Macro photography is just a posh name for extreme close up photography and is skill in it’s own right.  A skill I should state I don’t have :-)

To get “really close” images you need special gear, either a macro lens, or some extension tubes or a lens diopter filter.

The best solution is a dedicated lens designed to get really close and make the subject look bigger in the image, but these lenses are expensive.  Alternatively you can go for extension tubes that you insert between the lens and the camera body – years ago you could by “bellows” that did the same job that allowed you to move the lens nearer or further away from the camera.  But all extension systems really do is allow you to focus very close to the lens – which of course makes the subject look larger, they also reduce the amount of light entering the camera and force you to have much longer exposure times – so the subject needs to stay still longer.

Your last option is the lens diopter.  This is basically a filter that you can screw on the end of the lens that acts like a magnifying glass.  These are cheap, don’t reduce light, but do of course add additional glass between the subject and the sensor.  Also if you purchase a really cheap diopter, the images aren’t really that great.

Now I’ve wanted to play with macro photography for a while, and there really aren’t any great dedicated macro lenses for my camera.  So I recently purchased some extension tubes and a couple of diopters.  What I really want to shoot are some insects – creepy I know but they can look super cool close up big in the frame.  But January isn’t a great time of year to find insect subjects so I thought I’d capture something else.

I grabbed the camera and a couple of lenses and put one of the diopters on the end of the lens then I went looking for something to shoot.  First up I asked Abi if I could shoot her.  She stood in front of the window and I got really close and took some pictures of her eye!  In the picture you could see the reflection of the window and her eye in great detail.  In the end though I didn’t pick this one to post as she kept moving and many of the images were a little out of focus.

Next I found an old cent and took some shots of that – I actually robbed Abi’s purse for this – don’t tell her.  I put the coin on the kitchen counter and got in close for some pictures.  I didn’t add any extra lighting, just focused on the words “One Cent” and snapped away.  These came out really well and I selected one of the images to post.

This was a lot of fun, but definitely showed me how hard it is to grab those excellent macro shots.  But I like a challenge and will keep trying and we’ll see what I can capture in spring when the garden comes alive!


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