I have been into outdoor activities all my life, and nature photography was another excuse to be outdoors and in the woods.
Because I live in the metro Detroit area that doesn’t offer any opportunity for great landscapes, I decided to explore the macro world, which turned out to be a good move.
Well it depends on the subjects you are shooting. If you’re shooting stationary subjects a midrange macro lens in the 100mm range will work fine.
If you’re shooting butterflies, dragonflies, or small critters that will flee as you get close, the longer macro lenses in the 150mm to 200mm give you more working distance.
Macro photography takes a lot of practice especially learning to work with depth of field.
Because the working distance is so close the depth of field becomes difficult to work with and learning the angles it takes to produce backgrounds that will enhance the main subjects.
If you look at my website you will see no images from my first three years.
It didn’t start to kick in until the fourth year, and by the end of the fourth year I started to get images published in magazines.
You bet, I could have sped up the whole process of learning macro with a Macro Boot Camp like mine.
Photo forums on the internet came into my life in the fourth year and that really helped with learning composition.
We cover many different phases of macro photographer and we spend a couple hours of shooting on Saturday and Sunday.
Everything there is to know about macro photography is covered.
Sure, each of the macro e-books covers a part of the Macro Boot Camp, but obviously much more is covered at the MBC.
I do well with sales of my e-books, but I have to believe that there are a lot of photographers that are not very good, but don’t feel they need the help.
There are subjects that are interesting and grab a viewers eye and there are subjects that are just not interesting.
The pro’s do a better job of finding good subjects and composing them properly in the frame.
It’s in the artistic design of the flower.
Rather than shoot a flower that has perfectly aligned petals; search out the flowers that have petals that have formed in unusual designs.
I have always used natural light and will use a reflector to add light in dark areas.
I have been experimenting with some of the new LED lights that are on the market, and I hand hold the light in low light areas of a subject.
Mostly Spring through Fall but with all the interesting new growth during the spring, it would be my favorite time of year.
There are, however, some limited subjects to shoot during winter here in Michigan.
Macro can be shot in your backyard to anywhere in the world. I shoot mainly in parks within 20 minutes from my home.
In winter I shoot in my home, so subjects are everywhere and far away travel is not required.
It is required to make the images really pop, as they don’t come out of the camera finished.
I don’t always like the post processing part, but know it has to be done. I mainly use the Nik Products for post processing, and Photoshop for a few tweaks.
I shoot two styles, one with everything in focus and the other with very soft shallow depth of field.
If I have a subject that is interesting throughout, then I will set my f/stop in the higher number ranges (up to f32), and with the shallow soft feel that I mainly use with flowers and bugs, I will be working in the smaller f/stop numbers.
It’s a seven day a week, 12 hours or more a day job, but I love it and look forward to waking up at 5 in the morning and getting to work!
Spend as much time shooting as possible, and join nature photographer forums and post images for critiques, and study what the other experienced photographers are doing with subjects and compositions.
Mike Moats is an award winning, professional Nature Photographer from Sterling Heights, Michigan. He started shooting as a hobby in 2001 and it quickly grew into a full time business.
To date he has had articles and images published in Outdoor Photographer Magazine, Natures Best Magazine, PC Photo Magazine, Nature Photographer Magazine, Photolife, Whisper In The Woods, Michigan Game Finder, NANPA's Expressions Books, Pure Michigan Book, and Fujifilms Newsletter (Cable Release), he writes for Tamron's blog, and has had two images on front covers.
Mike has won numerous local and international awards, and in 2006 was asked to join the Fuji Pro Talent Team, and in 2009 was added as a Macro Master on the Tamron Website.
In 2006 Mike started offering Close-Up/Macro Photography Workshops.
His first book was released in Oct 2008 and is called Tiny Landscapes. The book is a how-to book for macro photography in nature.
He also has four e-Books sold through his storefront and he offers online macro workshops.
And be sure to also check out Mike's
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