Get into Macro Mode
If you’re rocking a point and shoot you may have noticed the small flower icon on your camera’s dial, on a button on the camera body, or as an option in your menus. This icon is used to activate your camera’s macro mode. Typically your camera will have a minimum focusing distance of anywhere from twelve inches to a few feet – that means anything closer will give the camera’s auto-focus a hard time. Macro Mode adjusts those settings, letting the camera focus on objects that are a lot closer.Add light
If you can shoot during a time of day when your subject is in natural sunlight, you’ll get some great results, but sometimes you’re going to need to add light anyway. The simplest way to do this is to turn on your camera’s flash. If you’re finding that your camera’s flash is washing your image out, you can diffuse it by blocking some of the light, or passing it through a thin piece of paper, like tissue or onion paper.Get Stable
Having a stable starting point is key to any successful photography, and it’s even more important when you’re trying to get up-close and personal for macro photography. If you’ve got the space for a tripod, go for it - you can find them in big and small sizes. Personally, I carry a monopod with me, as I find it’s a much more flexible option. It pops onto my point and shoot camera’s body in a matter of seconds, and comes off just as quick, offering me plenty of additional stability when I need it.Countdown to better pictures
You’ll find I throw this tip out a lot: USE YOUR CAMERA’S TIMER! You’ll generally find you have TWO timer settings on your camera, 2 seconds and 10 seconds. While 10 seconds is usually handy for the “dump the camera on a ledge and run to be with your family in the group photo” shot, what on EARTH could you possibly use the 2 second countdown for?
As you’ve probably guessed (and that’s why I like you, you’re one of the smart ones) you can use it for Macro shots. You see, when you press your camera’s shutter button, even when it’s on a tripod, you’re introducing some vibration into the shot… the camera is firing as your finger is leaving the button, and there’s motion associated with that.
By using the 2 second countdown and a tripod/monopod, you can get your hands clear of the camera body and focus on NOT TOUCHING ANYTHING for a few seconds. Beep Beep Click… instant better photo!
So that’s a quick and dirty guide to getting up-close and personal with some photo subjects this spring. If you’re rocking a DSLR or a mirrorless system camera, you’re in an entirely different space. While you may have a macro mode on your camera, you’re going to want to look into using a Macro-capable lens… or flipping your lens around to make it Macro! Both of those topics are a little advanced for this feature however, so you’re going to need to check out the Future Shop tech blog for more information!
Good luck and good shooting!