Tutorial: Macro Photography

The equipment you will need

Your camera will typically be moved closer to the subject for macro photography. This magnifies the effects of camera shake, blurring the image. Using a tripod keeps the camera steady during the exposure.

A sturdy tripod is usually recommended, though almost any tripod is better than none. If you are photographing subjects you can place on a table, then a tabletop tripod is suitable for your PowerShot or IXUS.

Titanite & Ferrohornblende, You Connect member Matteo Chinellato, Canon EOS 7D

Setting Macro on your camera
Most IXUS and PowerShot cameras have a macro focus mode that allows focusing at only a few centimetres from the subject. If you have never pushed your camera to its minimum focusing limits, try it now. You will be surprised by how close you can get to your subject. Check your Camera User Guide to see how to enter Macro in the Focus Range.

Composing and focusing
When you start moving in close to a subject, placing it centrally in the frame usually creates the best interest and impact.

Backgrounds become less important because they will usually be out-of-focus. That’s because depth-of-field will be at a minimum. Depth-of-field is the area of the image that appears to be in focus. With close-up photography, depth-of-field is very narrow, sometimes only a few centimetres wide.

If you have Manual control modes on your camera, switch to Aperture Priority AE (Av) shooting mode. Set a small lens aperture to increase the depth-of-field and set a wide aperture to decrease it and blur the background to a greater extent. With a very limited depth-of-field, accurate focusing is critical. PowerShot S, SX or G Series cameras allow you to switch off autofocusing and focus manually. This lets you choose the point-of-focus, rather than leaving it to the camera.

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