Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Macro Photography Tips and Digital Photography Reviews

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Meta’s Top 10 Macro Photography Tips for Beginners

Meta’s Top 10 Macro Photography Tips

Learn Meta’s Top 10 Macro Photography Tips for Beginner Macro Photography and Close-up Photography on the Remote Hiking Trails in the Western North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains.

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Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - The Top 10 Macro Photography Tips
Meta’s Top 10 Macro Photography Tips

Meta’s Top 10 Macro Photography Tips

For shooting Macro Photography Photos, Meta uses one of the two Special Sony Macro Lenses, the Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens or the Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. You can add Kenko Extension Tubes (Set of 3 Extension Tubes) to the 100mm Macro Lens for extra super close-ups, and to reduce the distance to the subject. The 12mm Kenko Extension Tubes works with the Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. Kenko Extension Tubes DO NOT work with the Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens, as it is already close enough to the macro subject.

Below are Meta’s Top 10 Macro Photography Tips for shooting Macro Photography and Close-up Photography.

1) Get the Widest Depth of Field – When using a Tripod, use a Smaller Aperture such as f/16 to f/22 to get the Widest Depth of Field. Use the Camera’s Live View Display Button to show the Depth of Field and Exposure level. Smaller apertures of f/16 to f/22 work the best for Beginner Macro Photography. When shooting in RAW, use Cloudy White Balance, and Watch Your Histogram for overclipping of the whites.

Avoid using the Camera’s built in SCN – Macro Mode, if you are using either of the Special Sony Macro Lenses. This defaults to f/4.0 (Resulting in a Very Shallow of Depth of Field). This mode is NOT designed to be used with the Special Sony Macro Lenses.

2) Hand Held Shutter Speed – Use a Shutter Speed of 1/125th for 50mm (Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro Lens) or 1/250th for 100mm (Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens). The General Rule of Thumb for Hand Held Photography is – Shutter Speed 2.5 x Lens Size. Double this speed if you are shooting Flying Insects.

3) Start at ISO 50 – ONLY increase your ISO as a Last Resort, because Higher ISO = Higher Noise. When using a Low ISO, Add More Light (LED Flashlight, Sony HVL-F43M Flash / Popup Flash or Ring Light), Slow down your Shutter Speed (Use a Tripod) or Opening up your Aperture (Reduces Depth of Field and Blurs Background), before increasing your ISO. The Sony Alpha 77 II shoots very well with low noise at ISO 1600.

4) Add More Light – Use a Ring Light, Sony HVL-F43M Flash / Popup Flash or Zoomable LED Flashlight. Extra light allows for a lower ISO for Low Noise and lets you use a smaller Aperture for a Wider Depth of Field.

5) Set your Aperture Based on your Background – If your background is very busy, you might want to select a wider Aperture like f/4.0, which will blur the background. If the size of your Macro Subject is large, you might want to select a smaller Aperture like f/16, which will give you a Wider Depth of Field and keep most of your subject in focus.

6) Use Manual Focus – Turn on the Peaking Level and Peaking Color to assist in easier Manual Focusing. Breathing out when shooting will help with Shooting in Manual Focus Mode!

MENU –> Gear 2 –> Peaking Level –> Middle or High
MENU –> Gear 2 –> Peaking Color –> Yellow

7) Frame Each Shot Carefully – This is the difference between a great shot and one that gets deleted. Remember to take both landscape and portrait modes for each shot. Try to adjust the camera lens to be parallel with the subject for maximum Depth of Field, across the entire subject. Try to include some of the background foliage, or to achieve a neutral background, hold a small piece of Black Felt or White Felt behind the subject.

8) Use a Monopod – Make slight backward and forward focus movements to get the subject into sharp focus. This works a lot better than carrying a heavy Tripod, especially on remote mountain hiking trails.

9) Use a Reflector as a Wind Block – Even the slightest wind movement of the tiny macro subject will be very difficult to capture in sharp focus.

10) Take Lots of Photos – Try many different angles, planes and distances, both landscape and portrait mode, because the number of good macro photos will be fairly small – plus Film is cheap! Use the larger size SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Cards to capture lots of photographs. For the Fastest Write Times and no Buffer Lockup, especially when shooting at 12 frames per second, use only the Fastest SD Cards, and not the cheaper and much slower “Drug Store Brands”.

Meta’s Macro Photography Camera Settings

Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - My Camera Setup for Macro Photography
My Camera Setup for Beginner Macro Photography

Meta’s Personal Camera Settings

Camera: Sony Alpha 77 II.
Flashes: Polaroid LED Ring Light or Sony HVL-F43M Flash. (Tilted down 8°)
Flash Power Ratio: Full Power.
Shooting Distance to Subject: 10 – 20 cm.
Lens: Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens.
Camera Mode: Manual Mode (M).
ISO: Start at ISO 50
White Balance: Manual White Balance
Shutter Speed: 1/250th to 1/500th of a second.
Aperture: f/8 to f/18.

Meta shoots in Manual (M) Mode, start at ISO 50. When shooting Macro Photography, she always use her Monopod. A Good Rule of Thumb is to set the Shutter Speed to 2.5x the Lens Size, or a minimum of 1/250th of a second for the Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens. When shooting Bees and Flying Insects, bump the shutter speed up to 1/500th or 1/1000th of a second, so that it can freeze the wings. Depending on the background and size of the subject, set the Aperture open for a more blurred background around f/4.0, or Aperture close for a wider depth of field around f/18. If extra light is needed on the Macro Subject, which is often the case when shooting in the woods, use the Polaroid LED Ring Light or Sony HVL-F43M Flash with the built in Video Light. For Quick Spots, a Zoomable LED Flashlight does the trick.

Meta’s Macro Photography Tips for Beginners

Meta’s Top 10 Macro Photography Tips

Meta hopes that you found her Top 10 Macro Photography Tips useful in helping you learn about Meta’s Magical and Miniature World of Macro Photography and Close-up Photography.

If you have any Macro Photography Tips for Beginners or New Digital Photography Products that you would like to see Reviewed on Meta’s website, please Contact Meta.

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“Oh Lord, won’t you Fund Me, a Sony Zeiss Lens?
My friends all use Nikons, I must make amends!”

~ Meta

Photos By Meta

The top Macro Photographs featured on Meta’s Macro Photography Tips are available at Photos By Meta. Framed Prints available in Blowing Rock, NC at Rustic.
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