Back when I first began getting interested in photography, I had a few ideas. I knew I was interested in really wide angle photographs, some video and especially up-close macro shots. What I understand they call “Macro Photography.”
It all seemed a bit daunting to me – the various technique, the natural talent and all that strange equipment. Now that I am knee deep in the stuff, it’s beginning to make sense and trust me, it’s not that difficult.
The great thing about photography is that you don’t need everything at once. You can start with a quality camera body, purchase a tripod, then a lens, some lens filters and so on. There are also many brands to choose from, some which are much less expensive than you would think. You don’t need to purchase the same brand as your camera every time you would like to pick up a new piece of camera equipment.
Today I want to give a brief overview on some of the equipment you’ll need for one type of photography I am currently enjoying – macro photography. I found a great video that sums up what I’d like to say, so I’ll post it right below my text. But first, I’ll just give a quick rundown on the equipment:
1. Macro Lens – I don’t even have this. You can easily use your kit lens and purchase some magnification lenses from makers such as Hoya. If you look through this website and like some of the close-up photographs I’ve taken, this is all you will need. I’m sure I will buy a macro lens in the future, but for now, this was a $60 fix to a problem that costs hundreds.
2. Tripod – I can’t argue with this one. You just need a tripod. I purchased a nice tall one because I am over six foot, but feel free to get anything you’d like, as long as it fits your requirements. Read lots of reviews – they help.
3. Remote Shutter Release – Believe it or not, just clicking the shutter button on your camera while taking macro shots can cause blur. It’s annoying to think that, especially since setting up pictures such as these can be very time consuming. There is a cheap way out though and it only costs a few bucks. I have one of these on order and I’m sure I’ll write a review after I’ve played with it for a bit.
4. Flash – I am now a believer of the benefits of flash for photography. I used to turn the flash off, but after taking some close-up photos this afternoon, I’ve been converted.
Lastly, I can’t stress enough that natural talent and a good eye trump all of the above. I’ve been taking great looking close-up shots for years and all I was using was a simply point and shoot camera. You’ll see videos by all sorts of self-proclaimed “pros” telling you which way is best, but when you compare your stuff to theirs, you’ll have to scratch your head wondering why there pictures just don’t look good. It’s an interesting field, that’s for sure.
Digital Photography 1 on 1: Episode 31: Macro Basics