The two main challenges with Macro Photography are Depth of Field and Composition. While other usual aspects like light, exposure and keeping the camera steady are important; DOF and Composition are the main challenges.
Let’s talk about composition in Macro Photography:
Composition is placing the elements in a picture to make the subject more appealing and interesting. Good composition leads the viewer to come back to the subject for further enjoyment after wandering away from it. Good composition avoids distraction and help the subject get out of the frame like if there was a third dimension. In Macro Photography this is a challenge because the thinnest elements become so big!
Now let’s talk about depth of field in Macro Photography:
As the magnification increase, the depth of field reduces. At some point it might be impossible to have the subject in focus even if the required depth of field is only a few millimeters. Finding ways to increase depth of field and to use exactly the needed depth of field is paramount to an image success.
In this series of articles about Macro-Photography I will cover all aspect of Macro Photography including some cool and affordable option to do great macro-photography.
I am particularly proud of this picture of thalictrum aquilegifolium. Let’s review what makes me proud of it:
- I feel that composition is great. The subject is clear; the Thalictrum flower in the lower right part is the subject. It is sharp and the depth of field is just right. This flower is so nice. It look like a firework;
- The background shows multiple other flowers all around the main subject. The reduced depth of field makes us recognized them but they are not distracting. They help create a sense of depth;
- The green background is also adding value. We expect green foliage around flowers and here it is;
- Adding a vignette in post production also helped the composition. The corners being a little darker help keep the eyes within the frame.
A greater depth of field would have meant more distraction in the background. A shallower depth of field would have made the main subject more out of focus. The DOF is just perfect. In my opinion, using live view is the best way to appreciate the depth of field of a given aperture. Manually focusing using live view will enable to get the most of Depth of Field. Pay attention to the following; on the small live view monitor, out of focus areas will appear sharper that they will be on a larger screen. This is cause by the circle of confusion. I will address this in a future article.
Come back over the next few days, I will go deeper in Macro photography. To start doing Macro Photography on a shoe string, read on. Don’t forget to show us your own pictures using the comment below and inserting a link!