Macro photography is extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects, in which the size of the focus in the snap is greater than life.
At the top end, it is an extremely lucrative business, as magazines, catalogues and websites all require product shots. Contrary to common perceptions, you don’t need a studio or a fancy location to make a start with still life photography.
It varies greatly to landscape or portrait photography, in which you are provided with the subject matter, for example, a stunning mountain scene or a model, which come with a huge amount of variables, but the creative content is there in front of you. If, when you’re out and about, something catches your eye, take it home with you (don’t steal it!) or make a note of it so as to remember to try photographing it in a still life context.
Lighting doesn’t have to be expensive, I know certainly for me that a set of studio lights aren’t really within my budget, so for still life shoots I need to utilize all the light I can get my hands one.
Depending on your lighting situation, you may or may not need to use a tripod and shutter release.
However, please don’t let a static camera stifle your creativity, it quickly gets forgotten that your camera has been sat in the same position for the whole shoot.
Having a suitable backdrop for your subject matter will play a crucial role in the overall success of your shots. Think about how your choice of background contrasts the subject, do you want a neutral background, or are there tones that may work in complimenting the shades within your subject. The compositional element of your still life work is an absolutely crucial part of ensuring that your work is engaging and unique. Be sure to vary the composition of the subject matter through the shoot and think outside the box.
I often find that my mentality surrounding a shoot is dependent on the reason for the shoot.
Unlike a landscape shoot, the light isn’t rapidly changing and unlike a portrait, you’re subject isn’t going to get bored of keeping still for long periods of time. Another advantage is that there’s no excuse not to have clean and sharp images, take time to get the lighting and focus just right. If you’re struggling with the lighting, composing or structuring of your shots, then you need to find some inspiration, and where better to look than to the original still life masterpieces of years gone by. Studying these paintings will help you to think about form, shades and how the colors work together and will hopefully give you a few ideas on how you can shape your photography work to form strong and engaging images.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, try getting creative, experiment with camera angles, lighting angles and alternative light sources such as candles and lamps.


There is plenty of demand for still life photography, particularly now that it is so simple for photographers to provide images for stock photography libraries, that are accessed by magazines, business publications and for online content. Macro photo image gallery contains close-up pictures of insects and images of other small and beautiful creature. There are many advantages to working with still life that are often underestimated, so hopefully you’ll be able to see it’s scope for creativity and get started with taking some shots yourself! You can begin by simply using a space at home, such as a table placed by a window, along with a simple backdrop and utilizing a couple of lamps. With still life photography, there are far less variables, you, as the photographer have complete control over the situation, including the subject matter, but you need to think extremely creatively in order to capture it in an interesting and engaging way. Have a search around the house to see if you can find something simple but interesting to start with.
Try to avoid reflective surfaces such as glass and metal to begin with, as they will be extremely difficult with regards to lighting. Remember that you have full control over the shoot, so if you want, find a room in which you can block out all natural light by using shutters or curtains, this way you will have complete control over the light upon your subject. Be sure to try multiple positioning set ups, not all light has to come from the front of the object, side and back lighting will add interest, shadows and depth to the shot. I would recommend using these as they will allow you to observe and work with your subject matter. For smaller objects, you may not need a backdrop as such, but instead require a surface to place the items on, for which something like black velvet is ideal, as it absorbs light and looks like a solid black surface. Consider the rule of thirds, how can that be applied to your shoot to create a strong composition. So if I am simply taking photos for pleasure or for myself (as opposed to being assigned work by somebody else), I will be less stringent with ensuring that all the aspects of the shoot are as well executed as they can be. Take advantage of this, set up your subject, lighting, backdrop and camera, try a few shots, then move things around a bit and have another go. If you can get your hands on one, a macro lens will be ideal for this sort of work, however, if not, try selecting macro mode on your camera to give you the best chance of capturing the close up detail in your subject.
Have a search online for renaissance still life artists and observe the elements of the pieces.
Once you’ve got your shots, don’t be afraid to share them online, you could even try using Envato’s PhotoDune stock photography service. Check out Envato Studio's servicesChoose from over 5 million royalty-free photos and images priced from $1.


Please don’t feel like you have to take photos of fruit or flowers just because everyone else does, think outside the box without being overly ambitious. Once you’ve mastered the single object shots, try mixing it up, combine objects of contrasting shape, colour, texture and see what you can come up with.
Alternatively, choose a room that is well lit via a window, and use this to your advantage. This set up will also allow you to use slightly longer shutter speeds than usual to ensure a small aperture allowing the image to be in focus front to back, if you so choose. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll have a whole collection of shots all take from the same point with little or know variation. This is obviously a bad habit that am aiming to shed, but when it comes to still life photography, there is no reason not to get it right. If you get to a point where you feel like things aren’t going quite right, you can just leave everything set up, make yourself a cup of tea and come back to it refreshed later on.
Try setting up your camera and backdrop by a suitably light spot next to a window and get snapping! However, if you take one thing from this tutorial, let it be this: still life photography does not have to be of fruit and flowers!
So each time you set up a shoot, work as if you are on assignment, you never know, your still life work might even make you a few bucks along the way!
However, macro photography also often demands more careful attention to photographic technique. Although, professionally, she is a Bio Chemist but she has also adopted the field of blogging on internet surfing etc.
When photography originated, it was necessary for exposures to be quite long, so photographing static objects was the ideal subject matter. The natural light from one side will comprehensively light your subject and you can compliment this with a lamp or reflector. However, as the technology developed, the fascination for capturing still life has remained and is still one of the most viable photographic professions today. Try shooting at the level of the subject or try a bird’s eye view, looking down onto the subject, but be careful if you are moving around not to cast any shadows on your subject!



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