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What is Macro Photography

Lesson 3 from: Macro Photography: Insects and Plant Life

Chris McGinnis

What is Macro Photography

Lesson 3 from: Macro Photography: Insects and Plant Life

Chris McGinnis

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Lesson Info

3. What is Macro Photography

Lesson Info

What is Macro Photography

As a macro photographer, I'm often asked, "Why do I shoot macro?" And there's a lot of reasons. Macro photography lets me see details that you can't see with the naked eye. We can present things in a new way. We can show things to people that they've never seen before. Whether you're looking at an insect up close, or a soap bubble, or common household items, everything looks different and, to me, more interesting when we get in close. I'm also asked, "What is macro photography?" Some people don't know at all, some people have an idea in their mind of what macro photography is. Technically, macro photography is magnifying something at a one to one ratio, your subject being one and your sensor size being one. Meaning, the size of your subject is the same size filling your sensor as it is in real life. To explain that a little further, a full frame camera has a 36 millimeter sensor, a Micro Four Thirds camera has an 18 millimeter sensor. And when we use a one to one magnification lens, yo...

ur 18 millimeter subject fills the entire 18 millimeter Micro Four Thirds sensor. With full frame, your 36 millimeter subject fills your entire 36 millimeter frame. So, technical explanation aside, macro photography is really showing things really close up. I'll even use a telephoto lens to get close to a subject that I can't get right up to but I still want it to be big and show those details of its design. Anything around you can be a great macro subject. You might reach in your kitchen cabinet for spices or cupcake sprinkles. You might look on your own wrist and photograph your watch. When you go outside, look for leaves, water droplets, grass, mushrooms. Everything has interest, it's up to you as the photographer to bring that interest to life. After you're comfortable shooting inanimate subjects, then, maybe, you want to move on to moving subjects. For me, that's where the real excitement is. I like to look for insects. Insects hide in the woods, they hide in our homes. They present themselves and present all sorts of interesting opportunities to photograph. But, when it comes to moving subjects, it's a little bit tricker.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

10 Tips for Getting Started
Mobile Apps for Macro Photography
Settings for Macro Photography

Free Bonus Materials

E-M1 Mark II Macro Settings
E-M1X Macro Settings
Chris McGinnis Olympus Camera Settings

Ratings and Reviews

Andrew Lamberson
 

I found the class both very informative and very motivational to get started in Macro photography. It is an entry-level class but it explains what you really need to know to be successful. I especially found the information on the value of using flash and how to modify your flash for it to be more effective especially helpful. I am an experienced wildlife photographer and have done some "Macro" with my telephoto lens, but this class motivated me to purchase a dedicated lens. I am really looking forward to spring and finding some good bugs!

Chris Baudec
 

Great presentation and great motivation in the post processing. I do wish that the would have been made available. After all, this is a Olympus sponsored event, and Oly settings are always welcomed.... and a tad difficult on the learning curve.

Gary Hook
 

Chris does a commendable job of explaining his techniques, reasons and potential pitfalls to avoid. Very thorough and much more enthusiastic about little bugs than I will ever be :-) but at the end one has a good concept on how to approach the task at hand. Nice closing with his practical examples of 'post' shoot production. One suggestion for inclusion would be some operating tips/techniques with a tripod/macro rail slider. His Olympus is way smaller/lighter than my Canon 5D so my hand holding will be at a minimum. Well done. Thank you

Student Work

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