Getting in close

Bad light, but still offers good perspective

Bad light, but still offers good perspective

Have you ever taken a picture of yourself and found that your facial features wound up distorted? Have you tried to zoom in close to something a couple feet away and found your camera wouldn’t focus?

Some lenses are made to take shots up close. They’re referred to as macro lenses, and macro photography is a discipline unto itself.

Macro lenses are not a particular focal length; I used to have a 70-300mm macro lens, and now I have a 90mm. Canon makes a well-regarded 100mm macro lens. The key is that the lens is made to take pictures close up. The most important designation you’ll see is the ratio. The 70-300mm macro I used to own was a 1:3; my current lens is a 1:1. The 1:1 allows me to get extremely close to my subject, and the resulting photo reflects what I saw through the viewfinder (thus the 1:1). A 1:3 does not allow the same closeness.

I should note that macro lenses are not only useful when taking close-up shots. They work fine as “normal” lenses, too.

Macro photography can be rewarding in that it allows you to capture things from a different perspective. I had the opportunity today to stroll around town with my daughter and take shots of some early spring flowers. I wound up with dirty knees and some funny looks from people who saw me kneeling in front of flower beds, but it was worth it.

Courtesy of my wife being on top of her spring planting game

Courtesy of my wife being on top of her spring planting game

More of Jennifer's flowers

More of Jennifer's flowers

Sometimes it's tough to choose the focal point . . . and to stay still

Sometimes it's tough to choose the focal point . . . and to stay still



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