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5 Macro Nature Photography Tips

5 Macro Nature Photography Tips - ePz member orionmystery shares his top tips on taking photos of macro subjects.

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Animals / Wildlife

Sleeping beauty
Photo by OrionMystery

ePHOTOzine member OrionMystery (Kurt) has been shooting mainly nature and macro photography since July 2007.

"Macro has really opened up a whole new world for me," explains Kurt. "The more I get to know my macro subjects (mainly arthropods), the more I am in love with them. What started out as a hobby has turned into a great passion! I hope to promote environmental awareness through my macro/nature images. Invertebrates maybe small, but they are the majority. Without them, our ecosystem will collapse in no time!"

Kurt joined ePz in May (2012) after stumbling across the site by accident: "I liked what I saw on the site and the members seemed friendly so I joined up immediately," explains Kurt. "It has proven to be a great place for my portfolio exposure as well."

Portrait of a Longhorn beetle Sleeping Bee
Photos by OrionMystery

As Kurt's portfolio is bursting with macro nature photography, ePHOTOzine's asked him to share his top 5 macro photography tips, which are:


Get your light right! I shoot with both natural light and also full flash. Whatever your preference is, always diffuse your light well! For natural light photography, I use mainly my 150mm f/2.8 lens, mostly with the 1.4x teleconverter attached. I use a light modifier such as a diffuser or reflector whenever the situation allows.

While I love the feel of natural light images, I love shooting with full flash too as it gives me motion-freezing capability to capture action shots. I diffuse my MT-24EX/270EX with a concave diffuser.


Mind your background: it's not enough to watch just your focus, try to get a nice background as well whenever possible. I sometimes reduce my depth of field to get a more creamy background.


You need to have passion for close up and macro photography and you need to find your macro subjects fascinating, if not for their beauty, then for their uniqueness!


Unlike human models, arthropods and other small creatures don't take instructions from the photographers, so be patient and wait for the right moment and shoot more to increase the likelihood of getting a keeper! I could spend easily 30 to 60 minutes on one subject, even more if it's something rare.


One common complaint especially for someone new in macro photography is focusing. Unfortunately, there's really no shortcut. Turn off your AF and start practicing your manual focusing! Start with stationary subject and practice, practice, practice to improve your accuracy, and speed.

To see more of Kurt's images, take a look at his ePHOTOzine profile. For more macro tips, take a look at Kurt's blog - orionmystery.blogspot.com

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