Macro photography is an acquired skill requiring an eye for detail, plenty of practice, and a lot of patience. So whether you're considering making the transition from wide-angle, or are new to the underwater photography game, here are our top tips for starting out in the world of macro.
1. Use the right kit
While it's not just about having the correct gear, using the appropriate equipment for your subject matter will make your initial macro journey far less frustrating. If you are shooting with a compact camera, swat up on your model's macro settings - you'll be surprised how much you can achieve with even a basic compact. However, if you shoot with a macro four-thirds or DSLR, purchase at least one macro lens that's suitable for your camera type. You should also purchase at least one, but preferably two strobes to light your subject.
Bluewater Photo Store has a great range of macro lens and strobe options.
2. Pick your subject
This is as much about research and experience as it is about photography. Some destinations, such as Anilao in the Philippines, are world-class macro photography destinations, however, if you spend time looking for critters at your local dive sites you may be pleasantly surprised at what you turn up. Try shooting still or very slow-moving subjects to begin with, and nothing too small. Super macro is a whole different challenge that you can explore once you've grasped the basics. Be patient, practice with different angles and compositions, play around with lighting, and have fun learning how to get the best out of your new equipment.
3. Take a course
While practice is the best way to improve, taking a course or workshop in macro photography is a great way to learn from a pro and meet other like-minded underwater photographers. Workshops are ideal for addressing any aspects of your photography that you may be struggling with, as well as a great source of insider tips and tricks. Here at Bluewater Travel, we run several macro photography workshops every year to some of the world's best macro destinations.
Check out the Underwater Photography Guide's article on Macro Underwater Photography.