Today is a real treat for you guys! Every time I see Devin Burke of C&D Photography's Macro work I die inside, because I always feel like there is no way I can achieve a macro image so beautiful. Well today you and I both are super lucky, because Devin is letting us know his tips and tricks to getting beautiful macro images!
F2.8 1/80 ISO 640
1. Use Live View & Manual Focus
Ew Devin, I actually have to focus it by myself? Why can’t I just use autofocus? Well, macro (micro for you Nikon peeps) lenses tend to focus slower and when you’re so close to an object your lens might search a bit, which may cause you to miss your moment and we don’t want that! Manual focus will help speed up the process! Live View makes it super easy to focus manually too, because you can use the little magnification tool and zoom in on your focal point!
Freelensed 1/160 ISO 100
F4.5 1/80 ISO 250
f2.8 1/80 ISO 200
2. Don’t Breathe
I’m not kidding, hold it in while you’re focusing and taking the shot, especially if you’re super close! Even moving the slightest will shift focus! You can use a tripod as well! I personally don’t like them because I find them restricting and clunky, and ain’t nobody got time for that, especially when trying to take a picture of that butterfly.
F2.8 1/60 ISO 250
3. Focal Point
Where you focus on a subject can give you totally different images! Play around with what you focus on! For example on a flower, try focusing on the edge of the petals, then the pistil if it has one, then try focusing on the very center of the flower.
F2.8 1/125 ISO 400
F3.2 1/125 ISO 400
This can make or break your images. Backlighting looks SO good in macro photography! It’s definitely one of my favorite techniques to incorporate into my images, all of my images actually. It adds so much depth and beauty to the shot and can really take it to a whole new level. Backlighting is really quite simply, I know it can be intimidating at first but all you have to do is meter for what you want to be at the proper exposure! If you aren’t in a rush to get the image play around your settings! Take an image, review it, alter your settings if need be and shoot it again and repeat these steps until you have that perfect image! Also, if you find too much light is being let it in put on your lens hood and if you don’t have that, use your hand at the end of your lens, just make sure to not get it in your shot!
F2.8 1/80 ISO 250
F3.2 1/60 ISO 250
5. See the Unseen
That’s right, see the unseen. Don’t shoot what everyone else sees. Get on the ground and look, not for anything specific just look. Go up to a bush and look closely at it. Keep your eyes peeled, and when something catches your eye, shoot it. When you’re taking a picture of that rose, don’t get the shot that everyone else gets, get something different! Take detail shots of the details, then use those to make a collage.
All F3.5 1/60 ISO 250
My favorite things to edit my macros tend to be darker, more moody edits. They typically have some sort of matte, whether it be just a little or a deep heavy one. I like my colors to be deep and rich. I like it when my subject POPS.
Here’s a list of some of my favorites from Simply Actions that I LOVE to use to edit macros!
Devin is selling a beautiful calendar of his macro images - here is the link to purchase!
Here is a link to purchase any of his prints: