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Macro Photography Guide

By: Muna wa Wanjiru

Shooting macro photographs is one of life's little pleasures and something that can be enjoyed even in the warmth and comfort of your own home. You don't need much, maybe a lightbox and an interesting subject or two and you can be off in no time at all. And the best part is, unlike with the unwieldy attachments and extension tubes you need to take macro photographs with a film camera, your digital camera comes equipped with a small button which you can press to get your macro photographs.

Some even come with a super macro mode as well, and these are something to behold for the photographer who loves taking macro photographs. But what are macro photographs? Not everyone is a camera buff, and I'm pretty sure there's a few of you reading this article right now and thinking, "huh"? No need to worry, you don't need to rush off to get your thesaurus just yet, instead I'll do my level best to explain it to you.

Macro photography, in the simplest of terms, is basically getting really up close and personal with whatever object you're photographing. To use an example, if you want to take a shot of the stamens on a tulip and make them appear almost larger than life in the picture, or if you want to take a shot of a butterfly sipping at flower you could use your normal lens, but to little effect.

What you would ultimately get would be a photograph that's either blurred, or one that includes the whole of the background in the same shot, and not the spectacular larger than life shot you wanted. There's a reason for that, and that has everything to do with your lens and the focal range of it. Most normal lenses have a particular focal point at which they're at their optimal best. And these normal lenses are generally good for macro photographs.

However, if you want to take macro photographs, or in other words if you want to get in real close to your subject, something perhaps along the lines of a mere 10cm away from your intended goal, then you need a lens with the appropriate focal length.
And that's why you need different lenses or extension tubes attached to your film camera. These additions will normally have the desired focal length for you to be able to take macro photographs.

With the majority of digital cameras however, these add-on lenses and extension are quite unnecessary as, the camera has the built-in ability to become a macro camera at the push of a button. So shooting macro photographs just became easier and since easier equates to more pleasurable, you now have the ability to make your photographic one filled to the brimming with macro photographs.

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