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Ready for your closeup?

June 12, 2010

It's a small world after all. And it's not just a ride at Disney.

A lot is going on around you, and you might not know it if you don't take time to take a close look. When you do take a close look, you may want to take some pictures of your new discoveries.

The process of taking pictures of miniature subjects is called macro photography. Technically, macros photography is when your subject is photographed life size or bigger but most people consider anything extremely close as macro photos. Some folks like bugs, some like plants and flowers or maybe you want to take pictures of your coin or jewelry collection.

Macro photography is a lot of fun and you don't have to go far to find interesting subjects. With the right equipment and a little technique you can get some amazing results. You may already have the equipment to do macro photography. Most new model digital cameras have a close up mode. You will probably have to check your instruction manual for how to access the macro mode since every camera is different. If you see a button on your camera with a little flower icon on it, you've probably found the macro mode. If you have an SLR camera you will need to buy either a macro lens or a set of diopter filters to screw onto the front of the lens.

Another helpful piece of equipment you may need is your tripod. A steady camera is essential to any sharp photograph but it is especially important in close-up photography. Moving bugs wings or swaying flowers are tough to capture while hand holding the camera. A piece of white cardboard can come in really handy to block the wind to hold things still and you can also use it as a reflector to bounce light back into dark areas of your subject.

Be sure to use the display on the back of your camera to setup the proper composition. It's a lot easier than trying to lie down on the ground and to look through the viewfinder. My advice is to take plenty of shots at different aperture settings to get everything that you want in focus. Don't get discouraged if you don't get a lot of great images. It's a lot harder than you think to get a good macro shot, but when you do the results can be spectacular.

(Brent Kepner is the owner and photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo in Elkins. He is a Master Photographer as well as a Certified Professional Photographer.)



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