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Whilst living in Borneo I discovered the joy of macro photography in the tropical jungle not just to take unique images of the creatures I would find, but also to enjoy the experience of being in the forest at night. It was amazing to see and hear the cacophony of life erupt in the forest as the night began to fall. Here’s a few tips to help you make the most out of your macro photography. I am really looking forward to seeing the content entered for this photo challenge!
For anyone starting out in photography and budget is an issue macro photography is a great place to start. In order to do macro photography you need a few essential items, a camera body, a macro lens, a good source of light and something to diffuse the light.
Light is particularly important when it comes to macro photography so not only do you need to think about the usual photography fundamentals you will be introducing an artificial light source that might take some getting used to. Light straight from the flash can be harsh and will need to be softened.
Because I mostly take macro photos at night I am searching for animals that are usually nocturnal. My favourite animal group to take macro photos of is reptiles and amphibians which, for the most part in Borneo at least, night time was the best time to find them. Sometimes I would find lizards sleeping on branches, pit vipers sitting waiting for a meal to come by and frogs, always lots of frogs. Focusing your search area around certain types of habitat is also important, for example searching near creeks and rivers for frogs.
Another thing I love about macro photography is the fact that you can basically set your settings for the night and you’re ready to go. I tend to shoot with a small aperture (f/9 - f/16), set my shutter speed between 1/200-1/250 and shoot with a low ISO (100-200). Rather than changing my settings in camera too much I tend to reduce or increase the power of the flash instead depending if the shot is too dark or too bright
Developing a good eye is not just important for getting a nice shot, but important for being able to find your subjects in the first place. If you are taking macro photos at night your field of vision will be restricted to the extent of your torch light. Learning how to pick up little cues such as eye shine and the tiniest of movement from potential subjects when your vision is greatly reduced will ultimately get you the shots.
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