Close Up Photography Tips

Close up photography used to require specialist equipment and accessories but today's digital cameras are able to handle close up work just as easily as any other subject matter.

There are several ways of achieving a close up photograph with your digital camera. You can either use the macro facility and get up close to your subject or use the longest setting on your zoom lens.

Close up Photography - Newspaper Picture by Kate Tilmouth

Close Up Photography Art Tips

  • When shooting a close up image you will notice that the depth of field is limited and so it is impossible to retain focus for the subject.
  • It is important therefore that you focus on the main area of your subject to make sure that it remains sharp.

  • Camera shake is greatly magnified when shooting either close up or using your zoom lens at full length and so it is important to either use a tripod or some other way of making sure the camera remains steady whilst taking the shot. Flash can help to reduce movement.
  • On board flash may not be quick enough to reflect back light in a close up situation, resulting in an over exposed image. There are two ways to try and combat this, they are:
    • Set the flash controls to manual and set your own flash exposure.
    • Cover the flash with a translucent material.
  • Never put yourself in danger by getting too near to something that could harm you, such as heavy machinery on a construction site to obtain your close up shot. It is far better to use a sturdy tripod and a lens with a long focal length.
    Close up Photography - Close up of Leeks by Kate Tilmouth
  • If you are using a compact digital camera for your close up shots, remember to use the macro setting. This will enable you to get much closer to your subjects and still capture a sharp focused image.
  • Unwanted highlights can appear through the viewfinder as trivial out of focus areas but can be very distracting bright spots in the final image.
  • To avoid these highlights, move around your subject until these areas are no longer visible or are positioned so as to add to the final image rather than distract from it.

    Close up Photography - Close up Filters by Amagill on Flickr
  • If you do not want to spend a lot of money on buying a specialist macro lens, but want to be able to capture even the smallest detail within your close up images, you can add close up filters to the front of your existing lens (SLR cameras).

  • They act like a magnifying glass and several can be used together to increase the magnification. They are relatively inexpensive and are normally sold in three different magnifications.

  • Fill the frame with your subject for a really impressive close up image.
  • If possible shoot in natural light for the best results, as a flash can produce some nasty shadows. Use the different color temperatures of natural light throughout the day to produce different effects and feel to your close ups.
  • Remember to take lots of shots from varying angles, it is better to have too many than too few and the ones you don't want can be deleted later.

Achieving great photography art requires 50% creative talent and 50% using the right equipment.