How I get those 'Up Close' Photos (Macro)

First off, let me say that I'm on a budget.  That doesn't mean I'm skimping, but it does mean that I do my best to make the best picture I can, based on the gear that I have.  I've chosen what works for me from day to day, keep myself open to new things to try, and usually come up with a variety of ways to solve a single problem.  Macro photography to name one. 

Ordinarily, most photog's use macro lenses for those 'up close' shots of insects, flowers, or even beads of water.  I've always been kind of fascinated by the mini-world you can't always see with the naked eye.  I don't like bugs, so generally you won't see shots from me of that Wolf Spider that's currently hiding under my bed.  He can stay there as long as he wants.  As long as it's not longer than 1.8 seconds.  After that, I'm bringing out the light saber.  So...hypothetically speaking, should that Wolf Spider decide to take a gander outward, and I wanted to take a picture of him...hypothetically speaking...I would use my macro filter.  It looks like this.

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Macro filters come in a variety of magnifications.  This one is a +10. I have a few others as well that are different amounts of magnifications.  Macro filters also come in a variety of diameters too.  Buy a set that fits the lens on your DSLR.  I just have a set that fits my kit lens, which is the lens most people have.  That's 52mm.  Works fine. Remember, I'm on a budget.  In addition, you'll need a tripod.  Or, something sturdy to set your camera on.  There are man-made and natural tripods scattered all over this beautiful planet.  Use a bench, a tree stump, or even a stool.  There are things around.  Use them.  You can't generally do macro handheld.  Your hands aren't steady enough.  You'll end up with blurry photos all day long and twice on Sunday.  And get a remote shutter button.  If you don't have a remote, use the timer on the camera.  This will eliminate the possibility of camera vibration or shake from you pressing the shutter button, and yield you a sharper photo.  Set it for 2 seconds.  Or, what you're comfortable with.

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Pardon the dust on the camera.  This happens when you shoot outside a lot.  I blame the Wolf Spider.  After you've tightened the filter on your lens, get in close to your subject.  And I mean close.  When I use my +10 filter, I'm about 5-6 inches away from my subject.

Compose your shot, focus, and press the button.


Looks good to me!  Macro photography is really cool and I love doing it.  It opens up a new world that's rarely seen.  Filters are a much cheaper solution to going out and buying a new lens, considering how much I use it.  If you see yourself doing these kind of shots a lot more, you may want to spring for the lens instead.  But my little filters work just fine.  After all, the devil's in the details.