

I use my camera on manual mode. I have the shutter than 1/80th of a second if I'm hand holding the camera or lower if I'm using a tripod. 1/80th of a second is the speed that I know I can hold my camera and not have any camera shake therefore blurry photographs. I aim for an aperture of at least f8. The closer you are to your subject, the less that is in focus and sharp so you need a smaller aperture to get the depth of field (more of the photograph in focus). The ISO I use depends on whether I'm hand holding the camera or not. It also depends on how bright the scene is. I try not to use an ISO higher than 1000 as the higher the ISO the noise is. Especially for when it's a really close photograph, I have the camera on a timer so that it reduces the camera shaking when I press the shutter.

When photographing flowers, I have a system so that I photograph the whole plant. I tend to start with the pistil (the centre of the flower) as it's the part of the flower that draws my eye the most.

I then really like to photograph the petals. Everyone thinks that they are completely smooth but they are actually quite textured. I love being able to show people that.

Soursob petals
Sour sob petals

Everyone looks at the front of flowers but they miss seeing the shape of the full flower. I like to photograph the back of the flower to capture it's shape.

No plant is complete without its leaves. I was really surprised that this is what the leaves are. I though it wasn't different plant.

Soursob leaf
Sour Sob Leaf

Sometimes you get an added bonus like bees flying around the flowers. They aren't easy to photograph as they are fast. If I was photographing them in the morning when it was colder, they might have been slower. The light would also have been softer which is sometimes better for macro photography.

What's your favourite part of a flower? Do you photograph flowers? I'd love to see your photographs.

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