I will not go into the details of shooting, many books and websites clearly explain the techniques used in macrophotography. I prefer to try to make a list of tips and things to avoid in macro photography.



The subject center

This is the most common fault among beginners in macro and wildlife photography is an unforgivable sin when you know the current performance of boxes that can easily make a development offset by moving the collimator. To avoid the temptation to about the center, try to place the interests or on the lines of force, or better still on the gold points.


The obsession with flash

A picture of nature, natural light is irreplaceable, and gives much better results than artificial lighting, lights and colors will be much softer, so do not flash systematically everything that passes within range of goal. Personally if the light fails, I prefer not to make the photo rather than using a flash, this in order to emphasize the quality of the composition.


The background

In macro, the background is just as important as the subject photography. We must therefore pay close attention to him and do not forget the following:

- Exposure: the photo will be wasted if the background is under-or overexposed. To avoid this, it can take away from the area and able to multi spot metering on the background. If the contrasts are registered, make an average of measurements made on the subject and that carried on the merits.

- Depth of field: Do not hesitate to open up the aperture (f2, 8, f4, f5, 6 ...) to limit the depth of field and drown the parasitic elements of the background in the dark.

- Investment from the subject: Turn around the subject and vary the angles to find an appropriate fund.


The sharpness

This is usually the first endpoint of a picture, even before the quality of the exposure or composition. Net, the image holds the attention, moved, it is good for the dustbin. It is therefore necessary to focus with absolute rigor, not no matter where! If it is an animal, you will do on the eye when the subject is big enough, and if the head is very small and far. For a flower, made the development of the part you want to highlight, stamen, etc. lip. ...


The shaking

Just because you are applying you have to be tense, tenses and forget to breathe. Move, relax and breathe
as calmly as possible, and just before calling: exhale and lock your breath for a moment.

If, really, you're the type shrub in the storm, you can take the field a lightweight monopod or tripod to compensate for your lack of stability.


Imitate the Sioux or Arapaho

In the manner of a Sioux or Arapaho, made one with the environment, to find good support, strain, branch, knee, rock, mound of earth ... all can be used to calibrate your camera, your hand or you own.

- Topic is at ground level (0 to 40cm): Lie on your stomach and block you on the elbows. You will go up more or less to play at the level of shooting.

- Subject to intermediate height (40 to 70cm): Sit cross-legged and rest your elbows on knees, raise more or less the knees to vary the height.

- Topic at mid-height (70 to 100 cm): Adopt the position of the shooter on his knees, one knee, the other serving as a support arm that supports the device.

- Subject to intermediate height (from 100 to 150 cm) is bad luck!, The position most uncomfortable. No other choice but to bend and flex the knees to set up the subject.

- Topic at breast height (above 150 cm): This is the classic position of the photographer, standing, feet slightly apart and elbows against your body.


The exuberance dress

Know on: fashion dress the nature photographer is more akin to that of the military than the city's "branch" ... So keep your sweat spraying a bright orange fluorescent green for another day and buy you clothes dark (khaki, brown, dark gray, navy ...) or outright military fatigues, that's what I use.

You'll be much more discreet in the eyes of animals and increase your success rate in your approaches. FOMBEC Also remember the mnemonic formula FOMBEC.

Each letter corresponds to the initial one factor that may betray your presence in nature:

Form F (Understand, put your hands and knees)

O Shadow (an insect that you deprive yourself from the sun is likely to fly)

M Movement (these must be a slow and absolute precision.)


B Noise (insects hear ...)


E Eclat (avoid wearing items that generate reflections.)

C for color (avoid models couture)





1.You shoot at a height of the insect

Whether a deer or a drone, that we want to photograph, it is always better to stand up to his eyes. It thus makes the animal more expressive, giving it a look, he is given a soul ... At eye level, the insects become a lively and fascinating. Of course, we can overcome this rule to develop a graphical effect, open wings of a butterfly, shell of an insect ...


2. You perfect your composition

For an image is beautiful and remarkable, it must meet certain guns. Structuring the composition using the force lines and dots of gold. Attention to reading direction, in the West, we read from left to right, for this reason we prefer to unconsciously read a picture in the same direction, but some prefer to get the look on the subject and put them on the right side of the frame.

Use receding diagonals and curved lines to structure the image and lead the eye towards what you want to show. Balance the masses of color in the image, except when you want to attract attention to a specific point in this way.


3. You dare to be more open

For years, it is advisable to diaphragm for more clarity, but we also need to know to do the opposite and use the maximum aperture to produce images more aesthetic or only part of the subject is clear, (often for an eye animal), while the rest gradually merges into the blur of the background. In this case, the focus should be more than careful, because the depth of field does not exceed a few millimeters.


4. You will go beyond the magnification x1

For many amateur photographers, the magnification x 1 is seen as a final frontier, as an insurmountable barrier. Yet it is not difficult to venture into this "beyond" mysterious, simply insert the extension rings between your case and your goal. At magnifications of up to x1, 5 are accessible without further material, provided, however, be clever and gain some experience.


5. You will go light

Learn to shoot without a tripod. If you protects against camera shake, this accessory also deprives you of your mobility and your spontaneity, two essential qualities for macro. With a little experience, you can also capture insects in flight, just after takeoff or before landing.


6.You operate the dew

With millions of water droplets, dew changes the appearance of the field and provides an opportunity to make images very different. So get up early and enjoy! You will not know which way the housing. Spider webs encrusted with sparkling diamonds, a dragonfly still numbed by the cold of the night, with wings as coated beads. A butterfly trapped in the dew, waiting to take off its wings dry. Further along a rod, an ant that comes to drink a drop bigger than it ... The dew is the ally of the macro, even if it is ephemeral. It creates the effect of magnifying glass, gives freshness to your images. Also favor the first and last hours of the day, it's time or the light is the sweetest


7. You multiply the images of the same subject

When you are on the ground, consider taking several shots of the same subject, varying the angles of shooting, over meadows, further, do not just take a single shot, even if it is technically correct and you are satisfied with the level of the composition. Do not sort only by looking behind the screen of your device.


8. You will document

Commandment of all present here, it may be the one to be published on less valuable, and yet ... Without a minimum of knowledge about animals and nature, the best DSLR in the world will not get you close. Of course you do pictures, but you will hardly get out of the ordinary. In contrast, if you document the species, their habits, their environment, you give yourself a better chance of you in the right place at the right time to make great games.

To learn a lot, a low-cost, Internet is a great tool, provided to visit sites seriously and trustworthy.


9. You respect nature and animals

It should not even have to say, but one never knows ...

Follow all species of flora and fauna, even those that seem insignificant or very common.

Made even more attention to protected species.

Do not chase animals, do not harass them for a cliche at all costs, avoid handling them and move them.

Do not stray from marked trails in parks, reserves and other protected sites.


The last and most important of the commandments ... You can not always return full of great pictures in the case, you have to be patient and procrastinate a day that was not convincing. Learn and learn from previous mistakes.

Advice from various experiences, and read in Image & Nature