Knowing the technical aspects of macro photography is important, but getting the composition right is what really pulls the image together. Here are a few tips for extreme close-up shots.
• Frame your subject with an out-of-focus foreground and background. A sharply rendered subject surrounded by softer tones and shapes gives it visual weight.
• Fill the frame completely. Sometimes even small gaps or holes disrupt the texture of an image and inadvertently distract the viewer’s eye.
• Shoot horizontally, then vertically. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell what will make the best composition when you’re shooting. Cropping after the fact means you’ll lose pixels and image quality, so take pictures in both orientations and decide later which works better.
ADAPTED FROM UNDERSTANDING CLOSE-UP PHOTOGRAPHY: CREATIVE ENCOUNTERS WITH OR WITHOUT A MACRO LENS BY BRYAN PETERSON (AMPHOTO BOOKS, 2009; $26)