If you haven’t turned your hand yet to trying out Macro Photography, then what better time to start than now? Even in your own back garden you can capture some amazing shots – a simple flower can be the perfect macro subject. And if you play around with light and depth of field you can create some really different and interesting shots. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro lens has a high magnification of 1.25x, meaning you can capture amazing and tiny detail very close up and paired with the Olympus PEN camera it is super easy to start trying to capture some macro action yourself.
Here are some top tips for mastering macro photography:
1. Find your subjects
The best macro subjects tend to be small insects or flowers and plants, any of which can be found in your garden or out on a daily walk. The details on insects rarely seen by the human eye, make for really impressive photos and close up details of flowers taken with a macro lens can create some gorgeous abstract images which work beautifully printed as artwork. But there are lots of other subjects that macro photography can be suited to. Water droplets make for very fun macro shooting - thanks to their reflective surfaces. And also delicate items like jewellery can be intricately captured using a macro lens like the 30mm F3.5.
2. Take advantage of the conditions
For shooting insects outside an overcast day does tend to be better as the sunlight is more diffused and your subject will be easier to capture without you having to worry about casting shadows yourself. However, where flowers and plants are concerned, direct sunlight can be a great way to create shadows on your subject and allows you to add drama and depth into your macro images. Play around with the direction of light on your flower and the angle and direction you shoot your images from to create lots of different shots. A day that is not too windy is also a plus as wind disturbs your subjects and can make them very hard to capture as they are moving. That’s also why shots are better created handheld, without a tripod, with the ability to move and follow your subject if needed.
A fast shutter speed is essential for macro photography to capture insects that are moving and if there is any kind of wind or movement on the day. For moving subjects set your Olympus PEN to S/Shutter Priority mode to allow you to easily control your shutter speed.
For still life objects or static flowers and plants, shooting in A/Aperture Priority mode on your Olympus PEN will allow you to easily change the aperture and play around with depth of field in your macro shots. Using a narrower aperture (higher f-stop) will allow you to capture the entire subject in focus. Whilst widening the aperture to the 30mm lens lowest f-stop of 3.5, will allow you to focus on one part of the subject and create gorgeous blur and bokeh in the rest of the image. You can use the Olympus PEN touch screen to tap on the area of the subject you want in focus. Play around with the aperture to see how this affects your macro shot until you find the settings that work for you.
You can also find a macro shooting option in the Olympus PEN scene modes. Select this option and the camera will choose the macro settings for you. This is a great place to start for a macro beginner and especially if you are inexperienced in shooting in modes other than AUTO.
Most importantly: Experiment and have fun with creating your macro shots. Get outside and try shooting something in your back garden and you’ll be amazed at the detail you can capture with your Olympus PEN.
Author & Photographer: Debs Stubbington