Helpful Tips: Macro Photography

admin All Authors, Chad 5 Comments

With our Mountain Sanctuary Macro & Nature Photography Excursion just around the corner (Sat 16 Aug), I thought I’d throw out a few helpful macro tips on the blog this week.

Tip 1:

Shooting macro free hand can be very tricky at times, any movement will throw your subject out of focus when using the ‘One Shot’ or ‘AI focus’ (AF-S or AF-A for Nikon users) focusing option.

To avoid this, switch to ‘Servo’ or ‘Continuous’ (AF-C)  focusing which will allow the camera to correct any change in focus immediately keeping your images as sharp as possible.


Tip 2:


Whilst using a tri-pod or beanbag, switch to ‘Live View’ mode and zoom in a few times on your LCD screen to be more precise with your focusing. Although your camera’s auto-focus will normally get it right, it might be easier to flip to manual focus and do it yourself instead of relying on your lens to find your subject.


Tip 3:

Having your camera set to multiple focus points while shooting macro could drive you to drink, especially when shooting free hand. Nine times out of ten your camera will focus on the brightest part of the frame which might not necessarily be what you want in focus, this can be extremely frustrating. To overcome this, rather select a single focus point near the desired section of your frame, alternatively  grab a tri-pod or beanbag if time allows and apply the technique described in ‘Tip 2’.


We’re really excited to have Sigma South Africa on board for the upcoming excursion as they’ll be bringing a selection of their macro lenses (Nikon & Canon only) for those attending to use throughout the day.

Being so close to JHB (less than 3hrs), Mountain Sanctuary Nature Reserve is an ideal venue for a macro and nature workshop and I can’t wait to get out there!

For more information click here.

Hope to see you there.

Chad Wright

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Comments 5

  1. Matt McKean

    Interesting read, thanks for posting.. Do you have any thoughts on the close up filters that can be added to a standard zoom to offer an affordable solution for those that don’t want to spend money on a dedicated macro lens. Many thanks Matt

  2. Matt McKean

    Interesting read. Do you have any thoughts on the Close Up Filters that can be purchased and added to a standard zoom to give people the flexibility of macro without the expense of purchasing a dedicated Macro Lens. Regards Matt

    1. Chad Wright

      Hi Matt,

      I tend to avoid close up filters due to the loss of image quality, but if you’re not too worried about that go try one out in the shop first before buying. Another drawback is if you buy a 72mm close up filter for example, you’re restricted to just using it on one lens. So if you sell it, you’ll might need to sell the filter as well (unless you purchase a new lens with the same filter size).

      Try looking at a few second hand stores, I bought my macro lens for R2500 and it’s been fantastic!

  3. Carol Bell

    Chad thank you for the tips…. I would love to come to a workshop and learn more about macro…… Joburg is too far for me. Maybe one day wee can think about down my way….. Marloth Park. We have lots of different kinds of bugs at all times….. and I am very interested in learning about them… especially spiders….and they all in my garden.

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