The best macro photography camera settings.
Learn how to take larger-than-life pictures of the smallest subjects with the best camera settings for macro photography.
Between the magnification and level of detail required, macro photography pushes your camera —and your creative photographic vision — to its limits. If you want sharp photos of the tiniest objects, these are the camera settings you’ll want to utilize.
The right macro photography settings to capture the perfect shot.
Selecting the right camera settings for macro photography is essential for getting up close and personal with such tiny subjects. Here’s an ideal starting point to get the best macro photos:
- Aperture — For the smallest subjects (one inch or smaller), it’s best to use a higher aperture setting between f/8 and f/11. That’ll help you keep the depth of field deep enough to capture the subject. For subjects larger than one inch, you can use a lower f-stop between f/2.8 and f/10.
- Shutter speed — With magnified macro shots, any movement is amplified in the picture. That’s why it’s important to keep your shutter speed relatively high. With a tripod, aim for around 1/200. Without a tripod, stay above 1/320.
- ISO — Adjust your ISO to whatever setting keeps your aperture and shutter speed within optimal levels. It’s easiest just to set your ISO to auto.
- Lighting — Since lighting can be an issue when you’re shooting such small objects, it’s helpful to use a flash with a diffuser to soften the light.
Refine your macro photos with editing software.
Once you’ve found the right camera settings for your macro photography, don’t forget to process your pictures with photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. You can clean up any minor issues caused by experimenting with camera settings, while also adjusting elements like color, shadows, and sharpness to make your macro photos seem larger than life.
Discover more great photo tips for photographers of all skill levels. Explore new ways that Photoshop and Lightroom can help transform your tiny macro photography subjects into colossal, strange, and beautiful images.