Using the Macro Mode

I recently got a new camera, and I’ve been taking more pictures than ever. It’s amazing to me what a difference a quality camera makes. It definitely doesn’t make me a better photographer automatically, but it’s inspired me to learn more and experiment with the capabilities of the camera.

For instance, I’ve been taking a lot of photos of crafts I’ve made recently, and I’ve been using the macro setting (also called the close-up mode on some cameras). This setting, most often indicated by a flower, allows you to get up close and personal with the subject of the shot. For example, if you’re taking a photo of a flower the macro mode keeps the focus of the shot concentrated tightly on the subject, and the depth of focus is kept to a minimum, resulting in a clear subject with blurring in the background.

There’s something amazing about taking a close-up that turns out well. All the pieces of the image toward the back of photo seem to fade away leading your eye to a specific portion of the photo most in focus. The end result allows you to see all the little details of the flower or subject most in focus, and the photo seems to turn out a little more like you remember seeing it in real life.

My experimentation has also taught me a few things about getting a great close-up shot. Here are a few tips to try:

* Simple backgrounds make for great close-ups. The more complex your background, the less your subject will show up.

* You want to get close to your subject, but make sure you’re not too close, or your camera won’t fire. Every camera has a minimum focal length (minimum distance the lens can be to the subject), which means that if you’re closer than the minimum distance, it can’t focus. If your camera doesn’t seem to want to take the shot, back up a little and try again.

* Lighting is always important. If your shot turns out blurry, you may want to turn the flash on to help illuminate the subject.

* Every camera is different, so check your owner’s manual if you have questions about your specific camera. You might be surprised at the wealth of information you can find there.