B&W Winter Macro Photography? Here's How It's Done (VIDEO)

After all the excitement of spring and summer macro photography, when insects begin to disappear and plants start to wither, it's not uncommon for photographers to stash their close-up lens in the back of their cabinet. That's a real shame because winter provides a bunch of great opportunities if you take a different approach.

Add b&w into the mix and you can capture a variety unique and outstanding photos. Instructor Miceal Widell is a Swedish photographer with a portfolio full of beautiful closeups of insects and other macro subjects. This behind-the-scenes episode is different from his others for two reasons: First, it takes place in winter, and second he's shooting in b&w.

As Widell trudges through a snow-covered landscape he explains his appreciation for winter and newfound interest in b&w. He also reveals the gear and camera settings he prefers for this type of photography and offers some solid advice on composition.

Widell admits that, "at the core I'm someone who appreciates color." At this time of year color is in short supply so he concentrates on contrast instead, which "is a perfect  for shooting in b&w." With the absence of flowers and insects Widell looks for water—whether it be ice or liquid form. Doing this, he says, enables him to capture eye-catching abstract images.

You'll learn the best way to expose these types of shots, and how Widell freezes subject motion while shooting with available light. He also explains why he typically uses a 90mm macro lens instead of the common 50mm option. As he notes, the reach of a longer lens is very well-suited for this particular genre.

You'll pick up some great techniques along the way, including how to gently twist a pinecone or other small subject until it's bathed in perfect light. He also offers variety of tips for b&w photography in the snow and the typically gray skies. Another key topic is the importance of shallow depth of field for accentuating subjects against soft, blurry backgrounds.

Widell also demonstrates a few editing techniques for making winter macro photos the best they can be. By the time you're done watching you'll be digging into you camera cabinet to find that macro lens you stashed away in autumn.

There's much more to learn about macro photography throughout the year on Widell's YouTube channel, so take a look, get out there, and take advantage of his advice.

We also encourage you to watch a tutorial we posted earlier, in which another pro demonstrates how to use Lightroom's Crop Tools to dramatically improve all photographs captured in the great outdoors.