When you think of macro photography, the first thing that pops into your head is probably nature. That makes sense, because flowers and insects are very suitable for macro photography. But macro photography is so much more! In this blog, we will introduce you to the world of macro photography. We will also shine a light on its lesser-known "little" brother: micro photography. In addition, we will focus on post-processing, because you want your photos to impress.
Macro photography vs micro photography
In micro photography, the subject is depicted larger than its true size. You zoom in on your subject even more. This reveals extremely small details, which would be hard to discern with the naked eye. A photo like that therefore always has an alien feel to it. That is why micro photography is perfect for photographing insects. Because you get so extremely close to the insect, you can see how wonderfully diverse the world of insects really is. It will also make it look as if the insects have human-like proportions.
The key difference between macro and micro photography is the magnification factor. The magnification factor is a benchmark for determining the size of the real subject in relation to the size of the subject on the image sensor. In macro photography, the sensor depicts the subject in its actual size. That makes the magnification ratio 1:1 (0.1 to 1). In micro photography, the magnification factor of photos can be anything from 1:1 up to 1:20. This means that the subject is depicted larger than it actually is.
Enhancing your photos
The best photo is of course a photo that doesn't (or hardly) need post-processing. If you know your camera well, adjusting it to the right settings can prevent a lot of work later on. If you're not familiar with that yet, a program such as Lightroom will help you to make your photos beautiful after you have taken them. But the basic principle always goes: if it's good, it's good.
Luckily, it's easy to take beautiful photos with your camera nowadays, and post-processing is hardly necessary, or not at all. The menu of your camera allows you to already adjust a couple of settings to your liking, such as colour correction or saturation. If the saturation is high, the photo will have vibrant colours. Another thing your camera can do automatically is adjusting the focus. And finally, a tip: always shoot in RAW.
Contrast and vibrance
In macro photography, it's important to pay attention to contrast and sharpness. A contrast-rich image makes a bigger impact, because the colour differences become more pronounced. More contrast makes the dark parts in a photo darker and the light parts lighter. You can adjust the vibrance of your photo in a program such as Lightroom, with the Saturation and Vibrance tools. Both settings make the colours in your photo more striking. The difference between the two is that Vibrance doesn't affect skin tones as much as Saturation. When you use Saturation, all colours in the photo will become either brighter or more washed out.
A macro lens allows you to focus on your subject with the utmost precision. This is made possible by the stabilisers in the lens. A macro lens can be used for many different purposes. You could photograph animals and flowers, but you can also capture the minute details of documents and drawings. Despite the fact that the purposes for macro lenses are generally not that far apart, there are many different types of macro lenses available nowadays. Have a look at tour selection of macro lenses here.
Practice makes perfect
The world of macro photography has many unique possibilities, but also presents challenges. That is why it's important to go out and take photos as much as you can. After all: practice makes perfect! Very soon, you will be taking impressive macro photos as well.