Morning Glory with Morning Dew - (Tennessee)

“Macro” (close-up) Photography: Getting Up Close and Personal

One of the pleasures of having a compact digital camera  is being able to shoot lovely macro images without having to purchase additional lenses or accessories. If you haven’t experimented with this feature on your compact digital camera, do so. You’ll absolutely love it. It enables you to get very close to your subject and capture their delicate structure without having to resort to enlarging then cropping. Give it a try. – Deb

Let’s begin by making use of some of your automatic settings for now. Here’s all you need to do to get started:

  • Select the Macro Close-up Mode on your compact digital camera.
  • Select the finest image quality available (HI=no compression TIFF if you have it, RAW is even better. If not, choose Fine JPEG) and the largest image size available (FULL). This will help ensure that you will be able to print your image at the largest size possible for your particular camera (this is megapixel-related) with photographic quality results.
  • If you are unclear on ISO values, don’t worry about it and simply use the Automatic ISO (sensitivity) feature of your camera.
  • By the way, I don’t want you to use your popup flash at these near distances just yet, ok?
  • Go ahead and select the Programmed Auto exposure mode. Now get very close to your subject … closer, closer. I mean VERY close (within a few inches of your subject.)
  • Frame your subject using your LCD monitor (not the viewfinder). Most compact digital cameras (excluding digital SLRs) are effectually range-finder cameras. What this means is that there is a shift in view. What you see in the frame of your viewfinder won’t be what you capture!
  • Carefully depress the shutter halfway to make sure you’re at an acceptable focusing distance for your specific camera, then take your photograph.* For example, the Nikon 995 allows you to get as close as 2cm to your subject.
  • (*Remember: remain as steady as you possible can. At these extremely close distances and with large apertures (F5.6, etc.) you have a VERY short depth-of-field. Any movement on your part or on the part of your subject (watch out for that breeze) is amplified and will result in a blurry image. You can avoid one of these factors by using a tripod or by bracing yourself against something solid (like a tree trunk or photo buddy). You can avoid the latter factor by asking the winds to cooperate or, if you’re adept at one handed shooting, hold a piece of firm cardboard at an angle to block the breeze.

That’s all there is to it. Have fun!


Photo Title: Morning Glory with Morning Dew – (Tennessee)
Photograph and text: Copyright 2003-2017 Deborah Siminski Tappan. All rights reserved.