Take better macro shots without extra camera gear

 

Standard photo vs Technique photo

So you can only get so close with a standard camera, but most people just end up taking blurry shots when they zoom-in for a close up. There are two basic ways to make your photo’s better:

  1. Keep the camera still.
  2. Increase the available light.

Update 13 Feb 2008: Before you get started if your camera has macro mode you should enable it (It is usually a flower Icon). See this blog for more info.

Keep the camera still

Brace your elbow against a solid object (A wall, fence, tree or coffee table will work).
If one is unavailable brace against:

  • Your chest (if standing, sitting or kneeling)
  • Your knee (if crouching)
Standard vs Bracing

 

Use your cameras timer function
When you press the button on your camera it shakes all over the place. By using the timer you can keep your camera nice and still when the camera is taking the picture. If you don’t have this feature try holding the button down until the camera has finished taking the photo. This should still reduce the amount of shake.

Bracing vs Timer

 

Control your breathing

Your body moves when you breath in and out. Pause briefly just after your lungs are full or empty and take your shot then (Just like a sniper!).

Timer vs Timer and Breathing

 

Don’t get too close

Most cameras have a fairly high mega pixel count. Use this too your advantage, set your camera to highest quality and move back a few centremeters so you can focus your camera properly.

Increase the available light

Check your shadow is not over your subject.

If it is move if you can so your subject gets more light.

Shadow vs Direct light

Use your flash with your finger on it’s centre (or cover with some white paper).

Using your flash will certainly increase the light on your subject. But a standard camera is designed to flash enough light for a few people about 2 meters away. So when you are close up your photo gets white washed. However if you hold your finger over the centre part of your flash bulb letting the reflected light still get to your subject you should get a good result. watch for the following problems, you may need to try this a couple of times to get it right:

  • Covering the flash too much will make the photo red from the light going through your finger.
  • Covering just one side will only illuminate one side of your subject.
Normal flash vs Finger flash