COMPLETE Guide to MACRO: Gear, Techniques, Editing, & More (VIDEO)

If you’re interested in giving macro photography a try, or the images you shot in the past were disappointing, this detailed tutorial is for you. And if you think that shooting close-ups is reserved for spring and summer, think again!

It’s true that many photographers stash their macro lens once insects and flowers disappear in cold weather, but there are actually a variety of great subjects throughout the year—indoors and out. Just think about the beautiful macro shots you can make during winter of snowflakes and frost in your own backyard.

This episode is from the First Man Photography instructional channel, and at almost 40 minutes it’s longer that most. But think of it as a free workshop that you can take in the comfort of home. Even more convenient is the fact that you can watch it all at once, or in segments as time permits.

Instructor Adam Karnacz is a versatile British landscape photographer who also shoots macro and a variety of other outdoor subjects. He’s a great instructor, and this lesson removes all the mystery from shooting and editing macro images. After the preliminary discussion you’ll watch Karnacz do a full macro shoot as he describes the finer points of this genre.

Karnacz says he began his fascination with macro photographing water droplets in his home studio, and he progressed from there. He says, “In this tutorial we’re going to go through everything you need to know to make really creative images today.”

This helpful guide begins with a discussion of gear. Karnacz uses a dedicated macro lens for optimum results. If you don’t currently own one of these, there are more affordable options that will get you started, including extension tubes and zoom lenses with a 1:2 or 1:4 reproduction ratio that work fine for subjects that aren’t too tiny.

Once you’re convinced that this type of photography is a lot of fun, you can then invest in something like a 100mm macro lens with life-size reproduction. And these lenses do double duty for shooting portrait photos too. With the gear out of the way it’s time for Karnacz’ behind-the-scenes macro shoot where you’ll learn all the tricks and view some nice images for inspiration.

After you capture images that meet expectations, and it’s a sure bet you will, it’s time to enhance the photos with a bit of editing. Karnacz walks you through that process too. He finishes the lesson with some guidance on printing the photos so you can showcase your best work.

There’s much more to learn on his YouTube channel, so be sure to take a look. And for another comprehensive tutorial check out our earlier post with a complete guide to editing color in Lightroom.