If you haven’t tried macro photography before, it will open up an unfamiliar and fascinating world to you and stretch your photographic skills. Focussing, lighting, composition and working with a very shallow depth of field all pose challenges, and shooting macro will improve your overall photographic skills as well as revealing the mystery and beauty of the world around you.

What is macro photography?

Roughly speaking, macro photography is extra close-up photography. Technically, though, true macro photography refers to a setup where the subject is reproduced on the sensor at its original size or larger – ie, if you shoot an ant that measures quarter of an inch long in real life, then for true macro your lens should create an image that’s quarter of an inch long on your camera sensor. This proportion is referred to as 1:1.

However, these days the term ‘macro’ is used for close-up photography where this doesn’t necessarily happen, and if your quarter-inch ant is captured on the sensor at one eighth of an inch (or less) instead, then it’s still fine to refer to it as macro unless you’re a bit of a purist. In practice, macro has come to mean very close up photography that isn’t normally achievable with a standard lens…

View or download our full article as a pdf document: Beginners Guide to Macro Photography