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July 2016 Issue
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Close-up and macro photography

Photo: Richard Young

Get impressive detail by photographing a subject up close

Get close

Photographing the subject from up high will often result in a flat photograph, so get close and at eye-level with the subject. If you are photographing something on the ground, that is where you need to be.

Fill the frame

For good close-up photographs you will need a lens of 50-200mm to make the subject fill the frame. Most longer lenses can be used for close up work, but for true macro photography, you will need a macro lens with a close-focusing ability. You could also use macro extension tubes/filters.

Add a background

Find a background that complements or contrasts your subject and position yourself to line up the subject with this pleasing background.

Control the depth of field

You want those viewing the photograph to easily identify the subject, not be distracted by other things in the photograph. Use a large aperture (e.g. f2.8 or f4) to give a shallow depth of field which will keep your subject in focus and the background out of focus.

Location: Fern Koru, Tongariro National Park.

Camera Settings: Nikon D800E, 50mm lens, ISO 400, f4, 1/4 second