The Challenges of Macrophotography

Macrophotography presents its own set of challenges quite distinct from your usual photography. First of all, you have to spring for the lens, and that's nothing to sneeze at. Then, you have to get dirty --- I mean, you have to kneel, sit, even lie on the ground to take the shots you want. You have to assume awkward, sinew stretching positions so you can take a picture of that itsy bitsy ladybug underneath that teeny weeny leaf. Plus you have to suffer ants feasting on your feet and endure static from your wife regarding laundry issues :)

For the technical challenges, focusing on such small subjects is difficult, to say the least. Light and camera shake is an issue, depth of field is critical, and if you're chasing moving subjects like butterflies, dragonflies, and bugs that just won't stop crawling, patience is, indeed, a virtue. But then, you don't need to go far to find your subjects. They can be in your own backyard. You'll be surprised at what you discover. Macrophotography is fun! So, get up early one morning and catch that worm before the early bird does :)

(Photo by Vencavolrab)

Photo credits: Vaclav Volrab.

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Yes, teleconverter is an option, but you need to think about image quality in that case. They say that converters can do some image degradation. Reverse ring method is ok, but then you need to shoot in full manual mode, cause there is no connection between lens and camera, so that is another disadvantage when you need to shoot something very quick.

Maybe the best method are extension tubes because one simple reason. Extension tubes don't have any additional glass inside, so there is no image degradation or loss in quality. Kenko Extension tubes with connectors are even better because your lens have contact with camera.


Hi Mario. I've been reading up about macro, and I was thinking that if I really wanted to get shots like Vencavolrab's, I'd have to get, probably, a teleconverter which you put between the camera and the lens. It basically magnifies everything that goes through the lens. It's quite pricey, though, and it seems to work with prime L lenses only (for Canon). So, I think I'll settle for a +4 close-up lens (filter) for now :) The reverse ring is an adapter so you can attach your lens to your camera in reverse to magnify the image; quite cheap but not my cup of tea when doing macro. I wrote about these in more detail in my other blog "Macrophotography: My Two Cents Worth." You may want to check it out. Thanks, Mario.


Amazing macro even if not yours :)...please tell us about that reverse ring project... i also plan something like that since my Sigma 70mm is not enough for me anymore :)


Hi Mary :) I use a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM on a 600D. But the photo of the ladybug is not mine; I wish it was mine, but it's from Vencavolrab. Check out his profile here at dreamstime. I plan to get a reverse ring so I can attach my 50mm f/1.8 lens to my 100mm macro hoping I can get better magnification. Thanks, Mary.


Great photo! Congrats


I love macro work but it is a challenge and frequently frustrating, especially when you think you have a great shot and then it turns out--blurry!! Curses!! Just keep trying, is my motto. And yes, it can be great fun. Best of luck to you in your macro journey!


:) lol! great post. I'd love to hear what equipment you are using. That ladybug is fantastic!


Thanks for your comments. They're very encouraging. The photo of the ladybug is from Vencavolrab, one of Dreamstime's contributors. It's a great photo; I wish I can make one just like it :)

Livingstonatlarge one day I managed to lay on TWO different ant hills....and I always look like a stole my clothes from a bum. (and I'm a girl).


Best shot of lady bug I have ever seen before. Great work.


That's a great image.


That's a nicely written blog and so fun to read - AND very true! The photo you used is already in my Sweet Ladybug collection :)


Great LadyBug!


Thanks :) The photos are from Vencavolrab.


Nice blog and beautiful photos!


Great picture!

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