Master macro photography with these camera settings for
Explore the fascinating world of macro photography and make stars of the smallest of subjects.
With everything on such a tiny scale, macro photography can be a challenging yet rewarding photography medium.
By using the right settings and making a few subtle edits, you can create magnified masterpieces and see the world a little differently.
Get your settings spot on
Preparation is key with macro photography and choosing the right settings will help you produce striking images.
- Aperture: Depth of field can be quite narrow at the macro level. To make sure the whole subject is in focus, it’s best to use apertures of around f/8 to f/11 for anything smaller than one inch. If your subject is a little larger, you can open this up to around f/2.8 to f/10. Of course, you can use this narrow depth of field to your advantage with a little creativity and careful composition.
- Shutter speed: When you magnify a subject, you also magnify movement and camera shake. By keeping your shutter speed high, your shots will be crisp and in focus. You'll get the best results using a tripod, but you'll still want to aim for speeds above 1/200s. If you're shooting hand-held, it's best not to drop below 1/320s.
- ISO: Use the ISO that enables you to get the shutter speeds and aperture needed for the shot. Set your camera to auto-ISO so you can concentrate on keeping everything in focus.
- Lighting: At high shutter speeds, it's best to make sure your subject is well lit. A ring flash will illuminate your frame evenly, while a diffuser will soften reflected light and avoid glare or harsh shadows.
Editing and adding the final touches
Macro photography can involve a little trial and error, but you can achieve spectacular results with a few simple edits.
Experiment with different crops, focusing on your subject to show off intricate detail or adding a sense of balance with off-centre placement.
Adjusting sharpness and texture can boost your shot, while a vignette or masking the background can add drama and interest.
The macro world can be surprisingly colourful. Seemingly dark insects can be transformed into vivid greens and metallic blues, with elaborate and iridescent patterns. Tweak the saturation and vibrancy to bring these flashes of colour to life.