Underwater photographer and small animal expert Mike Bartick gives three quick tips to improve your macro images.
Shooting macro is often the first step and introduction to underwater photography once a diver decides to shoot pictures underwater. With a decent macro lens, and a good critter spotter by your side, getting usable images isn’t too difficult.
But if you want to take your macro images to the next level, the mantra “Get Low, Get Close, Shoot Up” works really well, whether you’re a budding macro enthusiast or an experienced shooter. Use the following tips to help with your technique and to improve your mastery over your camera system:
Shooting from a low angle helps to create a better perspective of your subject and will reveal details that aren’t regularly noticed. Eye to eye contact creates a unique moment of connection between the shooter/viewer and the subject, revealing the subject’s little world. Capturing that moment is what compelling macro images are all about. Relax and observe for a moment before shooting and ask yourself, “What is the story here?”
You’ll be able to achieve a better portrait of your subject if you get as close as possible. Unless there is second animal interaction or a need for extra frame space, try to fill the frame with your macro subject. Getting close also helps with better lighting from your strobe flash, creating a more colourful and detailed image.
Forcing the perspective of your subject to appear larger than it actually is, shooting upwards is an old school technique that works really well with macro and other forms of photography. This will also aid you in creating a black background (with nothing behind the subject).
Macro image making doesn’t have to be overly complicated and filled with lofty ideas. The main goal is to challenge yourself. The principal ingredient should always be to have fun and remember to always be kind to the marine environment. After all, we don’t want to harm the subjects we’re trying to photograph.
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