If you're not doing close-up work, why not? Here are your opportunities to explore new worlds without leaving home.
By Rob Sheppard
Close-up and macro photography truly bring you in contact with new worlds. We don’t easily or normally see the details of life around us, and this is especially true of non-nature photographers. I remember the first time I got a close-up photo. It was of a syrphid fly on a daisy. I was a kid and had made a close-up lens from a magnifier and attached it to my dad’s Argus C3. That camera was no SLR, so I had to make a focus-and-frame stick to aid in those areas. The fly was in focus (though not really sharp), and it was exciting to see it in my print.
Now I have access to some amazing close-up and macro gear, but I still love that fresh view on the world. Shooting close-ups with a digital camera also means I immediately get to see and be amazed by small-scale life with the LCD review.
Close-ups can be a lot of fun. There are so many subjects that can test your skill and technique in photography.
Photographing everything, from insects to flowers to rocks, really expands a nature photographer’s vision and photography.
Here are some tips to make this photography better for you >>
1Close-up seeing. Go to any spot of nature, such as a garden, an empty lot or a park, and arbitrarily pick a small area (20x20 feet is good). Then spend an hour there finding close-ups. Most people get bored after about ten minutes but, when forced to look, find that one hour just gets them started.
2Get some extension tubes. Extension tubes are simply empty tubes (no optics) that fit between your lens and camera body. They can be used with any lens to make it focus closer and at high quality. This opens up whole new possibilities of close-ups with different focal lengths. (see image on page 2) 3 Use a round-the-lens reflector. You can buy small, collapsible white reflectors with a hole in the center. Put this over your lens and use it for shooting backlit close-ups. The white reflector will kick light into the shadows. You can cut a hole exactly the size of your lens in a piece of white cardboard to try this idea out.
Close-Up Or Macro? Close-up photography refers to taking pictures of objects at close distances, generally less than two feet. Macro photography is about taking pictures of objects at extremely close distances; the traditional definition says that this occurs when the object itself is the same size in real life as on film, so magnification is 1:1. Macro photography is technically a subset of close-up photography, and it’s often used to describe any extreme close-up work.