I was recently contacted by a photographer who is traveling to Ecuador to work on an insect project and needed some tips for macro photography. I had traveled to the rainforest ofBelize almost 8 years ago to help document and collect a new species of leafhopper with entomologist Dr. Michael Glassey. Well, at the time, I didn't know much at all about macro photography and didn't even own a fixed macro lens. I was going as an assistant biologist; not the photographer. I was in awe of our professional photographer who actually knew what he was doing. I came home with some ok photos and a parasite in my leg. Nevertheless, I did learn a lot from that trip...and I continue to learn a lot.
Macro photography is a science all its own...especially when working outside in the field. Like all areas of photography, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration to get the shot:
- What lens should I use? Is my current lens adequate?
- Do I need to dump my wallet to take macro photos?
- Do I need a tripod?
- Everything is so close! How the heck do I focus on this stuff?
- If I'm taking photos of wildlife, how do I get the shot without spooking my subject?
- Do I need a flash or can the sun be my light bulb if I'm outside?
- Can I do macro photography in the studio?
- What accessories should I buy?
These are just a handful of the questions that I plan to answer in a series of upcoming articles that will help to provide a better understanding of macro photography. If you have any questions related to macro photography, please comment on this article with your question and I will do my best to answer it in the articles!