Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fundamentals of Macro Photography [Infographic]

According to Wikipedia, macro photography was invented by Fritz Goro and it is considered to be extreme close-up photography, usually in which the size of the subject in the photograph is greater than life size.  The ratio of the subject size on the film plane or camera's sensor compared to the actual subject size is known as the reproduction ratio.  By some definitions, a macro photograph is one in which the size of the subject on the negative or image sensor is life size or greater.

A macro lens is classically a lens capable of reproduction ratios greater than 1:1, although it often refers to any lens with a large reproduction ratio, despite rarely exceeding 1:1.  Macro lenses are specifically designed for close-up work, with a long barrel for close focusing and are optimized for high reproduction ratios. True macro lenses can achieve higher magnification than life size, enabling photography of the structure of small insect eyes, snowflakes, and other minuscule objects.  Most modern macro lenses can focus continuously to infinity and provide excellent optical quality for even normal photographic situations.

Macro lenses of different focal lengths find different uses:
  • Continuously-variable focal length – suitable for virtually all macro subjects 
  • 45–65 mm – product photography, small objects that can be approached closely without causing undesirable influence, and scenes requiring natural background perspective 
  • 90–105 mm – insects, flowers, and small objects from a comfortable distance 
  • 150–200 mm – insects and other small animals where additional working distance is required
For those of you looking for a good reference on Macro Photography, our friends over at Photo Affiliates have put together a great infographic.  The infographic follows the step by step rules of macro photography beginning from lens focal length & depth to aperture settings. As it wraps up the lesson on macro photography it suggests alternative ways of shooting macro without a proper macro lens.

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by Richard S - Dakota Visions Photography, LLC

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